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Americans Elect Leaders Can’t Stop Themselves from Weighing in on the Presidential Race

Americans Elect has a neutrality policy for itself as a collectivity and for its directors, officers and paid staff.

FAQ:

Does Americans Elect support any candidate?

No. Americans Elect, its directors, officers, and paid staff do not and will not support or oppose any particular candidate…

Rules:

Rule 10.0 Free Speech and Neutrality. Until the Americans Elect ticket has been selected by majority vote of participating Delegates in the Nominating Round of voting, Americans Elect shall be neutral with respect to all candidates and shall not endorse, oppose, advance, or advocate any particular Candidate.

But it seems Americans Elect leaders can’t help themselves.

Americans Elect Campus Director Nick Troiano, April 3:

Comcast News’ Robert Traynham: I assume you want experience as well. Right?

Americans Elect Campus Director Nick Troiano: Sure, absolutely. And there are many people experienced in politics.

Traynham: Name one.

Troiano: I mean, we’re looking at, look at Olympia Snowe, for example. She has served several terms in the Senate. Joe Lieberman. Jon Huntsman’s a former governor. On both sides of the aisle we are seeing people.

Dan Winslow, Americans Elect Chief Legal Counsel (and listed as an officer in 2011), April 9: “Everything I say I do. You cannot be surprised that I am a fan of #MITT2012. My agenda is very anti-crappy for MA.”

Christine Todd Whitman, Americans Elect Director, speaking about the 2012 Republican presidential candidates on April 9: “I think the Republican performance has been, frankly at times, shameful and certainly embarrassing as a Republican. At least my kind of Republican has not been happy with what I’ve seen…. This go-round, there are a whole lot of Republicans I’d take out in a nanosecond given the way they’ve talked about women and women’s issues.”

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, Americans Elect Director, February 9:

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild: Hillary Clinton believed in a strong America.

Neil Cavuto: Would you want her on your ticket?

de Rothschild: I would want her as President any day of the week!

Mark McKinnon, who was formerly listed as part of Americans Elect “Leadership” and now is noted as part of their Board of Advisors, tweeted the following on April 3:

Mark McKinnon goes all out for Americans Elect and Buddy Roemer with Lawrence Lessig as VP

See those two Retweet icons over on the right-hand side? They’re the accounts of Buddy Roemer himself and of Taunton Melville, Roemer’s campaign treasurer. Get the Roemer-Lessig bumper stickers ready.

18 comments to Americans Elect Leaders Can’t Stop Themselves from Weighing in on the Presidential Race

  • Thanks to John Lumea for directing my attention to the McKinnon tweet.

  • In the absence of middle class folks seizing the opportunity AE gives us, Repub and Dem leaners will have their preferences put forward in the nominating process. America has no freedom fighters in our time; only complainers on the sidelines. When David Boren used his time on the News Hour to re-define AE as “a way to get the two-party system working again,” no delegates rallied to remind the public that AE is supposed to be an alternative to the two-party system, and not a mere spur. In the absence of freedom fighters, the tendency to fold back into the two-party system will prevail.

    • My guess, William, is that the new framing of Americans Elect as an operation to rescue the existing two-party system (and to do so on the ideological terms of those listed on the AE “Who We Are” page) — a message that Whitman and Boren pushed both in their Politico op-ed (with Bill Cohen) and their PBS appearance — is being coordinated at the top.

      AE reinforced this message, a week after the Whitman-Boren tour, with an official press release highlighting the statement of advisory board member John Backus that “the idea behind Americans Elect” — not “an” idea, mind, but “the” idea — “is to force the two parties to the center where they will compromise….”

      About a week and a half ago, I wrote this piece analyzing this apparent shift — and downsizing — of AE’s self-definition.

      Related to this is the recent dialing back of earlier claims by Americans Elect that its process would produce an “independent” nominee and and “independent” ticket — now replaced by an renewed emphasis on the “unity” concept of a ticket comprising one Republican and one Democrat. Not just an invocation of this as an ideal, but assertions strong insinuations by directors and advisors that this just is what the ticket is going to be.

      I analyze that shift in this piece

      It’s important to recognize that the bias in favor of a D-R or R-D ticket has been built into the Americans Elect machinery, from the beginning. The corporation mandates an ideologically “balanced” ticket — and the codification of this mandate in Section 8 of the corporate Rules makes explicit that only a ticket with one Democrat and one Republican automatically is deemed to be “balanced.”

      • Dan

        Rule 8 of the Convention Rules says, “A ticket with two persons consisting of a Democrat and a Republican shall be deemed to be balanced. A ticket with two persons of the same political party shall be deemed to be imbalanced. For purposes of this Rule, a candidate shall be deemed to be a member of any political party if enrolled in that party for the majority of time from January 1, 2008, to the present.” It doesn’t say that having a Democrat and a Republican on the ticket is the *only* way to have a balanced ticket. It also says that the determination of the Candidate Certification Committee regarding balanced can be *reversed* by a majority vote of the delegates. (Incidentally, it does seem to mean that Rocky Anderson will be counted as a Democrat even though he’s not anymore.)

        I think where they talk about “bipartisanship” they’re just being lazy or unimaginative. After all, in the mainstream media there are only two parties.

        • Dan —

          Relative to your response, the key word in my comment is “automatically.”

          In theory, of course, any number of ticket configurations could be certified as being “balanced.”

          But a D/R (or R/D) ticket is the only configuration that the Rules explicitly call out as being — by definition — “balanced.”

    • Invictus

      What do you consider an example of a freedom fighter? What do you say to those people who consider Ron Paul a freedom fighter.

  • Tom

    Well they won’t have ol’ frothy Rick Santorum to kick around (until next time, i guess) anymore.

  • Charles Manning (manning120)

    I’ve tried repeatedly to cast a vote for Rocky Anderson. There’s always some problem that prevents casting the vote. At this point, I’m wondering how many others seeking to nominate candidates like Anderson are turned away by the process AE makes you go through. I’m no rocket scientist, but I am an attorney with a lot of experience using computers and computer programs. My guess is that only the computer elite could struggle through the barriers, if AE in fact allows anyone not favoring their selected candidates to vote. Has anyone else reading this experienced the same problems?

    • It was pretty lame brained of Rocky Anderson to go off half cocked into an unproven system that doesn’t have any track record of reliability, thinking that it was going to provide him victory and ballot access, wasn’t it?

      For THAT, he sacrificed his anti-corporate integrity. Sad.

      • Charles Manning (manning120)

        Put aside your political preferences for a moment and consider the question. I really think AE may be controlling the technical aspects of the voting process to prevent candidates like Anderson from receiving votes, which is something I’ve not seen discussed in this forum. I’m wondering if others have any evidence of this.

        • Ralph

          If that’s true, Charles, it’s one of the most serious breaches of democracy we’ve seen from Americans elect. Have you heard of this happening to anyone else? I agree it would be good to compare notes and see if it happened to anyone else. It would be especially curious to see if you could vote for Buddy Roemer, for example, while you couldn’t vote for Rocky Anderson.

    • Charles – you are fortunate to get through their “verification” process. I haven’t been able to, after several tries. I have discussed the problem w/ many people. I think there could be thousands who haven’t been verified, and have given up. I’d like to know who has the responsibility for this snafu. Josh Levine? Nevertheless, I see AE as a great opportunity – especially since it is now entering into a new phase (see my blog).

      William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
      Twitter: wjkno1
      Blog: Internet Voting for All
      Author: Internet Voting Now!
      Internetvoting@gmail.com

    • Jerry Thomas

      I found the website for AE easy to follow (not that I agree with every aspect of the design), and you could not classify me as a computer elite in any form or fashion.

  • Anonymous

    Would’ve been nice to have had Rocky. Maybe he can repent at some point.

    • Charles Manning (manning120)

      Sorry, I don’t see a need to repent. Anderson obviously isn’t buying the politics of AE’s founders or owners. If he wins the vote count, I expect they’ll try to keep him from getting ballot access. That would hurt AE’s credibility and add momentum to Anderson’s campaign. If AE does enable Anderson to get on ballots, then we’ll see if Anderson can compete with others like Stein — hopefully arranging or participating in some kind of run-off before November.

      • Jerry Thomas

        As a delegate and a volunteer, I have some definite concerns about AE but I follow the concept with a certain passion. If the above occurs, AE will collapse from its own weight!

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