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National Campus Director Blake Wright the Latest Americans Elect Staffer to Violate Neutrality

Let’s get right to the point: Three weeks ago, circumstantial evidence suggested that Americans Elect had violated its neutrality policy regarding presidential candidates. Today, Americans Elect has inadvertently confirmed it.

Americans Elect, the 501c4 corporation that wants to run its very own candidate for President of the United States, refuses to identify the people who have given it money. But don’t worry, says Americans Elect, it has an explicit neutrality policy, so there’s no way it would throw the election:

Americans Elect, its directors, officers, and paid staff do not and will not support or oppose any particular candidate or particular draft effort for a candidate for the presidential or vice presidential nominations of Americans Elect—the organization simply provides the nominating process.

WKMS names Blake Wright as the Americans Elect National Campus Director, a paid staff position:

National Campus Director Blake Wright joins Chad Lampe to talk about how the whole thing works.

In confirmation, Americans Elect names Blake Wright as its National Campus Director:

To learn more, check out AE National Campus Director Blake Wright joining Chad Lampe of wkms.org to discuss how AE is changing the game.

Blake Wright is a signatory to a pledge promising to support David Walker for President in the Americans Elect system:

I pledge to Become an Americans Delegate and support David Walker.

— Blake Wright

This violation of Americans Elect neutrality in favor of David Walker is not the first, and it has non-trivial implications for the David Walker campaign and for amount of trust anyone should place in the Americans Elect operations. Consider that:

  • Every single identifiable student in a Draft Walker campaign video turned out to be an Americans Elect Campus Leader.
  • In all, 9 out of 9 campus volunteers for the Draft Walker campaign turned out to be Americans Elect Campus Leaders first.
  • Who is the AE paid staffer responsible for recruiting and coordinating the actions of Americans Elect Campus Leaders? The National Campus Director.
  • Who was the National Campus Director for Americans Elect before Blake Wright? Nick Troiano.
  • To what position did Nick Troiano directly jump last month? Head of the Committee to Get Walker Running and administrator of the Walker 100.
  • Who sits on the Americans Elect Board of Advisors? David Walker.
  • What Americans Elect draft candidate has been singled out for praise in a press release by Americans Elect? David Walker.
  • What Americans Elect draft candidate had his ballot access standard specially lowered by Americans Elect? David Walker.

Americans Elect’s protestation that it can be trusted without fully disclosing its contributors because it has a neutrality policy strains credulity when that neutrality policy is repeatedly violated. As long as Americans Elect refuses to disclose who is propping it up, in the light of its own internal ethics violations, the democratic claims of Americans Elect cannot be trusted. If Americans Elect wishes to regain trust, it needs to become completely transparent regarding its finances, its donors, its expenditures, its meeting minutes and its leadership. Don’t hold your breath for that.

Fortunately, the American people have not taken the bait. Despite multiple big media spots promoting the Draft Walker campaign playing across the United States of America, a few more than 600 people have cast their ballot access votes in support of David Walker in the Americans Elect system. Actual people are simply not interested in the pro-corporate “centrism” that David Walker is pitching.

Unfortunately, Americans Elect may be getting ready to change its own rules in this, the last day of its ballot access vote, favorably allowing certain candidates onto the ballot even though under the current rules no candidate has earned a ballot spot.

Tonight at midnight, the last chance for Americans Elect declared and draft candidates to qualify for the Americans Elect ballot under the official Americans Elect Rules expires. Not a single candidate is close to qualifying. Will Americans Elect follow its own Rules, acknowledge its deep unpopularity and shut down its corporate presidential nomination? Or will Americans Elect change its Rules in the middle of its voting process to let a few officially unqualified but unofficially favored candidates onto the ballot?

Watch carefully and see what happens next.

6 comments to National Campus Director Blake Wright the Latest Americans Elect Staffer to Violate Neutrality

  • Jerry Thomas

    Regardless of the ‘hidden agenda’ of AE, would David Walker be a more viable candidate than the Republican nominee? the Democratic nominee? How would you suggest we attempt to break the two party system?

    • I would suggest we do it with an organization that is transparent, ethically consistent and democratic. Americans Elect is none of these.

      David Walker would not be a more viable candidate than the Republican nominee because, outside the DC party circuit and billionaires’ boardrooms, he and his ideas have no support.

  • Nobody Asked Me...But,

    Lawrence Lessig, a Board member, has expressly endorsed Buddy Roemer in his Atlantic articles. See, e.g., http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/buddy-roemer-the-anti-spoiler/257101/

    He also regularly tweets for Roemer and has endorsed him in TV interviews, etc.

    Will the Board of AE expel Mr. Lessig for this flagrant violation of the rules and ethics of this organization? If not, what moral authority does it have to present itself as a worthier alternative to the existing principal parties that stand for something?

    • Americans Elect and Lessig will say and have said, hey, that’s just the Board of Advisors, which doesn’t mean anything.

      By the way, it’s 12:03 on the East Coast. Do you know where your third and last Americans Elect caucus is? Answer: nowhere, unless Americans Elect changes its own rules after the end of its own game.

  • Joshua

    Khalil Byrd has put up a statement from AE: http://www.americanselect.org/news/5-2012/statement-americans-elect-ceo-kahlil-byrd

    Basically, Byrd says AE will confer with its community “before determining next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday, May 17.”

    Over the past two years, Americans Elect has focused on achieving three clear goals:

    Gaining nationwide ballot access for a third presidential ticket to compete in the 2012 race;
    Holding the first ever nonpartisan secure national online primary at AmericansElect.org; and
    Fielding a credible, balanced, unaffiliated ticket for the 2012 presidential race.

    Through the efforts of thousands of staffers, volunteers, and leadership, Americans Elect has achieved every stated operational goal.

    AE is doing well in terms of ballot access, but not in holding its primary or finding a ticket for the presidential race.

    Despite these efforts, as of today, no candidate has reached the national support threshold required to enter the “Americans Elect Online Convention” this June. (Read a detailed summary of the AE process here and the full rules here.)

    Because of this, under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today.

    Did the AE delegates ever get to vote on ratification of the rules? That doesn’t sound familiar.

    There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.

    I guess if you count the petition signers, millions of Americans have supported AE in some way, but most of them didn’t support it enough to become delegates and support-click a candidate.

    Every step of the way, AE has conferred with its community before making major decisions.

    They have?

    We will do the same this week before determining next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday, May 17.

    As always, we thank everyone who has participated in this effort and will honor the work, efforts and trust so many people have placed in Americans Elect.

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