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Frustrated, Americans Elect Delegate Opens Town Hall, Invites Everyone to Participate

Updated 4/28 10:08 pm to reflect the fact, confirmed at, that Americans Elect delegate BarberB has created the Americans Elect Town Hall website independently:

“I built this website on my own with no support for AE, and in fact proposed this as the build this back in febuary as ‘superchooseday’, and got miffed when they took the site I did actually build.”

It at first appeared that Americans Elect Town Hall was an Americans Elect website. This is not the case. It’s better. It’s off the reservation. It appears to be free from the control of Peter Ackerman and the Concord Coalition and any other meddling bodies. BarberB, whoever and wherever you are, a salute!

In a major step forward, an Americans Elect delegate has opened a Town Hall website at The administrator of the website (account BarberB) has made an official welcome and set the standard:

Welcome to Americans Elect Town Hall

This site should be fairly stable from now on, so please come and participate if you want. There is also an AE Volunteers website up now, which is more of a general community page, with way more social and collaborative features than here. Here is an outline of the features:

  • Chat rooms with either youtube or ustream content either live or pre-recorded, both on the main site and profile pages.
  • Forums to discuss whatever suits your fancy
  • Questions and Answers page, where we will accept submissions, and ask for input from candidates
  • Blogs to see what the canididates are up to
  • Candidates profile page, to get an overview about who they are

Please respond in the forums with whatever input for the site you may have, but most importantly have fun and be civil.

The capabilities of the Town Hall website are extensive. If Americans Elect had rolled out this feature in January or February along with its other processes (as BarberB tried to convince Americans Elect to do), Americans Elect might have been a very different entity. It’s too bad that this website — the first allowing for the formation of significant community among Americans Elect delegates — was not rolled out until 2 days before ballot access standards must be met for the first Americans Elect nomination vote. And it’s too bad that it wasn’t rolled out by Americans Elect itself, but rather by a frustrated delegate who’d had enough. But the website is there now, and that’s a positive step.

27 thoughts on “Frustrated, Americans Elect Delegate Opens Town Hall, Invites Everyone to Participate”

  1. Tom says:

    The reason they did it so late is that they don’t really care what anyone has to say, their agenda is practically set now, so they can afford a little levity by “listening to” the LITTLE PEOPLE! Bwah-haa-haa-haaaa, that’ll be a HOOT! Rich guys reading comments from the downtrodden slaves looking for real change FROM THEM!! AAAAHHH-HAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAAAAHAAAAAAA!

    (wiping the tears from my eyes) eh-heh, no stop, really, ah . . . i guess they just overlooked this feature when they designed their site. NOT!

  2. Bill says:

    Way too little, waaaay too late. Take a byte out of Peter Ackerman; withdraw your support clicks from Americans Elect. Here’s how.

  3. AE Transparency says:

    It will be an interesting test of AECorp leadership’s ethical standards…are they willing to enable really critical discussion on the new ‘town hall’ web site? To find out, we’ve contributed our first blog post there. Will it stay up, or will it get taken down? If the former, that might just be a sign that AECorp is starting to get the hang of this messy old ‘democracy’ thing.

    And, of course, we have a screencap!

    1. Jim Cook says:

      AE Transparency, they do say to be “civil,” so you’ll have to thread the needle.

      1. AE Transparency says:

        Jim, we like to think that we are always the soul of discretion. But then, we also like to think that we are good-looking and have scintillating personalities, too.

        1. Jim Cook says:

          Oh, I think you’re doing a bang-up job. But the “civility” clause could be used to nix a lot of things.

        2. John Lumea says:

          Right, Jim. The textbook example of this the Coffee Party, where the founders created a “civility pledge” that they habitually have used as a cover for a full gamut of public shaming, censorship and blackballing activities — up to and including deleting comments and blocking anybody who doesn’t faithfully enough toe the party line.

  4. AE Transparency says:

    We may all have been a little too quick to congratulate AECorp for its first glimmer of opening up to debate and discussion. In a comment posted by user RRWms (AKA “Ron”) to our inaugural post at AETownHall, he states (seemingly with some authority): “This website was done completely outside the auspices of Americans Elect. In fact, it could be said that this site exists in spite of AE leadership. I have been somewhat involved in providing input to this site and was directly involved in developing the 55 questions listed here.”

    If so, it would probably be wise of them to post a prominent disclaimer on their masthead. Otherwise their use of the AE logo and name could lead folks to not unreasonably assume AETownHall is an AECorp production.

    1. AE Transparency says:

      Interestingly, the domain name’s administrative and technical contacts are “Peter Arno”. Any relation to Arno Political Consultants, or a coincidence?

      1. AE Transparency says:

        Ah. We see here (in the comment posted by “corporateamericanselect”) that Peter Arno is the uncle of Arno Political Consultants’ Kellen Arno, and is reported to “head up what is being called Americans Elect NW division.”

        Family feud?

        1. AE Transparency says:

          And we see here that Peter Arno operates Capitol Links alongside the notorious Michael and Kellen Arno of Arno Political Consultants fame (noted AECorp insiders). A family affair. Seems like AETownHall is just another Arno family scam, placed at arms-length from AECorp to preserve plausible deniability and the semblance of being a grassroots effort (an Arno specialty).

  5. Dave K says:

    Dunno about you folks, but this doesn’t look major to me at all. It appears to be a website created by a volunteer, not AE. There is no mention of it anywhere on the AE website so it doesn’t strike me that AE is inviting everyone to participate. One would think that if AE were behind this and wanted people to participate they would publicize the site’s existence somewhere, no? LIke maybe on the AE website?

    Unless someone can correct me about this, I see this townhall effort as just another example of the unbelievable incompetence of AE; some volunteer creates a website in a short period of time that encompasses almost everything the AE website desperately needed from the beginning but was unable to accomplish with all their millions. Or maybe its just that they never wanted any community input to begin with.

    Somebody show me where this townhall website has any official connection to AE and that AE is pumping it, or else I have to conclude this is actually a huge embarassment to the corporation.

    1. AE Transparency says:

      See our comment immediately above; it appears to be the work of one or more rogue AE operatives who have gone off the reservation. And bully for them, say we.

  6. Steven says:

    The problem is…too little too late. Almost no one’s listening at this point.
    Despite 400,000 + users, which means –> ? delegates, which means –> ? voters, which means –> ? people who still give a damn about AE.

    Peter Ackerman, eat your heart out.

  7. ITReader says:

    They’re all old white men:

    What’s new about THAT?

    1. barberb says:

      When one of your candidates goes public in blackface makeup


  8. barberb says:

    when one of your candidates goes public in blackface makeup


  9. barberb says:

    fwiw I was never working for AE nor have i recieved any compensation for this project.

    Civil means mostly

    no cursing
    no false remarks
    no adhominem attacks
    (x is catholic, catholics support the pope, the pope was a nazi, therefore x supports nazis)

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Barberb, thanks very much for the work you’re doing. I’m going to change the title of this post to reflect what you’ve told us here — — which is that you’re doing your work outside the auspices of Americans Elect.

      Again, thanks. You’re a real democracy worker!

    2. AE Transparency says:

      Oh dear, the “no ad hominems” rule is definitely going to get us sent to the penalty box. Because we cover what Americans Elect is really all about, and what it’s really all about is the hominems it keeps adding.

      A fish really does rot from the head down, so you sniff-test the head, not the tail.

  10. AE Transparency says:

    Jim, how can you suppose “It appears to be free from the control of Peter Ackerman and the Concord Coalition and any other meddling bodies” when we know the domain name is owned by the Arno clan?

    1. Jim Cook says:

      I can write that “it appears to be” because your dissents have not been deleted — which is rather unlike Americans Elect — and because there’s a space for us little people to actually speak on it — which is rather unlike Americans Elect — and because BarberB makes the “apparent” claim that he’s operating independently. If this appearance bears out to match reality, that’s a good thing.

  11. Benjamin Barber says:

    That would suppose that everything that peter arno does, is done with the sole supervision and control of the arno family, which is done under the sole supervision and control of the peter ackerman and the concord coalition. This is something that I built on my own, because I think that the AE administration was inept, for not having implemented this to begin with. Peter arno is no longer employed with americans elect, and agreed with me that this functionality was needed, and can shield me from any potential trademark / copyright infringement problems with AE. However they are no cooperating with us, and not allowing us to reach out to the delegates or candidates, despite the fact that we are their ‘volunteers’ and ‘delegate leaders’ an in my case ‘electors’.

  12. Bruce Wesley Chenoweth says:

    I suppose that I should not be surprised at all the shallow, cynical comments that appear above, given that most people cannot see beyond the end of their own noses. Consider that when a great oak tree begins, it begins in, and must push through dirt and rocks and old rotten stuff to establish its roots. Bystanders can either pee all over it and retard its growth, or they can use a little creative imagination and vision and protect and shape it into something wonderful.
    Peter Arno and Benjamin Barber are going waaaay above and beyond the call of duty to help mold this seedling into a great tree. It would help if you armchair critics would go pee somewhere more appropriate.
    “Lead, follow or get the f— out of the way!”

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Given that the Americans Elect corporation has been pissing all over the principles of democracy and transparency for two year, I think a little cynicism is understandable, Bruce. Most people here appear to be guardedly supportive of the BarberB project. But who made you the arbiter of whether this website is an “inappropriate” place for people to express themselves? This is America. Questions are appropriate here.

  13. Benjamin Barber says:

    This is jim cook’s space, his home, and we respect his rules while here. It is part of an implied social contract, that when you interact with a person, that you recognize them as being an ends unto themselves (Kant). For example if i dont want to talk about religon, and all you ever do is talk about your undieing devotion to god, then your supposed to not interact with me that way or at all.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      It’s a number of people’s space, not just mine. It’s also a space for people who disagree, including Bruce Wesley Chenoweth.

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