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Flaming Out, Draft Walker Campaign tries to Jump on Slightly Less Flaming Buddy Roemer Campaign

Out of three originally scheduled ballots, there is only one ballot left in the Americans Elect presidential primary process, because no candidate to date has qualified. The privatize-social-security draft candidate David Walker is painfully far behind. In order to get on the Americans Elect ballot, the rules stipulate a candidate must obtain 1,000 votes of support from each of 10 states by May 15. That’s 10,000 votes in a candidates top ten states; David Walker has accumulated only 318.

In its last gambit, the Draft Walker campaign has “invited” Buddy Roemer to make David Walker his Vice Presidential candidate via a twitter post and a press release. At the same time as this move, Buddy Roemer announced he’d be holding a “Twitter Town Hall” at 4:30 pm to take any questions. Expect to see someone from the Draft Walker campaign pop up with a question for Roemer, and for Roemer to say, golly, he sure thinks David Walker would make a great running mate, and he’ll have to seriously consider it (cue Politico story). Why, as I write these words it’s 4:30 pm now, and look at the very first question answered:

There are three of problems with this.

First, Buddy Roemer and David Walker are the two candidates who have most been promoted by Americans Elect or Americans Elect “leadership” (link|link|link|link|link|link). This gives the events the look of a set-up, a public relations problem Americans Elect can choose to deal with through transparency or obfuscation.

Second, because David Walker is a registered independent and Buddy Roemer is a Republican, Americans Elect Rule 8.0 mandates that a the pair must have a significantly “differing ideological perspective” between them in order to be a presidential-vice presidential pair. But just look at the position statements on the Americans Elect profile pages for David Walker and Buddy Roemer and compare them:


Buddy Roemer and David Walker's positions on Americans Elect's questions

Q. When you think about the US budget deficit, which of the following solutions is closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: More spending cuts than tax increases (mix of both solutions)

David Walker: More spending cuts than tax increases (mix of both solutions)

SAME POSITION

ENERGY
Q. When you think about America’s energy needs, which of the following solutions comes closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: More investment in renewable than drilling (mix of both solutions)

David Walker: More investment in renewable than drilling (mix of both solutions)

SAME POSITION

HEALTHCARE
Q. When you think about healthcare reform in the United States, which of the following solutions is closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: The Government should have a limited role in providing healthcare insurance

David Walker: The Government should have a major role in providing healthcare insurance

SUBSTATIVE DIFFERENCE

IMMIGRATION
Q. When you think about illegal immigration, which of the following solutions come closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: Most illegal immigrants should be deported, with some exceptions

David Walker: Most illegal immigrants should be able to stay in the US, with some exceptions

SUBSTATIVE DIFFERENCE

FOREIGN POLICY
Q. When you think about the US pursuing its interests abroad, which of the following is closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: The US should always listen to other countries before pursuing its own interests

David Walker: The US should listen to other countries more often than not

SIMILAR POSITIONS

EDUCATION
Q. When you think about education in the US, which of the following is closest to your opinion?

Buddy Roemer: School curriculums should be set entirely at a local school board level

David Walker: School curriculums should be set more by local school boards than at a national level

SIMILAR POSITIONS

SOCIAL ISSUES
Q. When you think about the rights of same-sex couples, which of the following is closest to your personal opinion?

Buddy Roemer: Same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not to marry in the traditional sense

David Walker: Same-sex couples should be allowed to form civil unions, but not to marry in the traditional sense

SAME POSITION

ENVIRONMENT
Q. Which of the following comes closest to your personal opinion?

Buddy Roemer: Natural resources should be mostly protected, but also exist for the benefit of humanity

David Walker: Natural resources should be mostly protected, but also exist for the benefit of humanity

SAME POSITION

REFORM
Q. Which of the following statements comes closest to your personal view?

Buddy Roemer: To make this country great, we should keep building and adapting for the future

David Walker: To make this country great, we should keep building and adapting for the future

SAME POSITION


Even according to Americans Elect’s own ratings of the pair, with questions Americans Elect wrote itself and labeled its “CORE QUESTIONS,” Roemer and Walker aren’t ideologically balanced. They agree with one another on most of the above points. According to the official Americans Elect Rules, they can’t be on a ticket together.

The third problem is that even if you take all the support votes that Buddy Roemer’s got so far, and add in all the support votes that David Walker’s got so far, there’s no way the candidates are anywhere close to the threshold required in the Americans Elect official Rules.

Watch over the next few days. Does Americans Elect change its standards in the middle of this ballot qualifying vote? Does it declare Roemer and Walker a balanced ticket, changing the standards for what balance means? Does it lower the qualifying vote threshold to allow Roemer and Walker on the ballot despite their failure to gain access by the rules? Or does Americans Elect follow its own rules and let this ticket of inside-promoted candidates fail?

Watch carefully. Watch very, very carefully. What happens between now and May 15 will say a great deal about the nature of Americans Elect.

A gratitude note goes out to AE Transparency and John Lumea, who have written to me with much useful information.

10 comments to Flaming Out, Draft Walker Campaign tries to Jump on Slightly Less Flaming Buddy Roemer Campaign

  • We look for a New Rule to appear without fanfare at Americans Elect Corporation late tonight, authorizing a Declared Candidate whose first name begins with ‘B’ and a Draft Candidate whose first name begins with ‘D’ , who agree to join a P/VP ticket, to add their support click totals together and multiply the result by 5.

    Hey, it’s no crazier than half the stuff Peter Ackerman has been wildly flailing around doing lately.

  • Daniel H

    Here is how I think AmericansElect will act. If this platform is legitimate, they would not want to just shut down this year. Here is why:

    1. Their ballots in different states require them to have a percentage in the election for them to qualifying for the elections in 2014 and 2016.

    2. The leading candidate Buddy Roemer said he would use his campaign money to pay back the big donors, so they don’t exceed 20%. Making more money is too much for their big donors to pass up.

    3. This article about David Walker explains this next point.

    I have a question, Buddy Roemer left the Republican party and became an Independent over a month ago. When did David Walker leave Republican and became Independent? If it was years ago, then AmericansElect has its loophole.

    • For practical purposes, Roemer is an “independent” mainly in the sense that he’s not running for the Republican nomination. He’s running for the Reform Party nomination too — has he changed his registration to “Reform Party”?

      At any rate: Roemer repeatedly has said that he would be — and, indeed, under the Americans Elect rules, has has to be — running “as a Republican.”

      Walker says he’s been an independent for 15 years.

      • Bill

        Roemer is correct (for once) in saying that according to AE’s rules he must be considered a Republican. AECorp Pre-Election Convention Rule 8.0 states in part: “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.”

  • Thanks, Jim.

    Around this time yesterday, somebody named Andrew tweeted Americans Elect “what’s the point if you don’t have a candidate” — to which Americans Elect, a few hours ago, responded:

    We’re hosting a secure, online nomination process in June. The winner is slated to be on the ballot nationwide.

    My translation of Americans Elect…

    “That’s a little May 2012 of you, Andrew. Which is understandable. But, here at Americans Elect, we’re focused on June.

    “You’re right that, under our current Rules, we wouldn’t be able to field a nominee. But the solution to that problem is obvious: Just change the Rules. And that’s what we’re about to do.

    “So don’t worry your pretty little head. We’ve got this all in-hand. And we’re going to have a candidate. Delegates may have less to say about who the candidate is than we originally promised. But a candidate there will be.

    “The truth is, we bit off more than we could chew. The only part we’re going to be able to pull off, in time for November, is ballot access. We’re going to have to pick the ticket ourselves, this go around. It’s not the ticket we would have preferred. But we hope you’ll agree that it’s not bad for a first try.

    “So keep your teevee tuned to MSNBC — especially to Joe and Dylan and Chuck. Actually, just keep it on Joe. That’s where we’ll be announcing the ticket.

    “By the way: What do you think about Larry Lessig for Attorney General?”

  • Jerry Thomas

    Are the shenanigans of AE any worse than that of our two political parties or could they facilitate a more representative system? Wouldn’t a Buddy Roemer/David Walker candidacy add a significant and positive element to the debates? They do appear to focus their attention on the most important elements that should be addressed by our next executive branch of government. I don’t know the answers to my questions, but the above ticket might represent a better option than our other choices? How do you recommend that we fix our political system? Have any of you signed up like Jim and I to become an AE Volunteer? My experience with the core group of volunteers is that we are quite independent of AE and we have a passionate commitment to the evolution of the AE concept (not necessarily the institution). The website has yet to evolve in any significant manner, but the definition of its mission and goals will be a group effort if it parallels our efforts on the ‘Shape the Debate’ project. During this process we had a serious difference of opinion on how the questions submitted to the candidates should be evolved. We expended a significant number of man-hours to synthesize the questions by the delegates (over 23,000) into a set of more than fifty questions that were representative of all the delegates that submitted questions. AE refused to directly use our questions and never published the fifteen they used directly to us. I was only able to review the questions when one of our AE volunteers made a post (FB I think) that directed me to one of the declared candidates responses to the the AE questions. She did an excellent job in response, find the responses, what do you think?. Has AE promoted all of the declared candidates in their emails to their delegates? No. Has their website been dynamic in promoting their declared candidates? You decide! Can you find any reference to AE Volunteers or AE Town Hall on the website? Is it prominent? (I haven’t found them!)

    Jerry

    • Jerry, we respect you and other AE volunteers who have recently gone ‘off the reservation,’ for the sincerity and the passion of your commitment to improving AE. But with respect to your first question (“Are the shenanigans of AE any worse than that of our two political parties?”), the only possible answer is “oh yes, far worse.” Few things in this world are worse than a corrupt ‘reform’ organization. AECorp actively seeks, by design, to co-opt and to neutralize passionate reformers such as yourself, and to turn your own efforts against your cause.

      In the early 1930s, many honorable Germans asked themselves “Could Herr Hitler really be any worse than the Kaiser?” The answer, of course, was ‘yes’. The enemy of your enemy can still be your enemy, too.

    • Joshua

      Jerry: I think that one of the main complaints about AE you will find on this site is that their own process and rules are not being complied with. If someone is a candidate for a party’s nomination for a particular office, but the person just happens to lose because somebody else got more votes, that is not a problem as long as the nomination process was conducted fairly. But in the case of AE, we don’t know how the presidential nominee is going to be selected, except that we can be fairly sure that it won’t be according to the existing Pre-Election Convention Rules.

      We know this because the existing rules require a candidate to get 1,000 or 5,000 support clicks from 10 states each by May 15, and nobody is close to those numbers with less than 3 days left to qualify.

      So either AE is going to wind up nominating nobody for president, or whoever they do wind up nominating for president will have benefited from a last-minute rules change. And if they do have a last-minute rules change, there is a good chance that the rules change will be perceived by some as having been made specifically to favor a particular candidate.

  • Our Last Best Chance (pls RT) – Robert Irvine – Americans Elect NEEDS U!! http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurant-impossible/index.html #PoliSci #cim #nolabels #Election2012 #potus #edem #gov20la Political Science

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