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Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow: OK, Yeah, our Goal actually is a Centrist Candidate

In spring of 2011, the privatized presidential nominating corporation called Americans Elect released fundraising videos declaring its purpose: finding a presidential candidate to speak for the “sensible center.”

By summer of 2011, Americans Elect had scrubbed all mention of its “sensible center” advocacy from its website. You can’t find any such reference on the Americans Elect website today.

In Fall of 2011, Americans Elect produced an “About” page on which it specifically denies it has any aspirations to promote “centrist” ideological candidates:

We have no ties to any political group — left, right, or center. We don’t promote any issues, ideology or candidates.

In the late Winter of 2011-2012, we’ve seen talk that Americans Elect never has been, or at least certainly isn’t now, dedicated to a goal of promoting centrism.

But at the end of March 2012, Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow has published an acknowledgement in the Sacramento Bee that yes, after all, “Americans Elect’s goal is centrist choice“:

Last fall, when I decided to dive headfirst into Americans Elect, an organization planning to offer a centrist presidential candidate, I explained that I believe the political process in this country is out of date and dysfunctional.

Flip, meet flop.

It’s been obvious for some time to those paying attention that Americans Elect has centrist ideological goals for its presidential candidate — goals that matter because Americans Elect’s corporate-appointed boards have vast power to overrule rank-and-file delegates. It’s nice that Americans Elect has finally admitted the truth in public.

15 comments to Americans Elect Political Director Darry Sragow: OK, Yeah, our Goal actually is a Centrist Candidate

  • Bill

    I’m shocked, shocked to discover that Ackerman Selects has a hidden agenda!!!!
    Take a byte out of plutocracy — consider signing the petition for internal reform of Americans Elect: http://ow.ly/9N3R0

  • Ralph

    In paragraph 3, I think you mean “denies” instead of “declares.”

    And yes, par for the course for Americans Elect.

    Jim, your work for Americans Elect is very important. You have demonstrated that, if we pay close enough attention and have the courage to speak the truth, people can not and will not be manipulated.

  • Daniel H

    Ooooh Americans Elect is pushing for a centrist. What a surprise. Nobody has ever heard of the word centrist until recently. It is just a label politicians made to make the supporters of the cause to look different. Because technically, the real centrist are the voters. We vote every year for anybody, a Republicsn or a Democrat, or even an independent and someone different from the previous the next time.

    If you are pissed off that Americans Elect is PLANNING to offer a centrist candidate, you need to know that we the people decide who is the candidate. And don’t talk about the Board decides who gets in the primary. It says specifically in the new guidebook, if no one is certified (got 10000 votes) the top 6 automatically go into the primary. Ron Paul is not going to be there because he DID NOT DECLARE. The whole “be a delegate for AE and you are disqualified as a delegate for the GOP” is unfortunate for the states that require AE to be a party in order to be on the ballot. But this should not hinder Ron Paul’s decision to declare. By the way, Huntsman just said in a recent article that despite the rumors, he will not run for president again this election cycle. And Bernie Sanders certainly has no interest in running. So who is left? Declared candidates you don’t like. I can go on but I will savers for the next article where you bash AmericansElect.

    BTW, I looked at the petition, and who would you put on the board? Would it be like AE and declare yourself a candidate for the board? Oh what a surprise.

    • Daniel, if you’re going to be successfully snarky you need to remain attached to observable, sourced reality. Disseminating sourced facts is not the same as “bashing”, and I have no desire to be on any political board. I didn’t even write the AE Transparency petition.

      Oh what a surprise.

      • Daniel H

        Snarky? Face it. We are just people who like presidential candidates that are more than likely not gonna win. So go ahead and complain about AE’s evil scheme and Buddy Roemer’s strife for attention. Because I have seen way fewer articles about Jill Stein.

    • Joshua

      It says specifically in the new guidebook, if no one is certified (got 10000 votes) the top 6 automatically go into the primary.

      Can you provide a link and a page number that says that? I can’t find that in the AE documents I have seen.

      I do see, in http://static.americanselect.org/sites/files/official-documents/an_online_nominating_caucus_and_convention.pdf on page 6, it says, “If there are fewer than six certified candidates, all will move on directly to the nominating convention.” But candidates can’t be certified without 1,000 clicks each from 10 states (or 5,000 each from 10 states for outsider candidates). Of course, the rules could still change again.

      • Stephen Kent Gray

        http://www.americanselect.org/candidates/declared

        Top six declared:
        Buddy Roemer 2242
        Rocky Anderson 976
        Laurence Kotlikoff 654
        Michealene Risley 599
        TJ Ohara 191
        Michael Ballantine 120

        http://www.americanselect.org/candidates/draft

        Top six draft:
        Ron Paul 6663
        Jon Huntsman 2432
        Bernie Sanders 1733
        Barack Obama 1421
        Mike Bloomberg 952
        Gary Johnson 741

        They don’t specify what they mean ie if top 6 just means top 6 or if it’s top 6 delcared or top 6 draft?

        • Has to be declared — draft candidates aren’t actually running.

          By the way, Sections 2.1 and 3.1 of the corporate Rules of Americans Elect explicitly mandate that both Declared Candidates and Draft Candidates

          shall be listed on the Website…in alphabetical order….

          Of course, the Rules don’t preclude the use of other additional listing hierarchies on the site, as are there now — but the clear sense of the Rules is that alpha listing is to be the primary way in which candidates are presented online.

          Another way in which Americans Elect can’t seem to follow its own Rules.

        • Joshua

          How do any of these people get into a top 6 in the first place? None of them have 1000 supporters from each of 10 states (or 5000 x 10 for outsider candidates), nor are they on pace to do so.

          Based on the current pace all candidates have achieved in terms of getting supporters among AE delegates, it’s not going to be a top 6 who advance to the nominating convention, it’s going to be a top zero, until they change the rules otherwise.

        • Which they will do in 10, 9, 8, 7….

  • If I had to guess, I’d say that Americans Elect scrubbed its “sensible center” references, around the same time that No Labels scrubbed its “vital center” references. (Paging Dr. McKinnon! Paging Dr. McKinnon!)

    An interesting index…

    Sragow writes that Americans Elect tried to recruit “roughly 50 people” as candidates, between September 2011 and January 2012.

    But, by 5 March, Kahlil Byrd was reported to have said that Americans Elect had talked to “more than 70 candidates” “since December.”

    Desperate times.

    Also interesting to contemplate: Is Sragow “going rogue” here — or is this part of a coordinated effort, on the part of Americans Elect, to tamp down expectations?

  • t ball

    I don’t believe that any candidate AE would push would, in reality, be a centrist in terms of reflecting the average American’s policy views.

  • Doesn’t matter really. The way those fools (in specific the idiots in charge of comm at AE) have been running the organization, I’m not even sure they’re going to run anyone, given that none of them are remotely close to getting enough support to meet the minimum needed to qualify for the primary. And this coming from someone who wishes they’d have just come out and been clear that they were aiming at providing a centrist/moderate alternative the whole time.

  • Another “centrist” concession via this new Americans Elect press release highlighting advisory board member (and financial backer) John Burbank, who says

    The idea behind Americans Elect is to force the two parties to the center where they will compromise, so we can move forward to reduce debt, set a sound immigration policy, resolve our energy shortages, encourage greater economic growth, and make America a leader again on all fronts–industry, labor and technology.

    Oh, and Simpson-Bowles. Don’t forget Simpson-Bowles.

    This is the new message, which Americans Elect rolled out with the recent Whitman / Boren / Cohen tour to Politico and PBS…

    Americans Elect as ultimatum to the Democratic and Republican parties.

    “You’d better do what we want, you Major Party people! Because, if you don’t do what we want, we’re gonna stomp our feet! And then, we’re gonna — we’re gonna — well, you just wait and see what we’re gonna do!”

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