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Draft Walker Fever Ran Cold: Independent Expenditure Committee Reports No Expenditures

On the very first day the Committee to Get Walker Running announced its existence to the public, the DC beltway publication Politico declared: “Walker Fever: It’s Spreading.” The basis for author Alexander Burns’ diagnosis of a “fever” for David Walker as an Americans Elect presidential candidate was the emergence of the Committee with Yoni Gruskin as a primary organizer. Burns didn’t reveal, or didn’t know, that Gruskin and the other organizers of the Committee to Get Walker Running are leaders of groups funded by Peter G. Peterson, the billionaire who has for years been the source of money sustaining David Walker.

Amid the multiple nationwide media mentions of the David Walker draft campaign supporting Walker’s platform of social security and health care cuts, was there ever any real grassroots “Walker Fever” spreading anywhere? One indication is the number of people who voted to support Walker’s presidential candidacy: out of 313 million Americans, only 692 people.

Another indication of actual “Walker Fever” would be a large number financial contributions from all sorts of Americans. The public won’t gain any direct information about the contributors to the draft Walker committee until July, the next disclosure deadline mandated by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Watch this space for disclosures.

But independent expenditure data already indicate that the Walker “fever” may have been no more than a beltway media illusion. In its official registration as an “Independent Expenditure-Only Committee” on April 24 2012, the Committee to Get Walker Running informed the FEC that:

This committee intends to make unlimited independent expenditures and consistent with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit decision in SpeechNow v. FEC, it therefore intends to raise funds in unlimited amounts.

But if the Committee spent any funds, they must have been in very limited amounts indeed. According to the FEC, once the Committee’s expenditures topped $10,000, reports of any expenditures must be made to the FEC by midnight on the day after the expenditure has been made.

I invite you to search through Independent Expenditure reports between the dates of April 1 2012 and May 25 2012 (that’s today). You’ll find no indication whatsoever of any expenditure made by the Committee to Get Walker Running, or by any other independent expenditure committee with “Walker” in its name for that matter.

The only symptom of “fever” apparent here is hallucination.

15 thoughts on “Draft Walker Fever Ran Cold: Independent Expenditure Committee Reports No Expenditures”

  1. Solomon Kleinsmith says:

    Pretty simple really. We tried to gin up some attention, we got some, Walker stuck with not wanting to run, and without his help, we couldn’t get anything going. Win some, lose some. Oh well.

    1. John Lumea says:

      Solomon — neither you nor Nick Troiano nor anybody else at Draft Walker ever responded to my requests for information about that 9 April “Draft Walker poll” of 966 Florida registered voters.

      Was that a proper scientific poll?

      If so, I assume that somebody (or bodies) had to fund it — or that, at the very least, some individual or firm donated professional polling services that can be represented by a dollar value.

      Can, and would, you provide details about the financial and/or professional support for this poll? Who conducted it? Who paid for it? How much money did each financial contributor to the poll donate? Or, if none, what was the monetary value of any donated polling services?


      1. Solomon Kleinsmith says:

        I seriously can’t imagine that you are under the impression that I take you seriously enough to answer any question from you. You and Cook have made it abundently clear that you could care less about what the truth is. All you care about is making things you disagree with out to be evil.

        I’ve even gone out of my way to give Cook credit for the handful of times he’s kept his critique of AE within the realm of sanity, because AE deserves scorn in several areas. Most of the time I only respond here, and to people like you, because its to wade into wingnutter territory from time to time.

        If you were a credible questioner, I’d be happy to answer the question. Alas, you aren’t.

        1. Jim Cook says:


          Unlike you, John and I offer sources to back up our assertions. As I have asked you to do for years now when you come here and drop unsubstantiated claims, please cite a documented source showing that what we are saying is incorrect.

          In the years you’ve been dropping by, you’ve never done this. I hope you change your habits.

        2. Ralph says:

          Well John, I’m afraid you’re out of your league here. Solomon just doesn’t think you’re “credible.” This is, after all, coming from a man who launched a draft effort for President of the United States that attracted HUNDREDS of supporters. You and Jim might be fine researchers, but you don’t have anything like THAT kind of clout!

        3. John Lumea says:

          If you think I’m a “wingnutter,” Solomon, either you haven’t been paying attention or you’ve been reading way too much John Avlon.

        4. Ralph says:

          Wingnut. Definition: a person who disagrees with me with whom I am unable to argue on the basis of facts.

  2. Jim Cook says:

    Revisionist history, Solomon, getting it backwards. Walker didn’t push away the committee: he promoted it. Walker publicly and repeatedly said he’d consider running if your committee, run by a trio under Peterson patronage, got enough supporters. Despite plum coverage not given to other Americans Elect committees in your position, people didn’t flock to the Walker banner. That’s why it flopped: because outside the Peterson and DC dinner party circles, there’s not a lot of support for Walker and his ideas.

    1. Solomon Kleinsmith says:

      I’m not revising anything. I’m telling you what happened. You’re on the outside looking in, pretending you know what happened without any proof. When we talked to people who saw Walker’s statements, they didn’t get the sense that he really wanted to run, and neither did I. I wish he did, but it just wasn’t the case.

      And Roemer got significantly more coverage. We had a spike for a brief few days, and that was it. With all the ridiculous hoops AE put in the way of people getting verified and voting, just getting in the media for a bit doesn’t help. We needed to raise money to put people on the ground in target states. We weren’t able to raise it, so we didn’t succeed.

      1. Jim Cook says:

        No, I’m not “pretending I know what happened without any proof.” I’m working off publicly available information. Read through our David Walker series of articles and you’ll find multiple points at which David Walker actively promoted a campaign to make him a presidential candidate, with links to the primary documents.

        You, on the other hand, don’t cite any documented sources.

        1. Solomon Kleinsmith says:

          You are one dense dude 🙂

          We tried very hard to get Walker to help us. He refused. When media people prodded him on the subject, at best he gave SOME vaguely positive answers that left most people with no idea what he actually wanted, and seemed to most people that he didn’t want to be on the ballot. He didn’t help us with anything. If he had we would have actually been able to raise some money and do what we were planning on doing had we been able to. All we got was enough to slap together a website, that mediocre intro video and the poll Lumea speaks of in the comments above. Small polls, websites and simple promo videos are cheap.

          What documented sources COULD I cite? Nobody has internal data on Draft Walker. I saw what happened on the inside myself.

        2. John Lumea says:

          Solomon, you write:

          [Walker] didn’t help us with anything. If he had we would have actually been able to raise some money and do what we were planning on doing had we been able to. All we got was enough to slap together a website, that mediocre intro video and the poll….

          Correct me if I’m wrong — but this suggests that what Draft Walker “got” was money, and that some portion of this was over and above the “money out of my own savings” that Nick Troiano referred to in his Thursday 19 April blog post explaining his decision to step down from Americans Elect and launch Draft Walker.

          I’ll grant you that the Web site and the video — both of which went live on that same day — probably didn’t take a lot of time or money to produce.

          But Troiano said, in his post, that he made his decision “last week” — which would be no earlier than Monday 9 April.

          Coincidentally, that’s the same day of that Draft Walker poll of 966 Florida registered voters. Which, again, begs the question of exactly when — and from whom — money and services started flowing in to the Draft Walker effort.

          A dedicated one-day scientific poll of this size is not, I think, something that most people would consider “small” or “cheap.” And it doesn’t come out of thin air. It takes advance money and advance planning to — at a minimum — design the poll, secure the phone lists and line up and train the people to do the actual calling.

          Moreover, it takes a lot more than 966 calls to get 966 people who are willing to take and complete a telephone survey. Assuming even a brief 5- to 10-minute script, that’s a lot of person-hours — at the staffing level — for a one-day poll.

          :: :: ::

          As to Walker’s being “prodded” by the media…

          After Walker released his statement on the morning of 17 April, clarifying that “I am not a candidate and don’t expect to become one,” exactly who in the media was it who “prodded” him to go back out that evening with a public tweet that he would “seriously consider it”?

          And who was it who “prodded” Walker to go on national teevee, in an in-studio segment with Chuck Todd, on the morning of the official Draft Walker launch on 23 April?

          You’re going to have to start bringing better game, Solomon.

  3. tiradefaction (@tiradefaction) says:

    Who the fuck even knows (or cares?) who “David Walker” is? If this is the whole “centrist” camp’s idea of a “big name” ticket, well, they shouldn’t have been surprised it went down like this.

  4. Ralph says:

    I am very angry, and yet not at all surprised, that certain members of the press would declare a “fever” for a presidentail candidate whose supporters across the nation numbered on a par with a run-of-the-mill high school sporting event.

  5. Jim Cook says:

    Update: through today the Committee to Get Walker Running reports no independent expenditures to the FEC. The time for lagging reports to be entered has passed. The committee therefore was either were noncompliant with FEC requirements or was a shell operating on little to no money.

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