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David Walker for President: The People, The Connections

Five names have emerged in the leadership of The Committee to Get Walker Running, an entity at draftwalker.com that yesterday morning was nothing but a splash page…

Draft Walker Splash Page, as of the morning of April 19 2012

…but which by yesterday afternoon was being used to vigorously (and with non-disclosed funding) promote the candidacy of David Walker for President of the United States via Americans Elect. Americans Elect is the nation’s first-ever all-online, privatized presidential nomination system where a corporation counts the votes.

The five names associated with this Draft David Walker effort are:

1. Yoni Gruskin: Co-Chair
2. Ryan Schoenike: Co-Chair
3. Nick Troiano: taking on an unspecified leadership spot but a clear recruitment and promotional role
4. Solomon Kleinsmith: Website Owner, Social Media and Blog Outreach (as Kleinsmith informed me yesterday afternoon)
5. Lincoln Davidson: North Carolina State Coordinator

Various Connections by Nick Troiano, Solomon Kleinsmith and others to DraftWalker.com

David Walker is taking pains to portray himself as separate from the Draft Walker Committee

Reports in the media have mentioned an effort to draft me as a candidate for President through the Americans Elect (AE) process, and I want to clarify my position. I am aware of this recent independent movement to draft me, which is an initiative by people who evidently share my views regarding the need for fiscal, political and other major reforms to keep America great. Importantly, their effort is unrelated to the Comeback America Initiative (CAI), No Labels, and AE organizations.

While I appreciate and am humbled by their efforts, I am not a candidate and don’t expect to become one. Rather, I am focused on my many responsibilities, including serving as CEO of the non-partisan CAI, as a national co-founder of No Labels, and as a member of AE’s Board of Advisors.

… while dancing the dance of someone who plans to portray himself as being dragged up onto the stage, who-me-why-no-no-I’m-just-an-average-Joe-how-sweet-of-you-but-well-no-I’m-humbled-but-well-all-right-gosh-if-you-really-want-me style, to run for President:

I am not a candidate for public office but will seriously consider it if the Independent Draft Committee qualifies me for the AE ballot. DW

David Walker should not be fooling anyone with the aw-shucks-I-am-humbly-drafted act. This is the same guy who was asking people over and over to vote for him in an Politico online presidential preference poll in October 2011.

Dave Walker also should not be fooling anyone with the unsolicited insistence that the Draft Walker Committee is an “independent movement to draft me” or “unrelated to the Comeback America Initiative (CAI), No Labels, and AE organizations.” I was struck by this insistence, an especially odd insistence because the big-time media hadn’t made so much as a peep about those possibilities beforehand. Why deny something nobody’s talking about? It’s like when your kid marches into the room with her hands behind her back and says “I didn’t take anything from the cookie jar!” You just know you’ve got to look.

Here’s what I found.

The Quote-Unquote Draft David Walker for President Network of Connections between individuals and groups

Let’s spell out those connections below. Follow the links for sources:

Nick Troiano
According to his own Causes.com account, Nick Troiano joined the Get Walker Running effort 9 days ago:

Nick Troiano recruited Lincoln Davidson to Get Walker Running, the Draft Walker for President Committee.  He also according to Causes dot com joined Get Walker Running 9 days ago

That dating, matched by his commencement of Facebook posts positively referencing the David Walker campaign on April 9…

Nick Troiano Pro-Walker References Begin April 9 2012, 10 days ago

… is a quick about-face, considering that Troiano was speaking with KRUI staffers on the radio in his capacity as National Campus Director for Americans Elect this month too. Americans Elect has a neutrality policy that prohibits leaders, officers and paid staff from speaking or acting in favor of or in opposition to any presidential candidate — and Troiano has held various leadership and paid staff jobs at Americans Elect as perhaps its longest-running member besides Kahlil Byrd and Peter Ackerman. Nick Troiano lists himself now as the “former National Campus Director for Americans Elect,” confirming that he has formally left his job with the Americans Elect corporation, a way to maintain formal neutrality. In an advertisement for an upcoming interview, Michael Knowles referred to Nick Troiano as “National Chairman of the Draft Walker campaign.”

As Troiano formally steps away from Americans Elect, he brings something with him to David Walker headquarters: the contacts he made as part of his job. In a phone call today, Lincoln Davidson, listed as the Americans Elect representative for Davidson College until this week, strongly and repeatedly insisted that Nick Troiano had not recruited him to join the Draft Walker campaign, even though Nick Troiano’s Causes page says he did and even though Davidson hosted Troiano for a dinner event quite recently. Davidson told me repeatedly that an unnamed “personal friend” told him all about it.

Let’s give Davidson the benefit of the doubt; he was a really nice guy on the phone. But there are a whole lot of other people who are on the official list of Americans Elect Campus Leaders, all across the country, who seem to have jumped all at once from being Americans Elect representatives to following the Draft David Walker campaign. As (former) Americans Elect National Campus Director, it was Nick Troiano’s job to recruit them on behalf of Americans Elect. Look at the long list of Americans Elect Campus Leaders (see the list here), then look at Nick Troiano’s Facebook posts promoting David Walker for President, and finally see who’s following the Draft David Walker Twitter stream. You can find literally dozens of Americans Elect Campus Leaders who are being brought over to the David Walker cause. This is for a “movement” that is a week old. That’s strange suddenness.

While Americans Elect National Campus Director Nick Troiano was developing a contact list of college students with his Americans Elect Campus Leaders program, Concord Coalition Youth Advisory Board member Nick Troiano was developing a second contact list:

Nick has organized campaigns on a local and national level, including Do We Have a Deal Yet?, a coalition of 150+ student body presidents that advocated for a bipartisan deal on deficit reduction.

Troiano’s claims about his central role in the group are backed up by this Press Packet for a Do We Have a Deal Yet? publicity event at the National Press Club. According to the packet, Troiano started the proceedings off, introducing participating college students to the press corps. Look again at Troiano’s Facebook posts promoting David Walker for President, and see who’s following the Draft David Walker Twitter stream. Compare these names to this map of the names and school affiliations of the students who signed up with Nick Troiano for Do We Have a Deal Yet? As with the other list, you can find a number of Do We Have a Deal Yet? student participants who are now, within a week of its launch and after only a day or two of publicity, fans of the Draft David Walker cause. The Committee to Get Walker Running explicitly acknowledges that “several of the organizers were deeply involved in the ‘Do We Have a Deal Yet?’ initiative of last summer.” This is another striking indication of the role of personal contact in the building of the Walker presidential committee.

In addition to his links to Americans Elect, Lincoln Davidson and Do We Have A Deal Yet?, Troiano is also connected to The Concord Coalition as a member of its Youth Advisory Board. Troiano manned the No Labels social media desk at No Labels’ public rollout in December 2010. Troiano was involved in Americans Elect’s predecessor Unity08 from high school through college.

In turn, No Labels and the Concord Coalition have over and over and overpromoted the activities of the “Do We Have a Deal Yet?” group.

Ryan Schoenike
Ryan Schoenike, Co-Chair of The Committee to Get Walker Running, is also a member of the Concord Coalition’s Youth Advisory Board, just like Nick Troiano. Just like Troiano, Schoenike is part of the team heading up Do We Have a Deal Yet?, promoting it within the structure of the Concord Coalition. Schoenike has repeatedly appeared with David Walker on panels and in forums peopled by officials in groups founded and funded (like the Concord Coalition is) by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Yoni Gruskin
Co-Chair of The Committee to Get Walker Running, Yoni Gruskin (sometimes also called by his formal name Jonathan Gruskin) is listed as a “founder” of Concerned Youth of America along with other alumni of the Phillips Andover private prep academy, but the group appears to have been funded by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Concerned Youth of America lists David Walker and the Concord Coalition under “Supporters and Partners.” Gruskin has been an invited guest of the Peterson-funded Concord Coalition and has signed his name to Concord Coalition policy documents along with David Walker. Like Schoenike, Gruskin has been brought out for a forum to appear with David Walker. Gruskin is listed as a member of a joint Concord Coalition and Peter G. Peterson Foundation entity called the Philadelphia Fiscal Stewardship Committee. Gruskin was invited to speak at the Concord Coalition Economic Patriot Award Dinner in 2008.

Solomon Kleinsmith
Solomon Kleinsmith wrote to me yesterday to confirm that he is the owner of the DraftWalker.com website. As usual, he’s rather angry with what I’ve been writing:

I’ll tell you this though, and all of this is public information… the WaPo article is accurate, I am involved (Social Media and Blog Outreach) and I have owned the domain for some time but wasn’t getting anywhere with the idea until said AE employee left, contacted me and started to put this together.

Said AE employee is, as we’ve learned, Nick Troiano, making a connection between the two. As Kleinsmith’s LinkedIn account notes, he’s been acting as a No Labels volunteer and an Americans Elect “Delegate Leader” like Bill Kelleher, another visitor who gets angry when this website asks questions about Americans Elect.

Peter G. Peterson and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Known less formally as Pete Peterson, this billionaire founded and funded the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which in turn provides funding for the Concord Coalition, Concerned Youth of America and the Comeback America Initative. Peterson also made the maximum allowable donation to Unity08, the predecessor to Americans Elect. Until Peter G. Peterson created the Comeback America Initiative and appointed David Walker as its CEO, David Walker was President and CEO of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, and continues to sit on its advisory board.

David Walker
As mentioned above, David Walker is in the leadership of No Labels, the Comeback America Initiative, and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, as well as coordinating closely with the Concord Coalition and Concerned Youth of America. David Walker is also notably on the Board of Advisors of Americans Elect.

Within the past two weeks, as David Walker has denied that his presidential bid has any relation to No Labels, No Labels has erased references to David Walker as one of its Co-Founders from its “Our People” page. It has wholly erased articles that feature “No Labels Co-Founder Dave Walker” from public view. A March 28 2012 Google cache of one such page looks like this:

No Labels Co-Founder Dave Walker Wants America's Leaders to Face Fiscal Facts.  Why Did No Labels Erase this Page about its connection with David Walker in April 2012?

Try to visit the page today and you’ll get this message:

No Labels: Access Denied. You Are Not Authorized to See Evidence that David Walker and No Labels worked hand in glove.  Down the memory hole.

No Labels has also erased reference to its frenetic effort to “Draft Dave Walker” in October 2011, with 6 posts in 7 days asking its followers to vote for Dave Walker on presidential preference polls. The adoring No Labels staffers even painted a watercolor in tribute. That page is utterly blank today, but we won’t let that page go down the memory hole. You can see the page as it was on April 8 as a Google cache, mirrored here on Irregular Times in perpetuity for historical reference.

Unity08
A line of continuity exists between Unity08, the organization that sought to pick its own presidential candidate in 2008, and Americans Elect. 1775 Pennsylvania Avenue Suite 1212 in Washington DC has been reported as the office location of Unity08, the Unity12 Task Force, and the Unity12 Task Force renamed as Americans Elect.

Funding Links Between Americans Elect, No Labels and Other Groups
It should be noted that Americans Elect and No Labels refuse to identify their funders. It is therefore not possible for the American public to know whether No Labels or Americans Elect is funded by any of the organizations or people listed in the graph above. Barring some voluntary disclosure or leak of information in the future, we won’t know anything about whether such possible connections happen or do not happen in reality.

In his article of this morning on the same subject, however, John Lumea finds a curious tidbit: if you want to contact the Committee to Get Walker Running, the draftwalker.com webpage offers the e-mail address of info@americanselect.com. Expect this slip to be erased soon — but fortunately, John Lumea has it screen captured.

Conclusion
That’s a lot of detail, but what it adds up to is pretty simple to absorb:

The Quote-Unquote Draft David Walker for President Network of Connections between individuals and groups

David Walker may be narrowly correct when he asserts that the Draft Walker “effort is unrelated to the Comeback America Initiative (CAI), No Labels, and AE organizations.” It all depends on what Walker means by “related.” Are officials in those organizations’ boardrooms sitting and plotting out tactics and media buys for the Draft Walker Campaign? Probably not. But David Walker is not even narrowly correct when he refers to an “independent movement to draft me.” The Committee to Get Walker Running is nothing like an independent movement to get David Walker on the presidential ballot. In the constitution of its leadership, it’s wholly dependent on already-existing inside connections created for purposes other than a David Walker presidential campaign. With or without the knowledge of the people and organizations involved, whether intentionally or out of laziness, the pre-existing connections between people and organizations have been converted into campaign resources. In an encompassing embrace, David Walker’s benefactor lies on one side, Americans Elect and No Labels lie on the other, and the Draft Walker organizers revel snugly in between.


Postscript and Acknowledgement:

As always, I appreciate the addition of new facts and the noting of needed corrections in the comments section below. In your correction, please cite a primary source that I can check out.

Two other efforts on the ‘net to untangle the web of Americans Elect and its associates are invaluable and worthy of recognition. They are AE Transparency and John Lumea. I’m indebted to them.

33 comments to David Walker for President: The People, The Connections

  • Tom

    Exposing the corruption isn’t stopping it (or even slowing it down nowadays, sadly) but you’re to be commended for the effort. Great work figuring this all out and connecting the dots. It’s just one more piece of ever-mounting evidence that the psychopats are running the show and there’s no limit to their depravity. They’re out to kill us all as result of their demand for more control, more profit, more power for them to abuse the planet, its citizens and denizens, and plunder its resources so that there’s a bleak (or no) future for coming generations of many creatures, plants and ecosystems. Capturing government to control the direction of policy is a HUGE piece of their strategy.

  • David Walker has a long history of making inconvenient truths just disappear. Here’s one more he pulled off. While he served as CEO of the fabulously well-endowed (to the tune of half a billion dollars) and ultra-conservative non-profit Peter G. Peterson Foundation, Walker failed to report his salary on the Foundation’s annual IRS Form 990 filings, stating instead “Compensation and benefits were paid to Mr. Walker by Peterson Management LLC, an entity funded by Peter G. Peterson.” Interested readers can find the Foundation’s 2010, 2009, and 2008 Form 990 filings at the links provided here.

    One of the main purposes of IRS Form 990 (which non-profits are required to make publicly available) is to insure the transparency of non-profit organizations’ finances. But Mr. Walker, being a certified public accountant by training, knows better than most how to obfuscate financial data.

    We can only surmise that the compensation amounts Mr. Walker went to such lengths to hide while he served as CEO of the Peterson Foundation must have seemed embarrassing to him…and probably not because the numbers were embarrassingly small. The Peterson Foundation is one of the nation’s wealthiest, funded by Mr. Peterson’s $1.8 billion dollar haul from taking his Wall Street firm, The Blackrock Group, public in 2008. While Mr. Peterson long claimed to support the general notion of higher tax rates for ‘the wealthy’ as an abstract group, with respect to his own wealth he vociferously opposed any increase in the notoriously ultra-light tax 15% tax rate for private equity partnerships, such as Blackrock, saying to the New York Times “This is a fairness argument. There are so many other partnerships, why pick on this high-growth sector?”

    David Walker: the secretively funded champion of much-needed fairness for oppressed billionaires, owned and operated by a Wall Street tycoon. It’s easy to understand why Americans Elect’s own shadowy billionaire owner/operator, Peter Ackerman, loves him so.

  • We have just received independent confirmation of Nick Troiano’s involvement with Get Walker Running. Yesterday we emailed Richard Sulkovsky, organizer of AE’s “Let’s Get It Done” draft committee for David Walker, asking, “We’re preparing a profile of David Walker (with respect to his Americans Elect candidacy) for our blog. Is there someone associated with the Draft Walker movement we could speak with for background/color?” Mr. Sulkovsky has just graciously replied by email, answering, “Nick Torino, a former employee of AE, is heading a group and he has a great deal of knowledge about DW. Good luck!” Of course, we are assuming here that “Nick Torino” is Mr. Sulkovsky’s mis-spelling of ‘Nick Troiano.’

  • Regarding our discussion, above, concerning David Walker hiding his Peterson Foundation CEO salary behind the impenetrable front of Peterson Management LLC, we note with some amusement…and a great deal of concern…that the Peterson Foundation itself says of Peterson Management LLC that it “manages the Peterson family assets.” Apparently the family of Wall Street billionaire tycoon Peter G. Peterson considers David Walker to be their personal “family asset.”

  • Joshua

    What I don’t understand is how the Draft Walker Committee thinks they are going to get Walker to qualify for the AE primary. To be on pace to qualify, he would need to have about 780 supporters by now in each of his top 10 states. He doesn’t even have 20 yet in any state. Now, granted, Buddy Roemer (the most popular AE declared candidate) isn’t on track to qualify either — but he has more than 10 times as many supporters as Walker. How are they going to find 9,800 or so more people to register as AE delegates and support a largely unknown person? (Money isn’t always enough to accomplish things in politics.)

    Furthermore, if Walker qualifies as an “insider” candidate with 1,000×10 supporters, another candidate could potentially sue AE for misclassifying him as an “insider” rather than an “outsider” since the office Walker headed was not a Federal agency. (At first I thought that Walker should be considered to have been the head of a Federal agency, but I’m not so sure about that any more.)

    And if AE manipulates the rules after the deadlines to allow certain candidates onto the primary ballot and exclude others, that could be the subject of a separate lawsuit by the excluded candidates.

    • Good points, Joshua. How is David Walker doing right now?

      Walker’s ten best states, with 1,000 needed in each:

      California: 18
      Virginia: 18
      Pennsylvania: 15
      Texas: 14
      New York: 13
      Colorado: 11
      Illinois: 11
      Minnesota: 11
      Massachusetts: 9
      Connecticut: 8

      That’s pretty meager. Since only votes in these top ten states count, David Walker has to find 9,872 more votes. How are they going to find those votes? I can think of three ways:

      1. Wait for grassroots support to bubble up for David Walker when Thomas Friedman writes another New York Times article about him. Clearly that’s not working, not even in New York. There is almost zero natural grassroots enthusiasm for David Walker and Peter G. Peterson’s his policy message.

      2. Deploy the Americans Elect Campus Leaders resource. I can’t suggest this too much that you check out the long list of Americans Elect Campus Leaders that Nick Troiano developed, and who are appearing in large numbers as Draft David Walker supporters in social media. If 200 are activated, and each brings in just 10 people, that’s 2,000 right there.

      3. Do what Americans Elect has done best: pay people to obtain votes. David Walker’s associates have a lot of money. If they set up outside kiosks in plazas in 10 American states, could they get Walker 10,000 supporters in a few weeks? I think they could. It’ll be a win by force of money, not a grassroots win, but a win nonetheless. They could have video cameras to interview the people they convince to sign up, what Americans Elect has done. They could put this together into a montage to create the appearance of a grassroots wave, what Americans Elect has done.

      If I were in the Draft David Walker subcommittee movement, #2 and #3 is what I’d do.

      If I were me, I’d start looking around to find out just what kind of entity the “Committee to Get Walker Running” is, and find out just what kind of documentation they’re required to file.

    • A more likely, although still incredibly farfetched, scenario:

      (1) The Draft Walker campaign just serves the larger campaign of leveraging Walker into the consciousness of a larger segment of the American public (see Thomas Friedman).

      (2) Michael Bloomberg — or another wealthy public figure with a similar ideological profile and, importantly, a similar celebrity factor — declares his or her Americans Elect candidacy for President and, in declaring, names Walker as the VP side of the ticket — at which point, Walker’s “click problem” is moot.

      Don’t forget that it was Walker’s fellow No Labels co-founder and Americans Elect advisor Mark McKinnon, who went on national teevee with Elliot Ackerman n February and told Chuck Todd (a href=”http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-daily-rundown/46464703#46464703″>video starting at 3:42) that David Walker would be equally suited as an Americans Elect presidential or vice-presidential candidate.

  • This is superb, Jim — and thanks for the thanks — the feeling is mutual.

    My own new essay today on Walker — “Another Question or Two for Mr. Walker of Americans Elect” — is here.

  • We think it is reasonable to assume that billionaire Pete Peterson has been ‘grooming’ Walker to be his pet President ever since Peterson lured him away from the GAO several years ago. Peterson has devoted the bulk of his vast fortune to meddling in U.S. politics (through the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Concord Coalition, and Walker’s own ComeBack America Initiative, all bought and paid for by Peterson). If our thinking is correct, that would mean that the Walker campaign has hundreds of millions of unrestricted dollars at its disposal…more than enough to handsomely pay Arno Political Consultants to sign up 10,000 dead people to ‘vote’ for Walker at Americans Elect over the next few days.

    Regarding another candidate suing AE for moving Walker’s personal goalposts, we’re hopeful that won’t be necessary. We have already begun filing complaints against Americans Elect, for apparent ballot fraud, with various states’ Boards of Elections.

    • The Peterson Foundation also has been a major backer of America Speaks.

      This group — whose branded and trademarked product is the facilitated “21st-Century Town Meeting” — cloaks itself in the language of democracy and grassroots participation. But, in my experience, American Speaks is a well-oiled machine for steering participants toward the conclusion that its paying client wants — and doing so in a way that makes these unsuspecting participants believe that they’ve just had a mountaintop experience of true citizenship.

      These are the people an organization brings in when they need public sanction to do something utterly undemocratic. They take a project or a proposal that, under ordinary circumstances, the public wouldn’t consent to in a million years — and, over the course of several hours, mold it into something that the public believes it wanted all along.

      It’s theater, basically — but theater such as Aldous Huxley couldn’t have written better himself.

  • Your ego really is something else. As I said in the email, and you conveniently left out, your conspiracy theories don’t have any basis in reality. And I’m not angry at you man… and I can’t remember a time when I was. I’m long past getting angry at wingnuts who can’t just disagree with someone, but have to go the extra mile of making up outlandish stories they have no way to prove in order to demonize people they disagree with politically. This rant above is right out of the Glenn Beck playbook… might as well pull out the chalkboard and draw lines between our Draft Walker effort and any other org you don’t like. Would be as accurate.

    • Bill

      Whereas you, Solomon, certainly aren’t demonizing people you disagree with politically by calling Jim a “wingnut” who casts “conspiracy theories [that] don’t have any basis in reality.” Jim and Irregular Times have spent years now amassing the ‘basis in reality’ of Peter Ackerman’s conspiracy to own the next President of the United States, while AECorp fellow-travellers like Rise of the Center have just been whistling a happy tune and denying the tons of solid evidence that AECorp is a fraud and a con.

      • Bill,

        I appreciate your nice words directed my way. But as I say in the article, I don’t think it’s necessary to resort to ideas about conspiracy. I actually think those ideas are useless because they depend on unobservable information, namely people meeting in secret in ways you can’t see. Just working on the basis of what we can see is enough to establish that the Draft Walker campaign is not independent of Walker and his milieu, but coming straight out of the interlinked Peterson community he’s been in for some time.

      • Calling Cook a wingnut is as accurate as calling me a centrist firebrand.

        His views are left wing, and his conspiracy theories are disconnected from reality. He’s a textbook wingnut.

        I’ve come out over and over against AE using secret money, even in the comments on this site. But I’m actually on the inside of Draft Walker, while I’m not with AE, and I know that Cook’s conspiracy theories are without merit. All he’s doing is taking the worst guess he can make up and pretending it’s fact.

        And I don’t know what “AECorp fellow-travellers” means, but I neither have been given money by those people, nor am I with them on everything. I’ve been haraguing them for all sorts of poor decisionmaking for months, most notably a lack of a GOTV effort, and the secret money. I support their mission, but not the way they’re going about it.

        • I don’t care what names you toss out, Solomon Kleinsmith. “Wingnut” me to death. But don’t make accusations about my behavior that you can’t back up. You’re accusing me of making facts up. You’re calling me a liar. I am not a liar. I document every factual claim I make in this article.

          If you’re going to accuse me of making crap up, Solomon, document it.

          You don’t provide documentation. You never do. I wonder if you ever will.

    • Solomon,

      You’re not reading carefully. I’ve done my best not to “rant” (to use your word). I’m presenting information. Anticipating your reaction I’ve even explicitly disavowed “conspiracy theories” (to use your phrase) in the text of this article.

      In the e-mail, all I left out was the part I left out was where you called me “Garbage” and said some kind-of weird stuff about how you know “what kind of person I am.” That personal stuff is irrelevant, which is why I left it out. I included the substantive information you provided because that’s all that’s relevant.

      Every time you come here, you do this. So let’s do the waltz again.

      1. You come on, you call me a name, clearly upset.

      2. Now here’s where I say, hey, Solomon, do you want to step aside from the name-calling and actually provide some primary source information that would contradict the sourced information I’ve provided here? I haven’t “made up” a single thing here: every fact has a link to a source. I’m always happy to provide a correction if you’d just provide information that shows what I’m saying is incorrect. This step in the dance ends with me saying please, Solomon, share with us some information. Please.

      3. Now this is the step where you don’t respond with anything, because I’m not actually “making up” anything. You just go away, then come back again in a couple of weeks and come up with a new name to spit out.

      It’s a pretty tired waltz, Solomon. Stop dancing it and come back with sourced information, please.

      • Ralph

        Hey Jim, if Solomon is accusing you of “selectively” quoting his email to misrepresent him, why don’t you publish the whole thing here? If it makes him look bad…oh well…

        • OK, fine, Ralph. Here’s the whole of his e-mail to me:

          "Got back from a week long vacation a couple days ago. Just now catching up with all of the mountain of emails.

          I'm not inclined to talk to you about anything involving this, after just checking out that garbage you put up the other day on the subject.

          I'll tell you this though, and all of this is public information... the WaPo article is accurate, I am involved (Social Media and Blog Outreach) and I have owned the domain for some time but wasn't getting anywhere with the idea until said AE employee left, contacted me and started to put this together.

          Not that you'll care, but the aforementioned garbage conspiracy theories you posted the other day don't have any truth to them.

          Don't bother asking for more. I know what sort of person you are.

          Solomon Kleinsmith
          Rise of the Center
          Spearheading the Rising Moderate and Centrist Independent Groundswell"

          Isn’t that Solomon Kleinsmith a dramatic fella?

          Here’s my e-mail response to him, in full:

          Solomon,

          Which piece of “Garbage” would that be? Every fact was sourced, and is true.

          Was any of the “Garbage” that I sourced somehow incorrect? If so, please tell me which fact I’ve gotten wrong. I always make corrections when I get a fact wrong.

          But then again, you always call me a name, and then I always ask you to tell me what fact I’ve gotten wrong, and then you never respond, except to pop up to insult me again in a month or two, so I don’t expect you to respond with an actual correction, because the facts I cite are sourced and true. You just don’t like that I’m pointing them out. But I always want to give you the opportunity to change your ways. I hope you do some day.

          Best,

          Jim Cook
          Irregular Times

      • As I said above, calling you a wingnut is as accurate as it is to call me a centrist firebrand. You’re politically left wing, and you deal in conspiracy theories. You’re a textbook wingnut.

        You being a wingnut doesn’t make me angry. You’re far less crazy than a lot of the comment and Twitter trolls I deal with every day.

        *I* am your source. I am on the inside of the effort, and I’m telling you your conspiracy theories are garbage. I wouldn’t have joined with the effort if it was the sordid campaign you describe, just like I didn’t apply for a job with Americans Elect because they hide donor information, even though I would have been a shoe in for a regional field organizer, or something of the sort, with my experience and connections.

        You, on the other hand, don’t see anything on the inside. You’re like that mathemetician from A Beaitiful Mind after he starts going insane, taking news clips and drawing lines and pinning yarn between things in a creepy web of assumptions that you have no proof of but what you make up in your mind. Again – classic wingnut.

        • Solomon, if you’re going go ahead and accuse me of making shit up eventually you have to demonstrate that. So do it. Document that a single one of the facts I present in this article is incorrect. Every single fact I present is documented. You can’t document a falsehood, because the facts are actual, documented facts. That’s why you aren’t doing it.

          The complaint that I’m only sharing the facts I can see from the outside is hilarious. You know I’d loooove to see inside documents. So fix that. Share documentation from the inside. Slap up budget documents, a list of financial contributors, the incorporation documents for the committee. You can do this, unless the Draft Walker committee forbids transparency, in which case it’s just another bullshit operation. I mean, fuck, Solomon — you own the website!

          You’re beginning to bore me, so let’s cut to the chase and make a deal. Why don’t you pick Option A or Option B?

          Option A: stop beating around the bush and document that one of the facts in this article is false. Your saying so is not documentation.

          Option B: accumulate all the names that you’d like to call me and spew them out all at once in one big-ass comment. I promise that from time to time I’ll return to it and bask in the glow of it all.

          Pick one.

        • Bill

          Solomon, dude, you really need to look into upping your meds. You’re coming freakin’ unglued here. Spitting out insults, calling people who happen to disagree with you ‘garbage’ and ‘wingnut’ and ‘insane’ and…horror of horrors…’left-wing’ (so much for that whole No Labels thing, huh?). You sound like you’re channeling Rush Limbaugh. Ranting about non-existent conspiracy theories (you want to pick on a conspiracy theorist, pick on me, ’cause I am one…Jim, on the other hand, studiously avoids that stuff, to my endless frustration). I used to assume you were probably mostly OK, if a little credulous. Man was I wrong. You’re off the map.

        • Bill,

          What do you expect from a guy who admittedly spends 8-16 hours per day obsessing over his POV on politics?

          Personally, I’d recommend SSRIs, they’d probably do him a world of good ;)

        • Ralph

          Wow.

          I am on the “inside,” therefore I am qualified to tell you (without providing any evidence) that I am not part of a corrupt organization–no matter how bad it might look to someone on the “outside.”

          This is a guy trying to change a corrupt system?

          Wow.

      • Joshua

        Jim: Looking at the e-mail from Solomon, he didn’t call you “garbage”. He said you put up garbage, and that you posted garbage conspiracy theories, but not that you yourself were garbage.

        • In the context of Kleinsmith’s email, this seems like a distinction without a difference.

        • Always happy to get corrections. You are absolutely right, Joshua. He didn’t call me garbage. He called my products garbage. I guess that would make me a garbage compactor? Maybe a garbage bin. Or a non-recycler.

          Nasty names don’t bother me — they’re irrelevant, really. I’m a bit disappointed that nobody’s called me numbnuts for a few years now. But if Solomon’s going to say that my claims are untrue, that’s a substantive claim that needs to be supported… and he’s just not doing that. For months now, he’s been coming onto this website, dropping the “you are making this up” bomb, then running away when I ask him to support that assertion with some documentation.

          I wish he wouldn’t do that; as you can see in this thread, it’s a huge distraction. Sometimes, when an error is actually demonstrated, a distraction is warranted. But Solomon Kleinsmith is creating drama without any product.

  • But even our above comment might be kind-of far-fetched. Recall that we have absolutely no reason to believe that the ongoing AE voting isn’t (or can’t be) rigged For over a year now Americans Elect Corporation has been promising — and utterly failing to deliver — a vote verification system. So the easiest and least expensive way to ensure that Walker wins the current first-round ballot would be for AECorp owner/operator Peter Ackerman to simply instruct his webmaster to enter into the balloting database 1,000 votes for Walker from each of 10 states. Presto. We can’t say it often enough: “The hand that rocks the server rigs the vote.”

  • Daniel H

    If ANY of this is confirmed true, I think the people who helping to get David Walker onto AmericansElect have done all they can without doing something foul that EVERYONE can see. But if David Walker was to ever get on AmericansElect, it just might be as a running mate. I don’t know if he is Independent or Democract, but I think the Round 1 finalists might get big name VPs candidate. Mr. Kotlikoff said in an article that Thomas Friedman should be president, so maybe he could have Tom as his VP. Rocky Anderson might shock us all and take David Walker as his running mate.

    I didn’t suggest Buddy Roemer would take David Walker because I believe Buddy when he says that his running must have served office, and I don’t count comptroller as office.

    • Bill

      I can’t point you to it right now, but according to a friendly bio of David Walker I read recently he was once a Democrat, then a Republican, and is now Independent (of everything except Peter Peterson’s billions, apparently). Sort-of a bald Buddy Roemer.

  • Update note: I’ve added a discussion of the interesting Do We Have a Deal Yet? organization under Nick Troiano and Ryan Schoenike.

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