The private nominate-a-president corporation called Americans Elect still exists, but its operations have ceased for the time being, sunk by its failure to find enough actual people who agreed with its centrist mission. But the people who funded Americans Elect are still there, they still have an interest in affecting American politics, and they still have a whole lot of money. This means we can expect to see the players behind Americans Elect resurface with some new centrist enterprise.
One such enterprise to watch out for is the Common Sense Coalition. Although there are some indications that it was nominally functional before this year, the Common Sense Coalition officially incorporated as a 501c4 corporation in April of 2012, the month when it became clear beyond a doubt that Americans Elect would tank. April 2012 is also when the Common Sense Coalition booted up its Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Common Sense Coalition is headquartered in office space also used by onetime Senate candidate and cofounder Greg Orman to run Exemplar Wealth Management.
Two of the three named cofounders of the Common Sense Coalition were also members of the Americans Elect Board of Advisors. A majority of the Common Sense Coalition founders and board are either themselves large private investors or managers of large private investments.
Although it is quite new in its active form, the Common Sense Coalition has already attracted social media attention from many of the same people following other centrist organizations backed by the private wealth management industry. The following Twitter accounts, for example, follow the Common Sense Coalition, No Labels, Americans Elect and last month’s “centrist” political effort, the Committee to Get Walker Running:
5 of those 18 accounts also follow the twitter accounts of the Concord Coalition and the Comeback America Initiative, two centrist organizations funded by Peter G. Peterson:
These social media connections are not necessarily indicative of an intentional conspiracy, but it is indicative of a community of well-funded organizations supported by private wealth managers drawing attention from a common, relatively small set of the centrist-minded: some of them political observers and reporters, some of them political players. The Common Sense Coalition is not alone; it’s joining that community.
Unlike Americans Elect, the Common Sense Coalition is rather open about its aims: shoving aside social issues as irrelevant to the bottom line, making cuts to Social Security and Medicare, increasing reliance on sick people paying their own medical bills and decreasing reliance on collective health insurance, and cutting corporate taxes — all policies which would be of direct or indirect benefit to private wealth managers and their clients.
The Common Sense Coalition is organized as a 501(c)(4) corporation that intends to “work with centrist candidates to ensure their message gets out.” If you’re interested in tracking private wealth “centrist” political organizing, this is an organization to keep an eye on.