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What Rocky Anderson Could Say That Would Lead Me To Support His Americans Elect Presidential Bid

J. Clifford has started a pretty interesting conversation about Rocky Anderson’s decision to seek a presidential nomination under the banner of the no-disclosure, unlimited-big-money 501c4 corporation called Americans Elect. As J. Clifford points out, there’s no small irony in a candidate who rails against politics driven by secret donations of big corporate mystery money, then chooses to run in a system funded by secret donations of big corporate mystery money. Anderson’s current Americans-Elect-isn’t-perfect-but-it-lets-people-like-me-run-so-Hurray explanation doesn’t cut it, especially when he complains about “corrupt money” in the same paragraph and we consider the multiple ways in which big money donors have had insider access to control the Americans Elect process. The juxtaposition between Rocky Anderson’s little-guy talk and his new big-money walk leaves me cold.

There is one announcement that Rocky Anderson could make to convince me to support his presidential bid with Americans Elect: an announcement that his campaign won’t be plagued with irony, but will be rolling in irony. Contrary to popular belief, irony isn’t simply the strange coincidence of two events. Irony is the expression of one idea with one’s literal words and the simultaneous expression of the opposite idea in expression or figurative meaning. If Rocky Anderson made his an ironic campaign, I’d be completely behind that.

In a remixing of what he currently is saying (“don’t worry, I’m pure”), here’s what he could say to make me jump on the Anderson 2012 bandwagon:

Contrary to the interests of the American people – and of our democracy – the Republican and Democratic parties have passed laws in many states that make it next to impossible for alternative parties to get on the ballot, at least on short notice. For instance, the Justice Party was founded in mid-December 2011, yet California required that, for the Justice Party to be on the ballot, 103,000 people would have had to register to vote as Justice Party members by January 3, 2012. Was that poor planning on my part? Maybe. But a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, formed by the Democratic and Republican parties, hijacked the presidential debates from the League of Women Voters and has organized and run the debates according to the dictates of the two dominant party candidates. Without the blessing of both the Republican and Democratic candidates, third-party or independent candidates are excluded – all further eroding any semblance of our democracy. Once again, the king-makers – owned and operated by corrupting corporate money – call the shots, while the public interest is further betrayed.

I, Rocky Anderson, am committed to expanding the Justice Party into a major force in U.S. politics – to remove the stench of corrupting money from our political system. But it doesn’t have enough money, so I’ve decided to go with another party. It has money to burn, and it’s called Americans Elect.

Sure, I’ve expressed concerns with the funding and transparency of Americans Elect. Sure, it’s run by the hedge fund managers and Wall Street investment bankers I’ve been criticizing for months. Sure, they have ultimate say over whether a candidate gets her or his (I’m a his) name on the ballot. But if I don’t cooperate with Americans Elect, ballot access in all 50 states is impossible for me. So forget about dreaming of a better world! I’m embracing the possible… and I’m sure that if I sit down with the Americans Elect corporate board, I can convince them that I’m an acceptable candidate. We can work something out. Wink, wink.

With only about a thousand votes separating me from the current front-runner on Americans Elect, we have a very real opportunity – with the help of all our supporters – to take the lead and further my, I mean the Justice Party’s, exposure to an ever-widening audience. Maybe I, I mean the Justice Party, can even get a talk show on MSNBC later on.

Ideally we would grow the party organically without the need of Americans Elect, but this is not an ideal world. Let’s focus on what’s possible for helping me, I mean the Justice Party, to continue in my, I mean the Justice Party’s, national growth.

Wink, wink.

You may think I am myself being ironic in calling on Rocky Anderson to wage an ironic campaign under the banner of Americans Elect. But no, I’m completely sincere. What better way to expose the absurdities of the Americans Elect “democratic” system than to participate in it as an exercise in satire? And as long as he managed to pull off his faux-sincerity with consistency, Americans Elect couldn’t do anything about it. When confronted, Anderson could give a big, muggy smile and declare, “WHY NO, I REALLY MEAN IT!” Stephen Colbert is apparently too chicken (or too attached to his show) to follow through and make a fully satirical presidential campaign happen. Rocky Anderson could do it.

But this current yes-it’s-run-by-big-money-but-my-personality-is-impervious-to-corruption stance? Rocky, Rocky, Rocky. You do know that’s baloney, don’t you?

20 comments to What Rocky Anderson Could Say That Would Lead Me To Support His Americans Elect Presidential Bid

  • Charles Manning (manning120)

    This is all new to me and I haven’t had time to delve into it. I do know Anderson, if not a great man, has the seeds of greatness in him. I don’t expect him to sell out his principles. I do expect he’ll make innovative moves to overcome the obstacles in the rigged system for selecting a president. I’m waiting to see how he’ll do it. Americans Elect, so far, has been a joke. If he can turn it into a viable polical force, without compromising his principles, I’m all for it.

    • Charles, how does Rocky Anderson’s willingness to accept organizational support for his campaign that was paid for with Wall Street hedge fund money NOT compromise his principles?

      • Kristine Kubat

        The AE initiative was paid for, in part, with hedge fund money. That is not the only money that has gone into this. Please stop spreading misinformation.

        This money did not go to Rocky. He can keep his pledge to limit campaign contributions and still participate as an AE candidate.

        AE has worked to gain ballot access for a presidential candidate who can meet certain requirements that prove the candidate is independent and has a significant level of popular support. All the candidate gets from AE is ballot access. They don’t get any other form of support.

        This is an entirely new approach; you cannot compare it to the status quo.

        • Americans Elect is refusing to say where the other money is coming from, Kristine. They’re keeping their funding secret! So, what am I supposed to say about that money? We don’t know where it comes from, and neither do you.

          The Americans Elect money we know about comes from Wall Street hedge funds.

          So, Rocky Anderson has not only embraced Wall Street hedge fund money, he has embraced secret sources of financial support for his ballot access through Americans Elect as well.

          How can you defend that?

      • Note how quickly the turn comes. As Rocky Anderson moves to align himself with Americans Elect, Rocky Anderson supporters start defending the righteousness of Americans Elect.

  • Bill

    Anderson could get my vote as an AE delegate in a New York minute if he would campaign as the guy who fights to clean up Americans Elect Corporation itself, from the inside. Demand that the current omnipotent and self-appointed Board of Directors step down in favor of a democratically elected Board. Amend the hated Bylaws to remove the Board’s appalling “extraordinary power and authority” to overrule the delegates’ vote by fiat. Identify all major donors and their donations. Unlike his competitor, Bullwinkle Buddy Roemer, don’t just “demand” AE reform and then fall silent when his demands are ignored…instead, organize his supporters and his campaign to raise hell until these demands are met.

    Anderson claims that he wants to reform American government and that he’s just the guy for the job. But if he can’t (or can’t be bothered to) reform puny little Americans Elect first, then he’s just living in a fantasy world. By declaring for AE he has undermined the continuing efforts of AE reformers such as many of us here, by volunteering as a stage prop to lend credibility to Junk Ackerman’s democracy theater. He can do penance for that sin by getting back on the side of goodness and lending us a hand to clean up the mess he has contributed to. You know what they say, Rocky: lead, follow, or get out of the way.

    • That would’ve been nice. But Rocky Anderson hasn’t issued so much as a critical peep about Americans Elect and its ethical issues since the week he announced he’d use it for ballot access. Go check out his press releases and the rest of his web site. The main page of his website features a larger Americans Elect logo than Rocky Anderson logo now.

  • Kristine Kubat

    At last we have come to the heart of the matter. You do not know where the rest of the money comes from, so what are you to think? You do not know Rocky. You were not privy to how his decision was made, so what are you to think about this as well?

    The answer is, you can think whatever you like, but please have the decency to distinguish between what you think and what you know. You have made many statements about Rocky and his decision to exercise the Americans Elect option. These are accusations but you state them as facts. You have suspicions about Americans Elect but you state these as facts.

    I am not defending Americans Elect. Making accusations against me and using charged words like “righteousness” is a tactic that only serves to promote divisiveness at a time when people need to stand together.

    I also have suspicions about Americans Elect but I have complete faith in Rocky Anderson when it comes to politics. This faith is not blind. I am working with him and others as part of the Justice Party. I have observed both strengths and weaknesses. My own personal observation is that Rocky Anderson and dishonesty cannot occupy the same space. Where others are afraid of the dark, he is his own candle.

    Americans Elect has made numerous public pronouncements about what they are up to. If what they say is true (and I agree whole heartedly this is a very big “if”) they have created a clear path to ending the stranglehold Democrats and Republicans exercise over the voting public. Rocky is calling them on this and he will hold them to their word. Period. He will either make this initiative work or he will expose it as fraudulent in the process. While your expertise is raising concerns, Rocky’s expertise is creating solutions on highly controversial political issues that are controversial because fearful people spin them out of control. (Please check his record of accomplishments on climate change and gay rights.)

    Everyone who wants to go beyond spin and support true political reform can go to http://www.voterocky.org. You can now ALSO go to Americans Elect and take actions in support of Rocky. On the latter option, document everything you do throughout the process.

    • Thanks for writing back. Contrary to your claim., this post has been very careful to *not* ascribe knowledge regarding Rocky Anderson’s motivations. It has discussed his behavior, which is a matter of public record, as is your position as a State Chair for Rocky Anderson’s Justice Party. It’s in your interest to say nice things about Rocky Anderson. For those of us without a dog in the fight, it’s important to pay close attention.

    • Bill

      Rocky Anderson and dishonesty cannot occupy the same space

      Sure they can, Kristine. That space is called Americans Elect Corporation.

      • Fruktata

        No, no, you don’t understand, Bill. You see, if you squint just right while looking at Rocky Anderson, you’ll see that he’s got a halo of juicy goodness all around him. He’s just such a magnificent guy, you see, that Rocky Anderson couldn’t possibly do anything wrong. If Rocky Anderson does something, you know it just has to be good. Like, if Rocky Anderson was caught taking a bribe, we would know that it was just a sign that he was accumulating the werewithal to fight corruption from the inside out! So, the fact that Rocky Anderson is now taking substantial support from an organization funded by Wall Street only proves that he’s the only only only person ever who will take on Wall Street, and is just oooooozing with wholesome whole wheat goodness!

        Ooooh, Rocky! I live in Salt Lake City, and talked to him once, so I know he means the best for us all!

        • Oh, kind of like Ralph Nader 2000 and Howard Dean 2004 and Barack Obama 2008? Got it!

          … no, wait, don’t got it. I’ve been cured of politicianismysavioritis.

        • Ralph

          Golly, Fuktata, you’re right! Why, Rocky Anderson is just such a super duper guy, he gives me HOPE! I seem to remember another really swell guy who gave me HOPE, and gave corrupt bankers $700,000,000,000.00!

          What a deal!

    • Ralph

      Don’t “promote divisiveness when people need to stand together.” Have “complete faith.” How many of times have we heard that kind of talk when it was time to go to war, or bail out banks?

    • A.R.

      “My own personal observation is that Rocky Anderson and dishonesty cannot occupy the same space.” – Kristine Kubat
      Here are some facts:
      http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700107773/Nothing-meek-about-this-high-road.html
      “There’s still enough to pay the bills on time, and hang onto a two-person “underpaid” staff. But the executive director hasn’t been paid in over a year.
      Rocky shrugs. . .”I don’t need much money,” he says. “I drive a few blocks back and forth to the office, that’s about it.” published February 7, 2011.
      Maybe you should check High Road for Human Rights IRS Form 990 for the previous tax year (2010) when Rocky claims he was not paid. He reported income of $78,500 to the IRS.
      Or this statement from Rocky.
      http://www.highroadforhumanrights.org/node/246
      “Far too often during the past three years, we didn’t know if we would make it through to the next month – even when I was uncompensated much of the time.”
      In fact why don’t you check all the Form 990’s available from 2008-2010 which show that Rocky’s salary was High Road for Human Rights’ biggest expense and accounted for approximately 30% of the organization’s expenses each year ($72,833 for a 20 hour work week in 2008 for example, not a bad part time gig).
      http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/esearch.php
      Rocky has absolutely no problem sharing space with dishonesty, he clearly lied about his compensation at HRHR. As for his “accomplishments on climate change” (which was one of High Road for Human Rights’ primary missions) maybe he could have accomplished more if he had spent less money on himself and more on the program services he purported to pursue.

  • (editor ‘s note: see comment below. This does appear to be an example of someone misappropriating “Nobody Asked…”‘s moniker, so I’ve added a NOT in front of the name:)

    Nobody at Americans Elect wants either Rocky Anderson OR Buddy Roemer. These kinds of candidates continually clog up our political system when they ought to just be flushed out. I’ve been following Rocky Anderson’s campaigns for a long time and while he might sound good at first he’s just another slippery politician looking to line his own pockets and fleece hardworking taxpayers. Nothing ever changes and these kinds of phony candidates only make matters worse by trying to confuse voters who deserve better choices, such as Romney or Santorum or even Obama, who I supported in 2008. One thing you can count on: the wealthy investors in charge of Americans Elect would like nothing better than for a Ron Paul-quality candidate to head their ticket so that the donations of the people signing up on their sketchy website would go directly into their pockets. They actually say that if you read all their organizational documents closely like I did. Rocky Anderson is only the latest puppet in the Americans Elect online primary but he won’t be the last. The website looks very slick but why waste your effort signing up for something that obviously won’t even work?

    • NobodyAskedMe...But

      I have been posting comments on the internet that exposed Buddy Roemer’s history and reputation as a liar and failure. In each posting I cited independent commentary by historians, journalists, and his personal acquaintances. The statements that I made were not simply my opinions. They were the facts and opinions and the statements made by Buddy himself and people who know him best, as far back as the 1980?s, which were coming back to haunt him.

      By the way, this is another recent citation that I have not used but which also confirms Buddy’s mendacity and unreasonable exaggeration, written by a leading journalist on the New Orleans newspaper.
      http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2011/03/who_is_this_man_former_louisia.html

      Above this comment you will see another comment by Nobody Asked Me…But. It is not I who wrote that. It is not my style of language. I know nothing about Rocky Anderson and would not criticize him.

      Why would anyone write that kind of comment and use my screen name instead of their own? It must be to discredit me.

      Today I noticed that this same thing happened at another website. Someone, using my screen name, wrote a comment saying that “I” have written negative things about Buddy Roemer but now I regret it because he is such a wonderful person. When I clicked on their name (my name forged) it took me to Buddy Roemer’s web page. I assume Buddy Roemer did it. Because of that, I am now searching the internet for all comments I made about Buddy Roemer to see if this has been done more than once, and find this one above, which purports to be by me but is not.

      When I click on the forged name, it takes me to a blog that I actually did write about Buddy Roemer. Why would Mr. Roemer do that? How did he do that?

      I cannot answer these questions. I can only warn people that the above comment is a forgery.

      • Looked into the IP address. You’re right, it’s clearly not you. I’ve added a NOT to the name along with an editor’s note in the comment.

        • NobodyAskedMe...But

          Thank you, Mr. Cook.

        • Vince Lisanti

          Jim,
          You know what would clear all this forgery of alias name business up? How about people start posting under their real names and email adresses if they are so confident in the allegations they put out there? Nothing sceams troll with a biased agenda more than someone who cuts and pastes the same nonsense over and over again under an alias name! Just Sayin!

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