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Corporate Compromise Fails To Pay Off For Rocky Anderson

Last week, Rocky Anderson, the presidential candidate of his own personal political party, the Justice Party, decided to try an experiment. Yes, it’s true that when he started his presidential campaign, Rocky Anderson promised to stand against the influence of corporate money in politics.

As time went on, however, Rocky Anderson discovered that avoiding the patronage of corporate insiders was a rather inconvenient hindrance to his personal ambitions. Rocky Anderson wasn’t getting the kind of personal attention he wanted, so he decided to shake things up.

Rocky Anderson decided to submit his presidential candidacy for approval by the Americans Elect Party – a political party that was set up with Wall Street hedge fund money and remains controlled by corporate-aligned officers. Americans Elect’s appointed leaders have reserved the right to kick any candidate out of the running for the Americans Elect presidential nomination, if that candidate fails to support the Americans Elect pro-corporate agenda. In these ways and more, Americans Elect has become the most naked attempt to establish corporate control over American politics in existence today.

failed americans elect candidacyYes, it was a terrible compromise of his principles for Rocky Anderson to join with Americans Elect. But, a small number of supporters, mostly die-hard fans in Utah, have justified Anderson’s deal with corporate America by saying that it’s a necessary way to give Anderson the attention that he deserves. They urged Rocky Anderson supporters to flood the Americans Elect system, making Anderson the most-supported candidate there.

It’s been a week now since Rocky Anderson embraced corporate money in politics by joining Americans Elect. So, there’s been enough time for Rocky Anderson fans to go over to Americans Elect and sign up. We can look and see if joining Americans Elect has really helped the Rocky Anderson presidential campaign.

Looking at Rocky Anderson’s numbers at Americans Elect, it’s clear that Anderson’s gamble didn’t pay off. Rocky Anderson has only 831 supporters on Americans Elect. 831 people, from across the entire United States of America.

That’s got to be kind of embarrassing for Rocky Anderson.

In the Americans Elect system, Rocky Anderson is actually losing the competition to politicians who have declared that they are not running, and will not run for President in 2012. For example, Rocky Anderson has less than half the support on Americans Elect that Senator Bernard Sanders has gathered… even though Sanders has urged his supporters to abandon the idea that he will ever start a presidential campaign. In fact, Bernard Sanders has not even joined Americans Elect.

So, Rocky Anderson sold out to corporate America, and he failed to wrangle any political advantage out of the deal. That’s about the worst kind of campaign failure I can imagine.

For American liberals who are looking for an alternative presidential candidate to vote for instead of Barack Obama, Rocky Anderson doesn’t look like a leader who can deliver.

Jill Stein is a liberal leader who can deliver. While Rocky Anderson was breaking his promises and stumbling into an inept relationship with Americans Elect, Dr. Stein was winning the New Jersey Green Party presidential primary and qualifying for federal matching funds in Illinois and Wisconsin.

19 comments to Corporate Compromise Fails To Pay Off For Rocky Anderson

  • R.A.

    “Yes, it was a terrible compromise of his principles for Rocky Anderson to join with Americans Elect.”
    As most may know Rocky was the founder and executive director of High Road for Human Rights. One of the organization’s 5 missions is to address climate change. 350.org dedicated 10/10/10 as a day of action to prevent climate change. Rocky and HRHR hosted what the non-profit’s website described as the “party of the year!”, the High Road Cooler World Music Festival, in collaboration with 350.org on 10/9/10.
    If you look closely at the top row of sponsors you will see Chevron 2nd from the right. Rocky took money from an oil company to sponsor his party supposedly dedicated to climate protection.
    http://www.trunity.net/hrhr/topics/view/53756/
    Rocky isn’t compromising his principles. He does whatever is best for him personally despite any principles he claims to have. As a “climate protection advocate” he turned to a fossil fuel producer for cash and now despite his pledge to take a stand against corporate money in politics he is turning to corporate funded Americans Elect to further his political ambitions.

  • Bill

    Anderson’s campaign has learned what my grandpappy always knew: “Fly with the crows, get shot with the crows.”
    It’s a cautionary tale for those who are tempted to lube up and climb in bed with the devil.

  • Charles Manning (manning120)

    Although I lack time to fully investigate all the candidates, and despite the overwhelming onslaught of propaganda generated by the MSM coverage of the Republican primaries and Obama’s nascent campaign, I’ve found Anderson’s credentials and statements far and away superior to other candidates. Stein doesn’t have to consider Americans Elect; if she was in Anderson’s shoes, I think she would. At any rate, we need an open and fair competition between Anderson and Stein, with the winner bowing out to the loser. Americans Elect seems less and less likely to allow that kind of winnowing out of candidates.

    • I’m sorry, Charles, but I don’t think I understand your comment. How is Rocky Anderson NOT the loser to Jill Stein already?

      Jill Stein is winning competitive primaries, qualifying for federal matching funds, and getting ballot access. Rocky Anderson set up a party for himself so that he wouldn’t have to compete in primaries, isn’t qualifying for federal matching funds, and failed to get ballot access anywhere but in Utah.

      Now, Rocky Anderson has turned to corporate-purchased infrastructure to get help for his struggling campaign, and he’s failed at that too.

      I think it’s time for Rocky Anderson to admit that he just doesn’t have the wherewithal to run a presidential campaign. He’s not doing himself any favors by flailing around with the Americans Elect Wall Street crowd.

      • R.A.

        J. Clifford, you are exactly right. Rocky keeps stating that his campaign is a grassroots movement of the people but the reality it is a movement for himself. He doesn’t want competition because as the AE situation shows he doesn’t have the support of the people to win. That’s why he formed his own political party, nominated himself as his party’s candidate and had the steering committee that he picked confirm his nomination. The people have no voice in his party. His is a campaign of Rocky Anderson, by Rocky Anderson and for Rocky Anderson.

      • The statement about Justice Party ballot access is not accurate. The Justice Party has also qualified in Mississippi, and is petitioning in 7 states, and has a good chance of wininng a lawsuit against Hawaii’s February deadline.

        The statement about Jill Stein is also not accurate. She has only raised enough money to qualify for primary season matching funds in 5 states so far; she needs 15 more. In the last year the Green Party has gained ballot access in 4 states, which is certainly better than zero states, but isn’t that overwhelmingly impressive. The pace needs to pick up; perhaps it will.

        • I apologize for missing Mississippi, Richard.

          But, do people know what’s required to gain ballot access in Mississippi? All that it takes is showing up and submitting some paperwork. That’s it. Vermont is about the same, but the Rocky Anderson campaign hasn’t even mustered that much gumption.

          Let’s also be clear Richard, that when you write about Jill Stein and those four states, those are four states that she has added to the Green Party’s ballot access list. Also, Jill Stein is currently petitioning in 10 additional states, and has concrete plans for petitioning in almost every other state in the union. The pace, which you want to pick up, depends on when the petitioning period is, determined by state governments, not by any campaign.

          Rocky Anderson has chosen to mix himself up with a scheme to build a political party from the top down using professional petitioners that were paid for using profits from unethical Wall Street hedge funds. That’s the kind of ballot access initiative we do NOT need to see more of.

        • VAGreen

          In 2008, it took Cynthia McKinney until early June to raise enough money to qualify for primary matching funds in 6 states. Jill has already succeeded in 5 states and is getting close in Maryland.

  • Bill

    A key point, seldom discussed with respect to Americans Elect (and obviously not carefully considered by Anderson), is that the winner of the AE nomination, whoever it may be, will fail spectacularly in the general election. Here’s why:
    1. Late, late start. Other candidates already have huge war-chests and massive national organizations. AE’s candidate this summer will still be putting on his slippers and brushing his teeth while the ‘majors’ are already getting the prom queen into the back seat of the Chevy.
    2. No money, honey. With zero war-chest, AE’s candidate will be completely reliant upon AE’s mega-donors to donate to his/her campaign. But if a Rocky Anderson-type wins the nomination, that ain’t gonna happen. The Titans of Finance who bankroll AE aren’t looking for a progressive candidate, they’re looking for a beancounter who will shut down Social Security and Medicare and lower the top income tax bracket on the backs of the poor. If they don’t get that candidate, they won’t support. And if they somehow do get that candidate, no one else in American will support him.
    3. No party-member support. Candidates from real parties can count on the votes in the general election of a large majority of their party members. An AE candidate cannot. If the AE candidate leans even a little bit toward the left, AE’s conservative members will abandon him. Vice versa if he leans even a little bit right. There’s no such thing as a “centrist.” The AE candidate can rest assured that 90% of AE’s members won’t vote for him.
    4. The embarrassment factor. The AE candidate’s campaign, whether he likes it or not, will be all about AE, not about the candidate, and AE’s increasingly public dirty laundry will kill any enthusiasm for its shill candidate.

    Above and beyond the moral failing Anderson has shown by climbing into bed with AE, the stunning lack of political savvy this move reflects is even more damning. Who wants a President who doesn’t know what time it is?

    • Excellent concluding point, Bill. The cluelessness reflected in Rocky Anderson’s decision to join Americans Elect is really shocking. How could Anderson have thought that he was somehow going to emerge from a partnership with Americans Elect as the victor?

  • Daniel H

    I actually emailed AE about the by-law about overriding the votes. And here was their response:

    Our board of directors cannot override the final selection of a nominee. They can order a revote in specific circumstances. As our rules state, “The board shall have the ability, on recommendation of the independent auditor, to declare any vote a nullity in the event of a material breach of voting security and to order a re-vote upon email notice to all Delegates.” I hope you’ll agree this is an important failsafe.

    Your response?

    • Daniel, Americans Elect appointed leaders have granted themselves the power to eliminate any candidate from participation in the vote. So, the final vote isn’t the point. If the final vote only contains candidates that Americans Elect approves of, then there’s no need to fix the final vote.

      • Daniel H

        Name the candidates that Americans Elect would disapprove of. In fact do you have any PROOF that a candidate has been eliminated from participation? If it was Ron Paul or Huntsman, they would have told the world and Americans Elect would be dead in the water. If it was Bloomberg than that wouldn’t make sense because you said in past articles that this was a party made for Bloomberg. Quite frankly, it should have happened already but it hasn’t.

        • Daniel H., on this point you’re simply incorrect. The points in the process — admission to the ballot after obtaining sufficient signatures first of all and then approval of a vice presidential choice second of all — are points in the process to occur later on, not now.

          On a somewhat related note, however, two motions for delegate reversal have been summarily dismissed by Americans Elect. Another two motions have been allowed to proceed to a vote, but Americans Elect refused to inform the delegates that a vote was even happening requiring their participation.

          Americans Elect has a very weak record on supporting participatory democracy in its actions so far. This justifies a skeptical, not a credulous, stance.

  • VAGreen

    It doesn’t look like Rocky and his team thought the whole ballot access thing over very well before deciding to go it alone instead of running as a Green. To get on as many ballots as Jill plans to, he is staring at about one third of a million good signatures, which means close to half a million raw signatures. That’s assuming he gets the Peace and Freedom nomination in California or wins a lawsuit there. If not, he will need half a million good signatures, which means more than three quarters of a million raw signatures. That is, unless he wins the Americans Elect nomination and disqualifies himself as an anti-Wall Street candidate.

  • Joshua Budden

    JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are both top donors for Obama and Romney. Obama’s policy has been “drill baby drill!” while he endorses the JOBS Act, attacks rights, fast tracks Keystone, continues wars ….(we could go on and on) The most progressive thing he has done is nationalize RomneyCare. Obama and Romney are one.

    I’m waiting for us to be given a “choice” at the last minute when Paul declares for AE to push the Koch’s radical capitalist agenda. http://www.billionairesteaparty.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/kochpage-Libertarian1980Policies.jpg

    Rocky needs to be the AE candidate.

    • Huh, Joshua? Are you purposefully ignoring the content of what Rocky Anderson has done? He’s joined a system that is set up with Wall Street hedge fund money and led by appointed corporate and D.C. insiders.

      There is another choice besides Obama, you know. I suggest you go with Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate. While Rocky Anderson was submitting himself for approval to a pro-corporate party, Jill Stein was in Zuccotti Park.

  • Anonymous

    I’d gladly vote for Dr. Jill Stein (or probably any Green candidate any year), but sadly, as Dr. Stein pointed out at jillstein.org/ballot, I’m in one of the states with the “most anti-democratic, obstructive ballot rules.” That’s right — I’m not even ALLOWED to vote Green.

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans and Democrats couldn’t allow freedom of conscience. Who knows what that might lead to…

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