Americans Elect, a mysteriously-funded effort to run a privatized presidential nomination, went into hibernation as a national corporation in the Spring of 2012. But Americans Elect doesn’t only exist as a national corporation; it also exists as a number of state parties. Americans Elect has issued paper threats to keep its state parties in line and appointed state leadership inclined to follow the direction of Americans Elect’s national corporate leadership, but those efforts to maintain top-down control collide with laws giving state parties a considerable amount of bottom-up autonomy.
Richard Winger of Ballot Access News has been covering efforts by local activists to take over Americans Elect state parties. Americans Elect corporate leaders are reportedly trying to cancel their state parties’ existence, while the Coalition for Free & Open Elections is engaged in efforts to pressure Americans Elect corporate leaders to relent and let the state parties exist freely. In the meantime, political tricksters like Richard Grayson have dug in their heels and asserted their independent right to run slates of candidates. Winger reports that candidates have filed to run for Arizona’s 4th and 8th congressional district seats as well as a number of political offices in Cochise County. In other states, this effort is unlikely to succeed because there simply aren’t enough Americans Elect Party members to form an electoral movement. In Oregon, for example, only 3 people have registered as members of the Americans Elect state party.
I’ve just received the latest paper-issue of Ballot Access News in the mail, and it contains a thorough historical analysis of state-level revolts against national parties in presidential contests — an analysis which is of direct relevance to the current challenges by state activists against national Americans Elect mandates. You can’t read this article until next month — not unless you subscribe to Ballot Access News yourself. If you’re interested in the subject, I strongly suggest that you do.