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Ballot Access News tracks Americans Elect Devolution into Local Struggles

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.

10 comments to Ballot Access News tracks Americans Elect Devolution into Local Struggles

  • Thank you for tackling this issue. I am that candidate in Arizona’s 8th Congressional district and I want to thank you for reporting on this important issue. Keep up the great work.

  • Like Stephen, I thank you. We who are running on the Americans Elect Party line in Arizona are not “digging in our heels”; it’s a matter of Arizona election law that Americans Elect is a recognized party now. In Arizona and other states — something really interesting is happening in another state that I’ve been told not to make public yet — and the founders of the “party” (which they said wasn’t a party) have no control over most state-recognized parties. (I can’t say all because I’m not familiar with every state’s election laws.)

    The state’s voter guide for primary voting, which began yesterday (early voting in person and by mail), says this, por ejemplo:

    “Voters who are registered independent or “no party designated” can vote in the primary by choosing a Republican, Democrat, Green or Americans Elect party ballot at their polling place. Only voters registered as Libertarians can vote the Libertarian ballot.”

    In the Eighth Congressional District, there is an Americans Elect Party primary ballot with Stephen Dolgos’ name on it. In my CD, voters who choose the AEP ballot can write me in.

    Here is the Americans Elect Party primary sample ballot in my county, Pinal, in which I will vote: http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/Elections/Documents/Downloads/2012%20Pinal%20County%20Primary%20Sample%20Ballots%20-%20AEL.pdf

  • I’ve not given up on Americans Elect here in Oklahoma. I’ll decide on September 3, whether to stay with it and change my political affiliation to Americans Elect, remain Independent, or go Democrat.

    I might post another comment here after I get an update from Rex Lawhorn, State Chairman, Americans Elect Party of Oklahoma. Or, maybe Rex will post a comment here about Oklahoma. What I do on Monday 3 September 2012, when I can change my political affiliation from Independent to Americans Elect, might depend on his progress and that of the other members. Oklahoma will not let me change it until September 1 soonest because of their odd rule for this even-numbered year. That’s good, because I want more time to consider it. As more information comes to light, my position shifts. I don’t want to change my political affiliation on September 3, and then have to change it again if the national party control freaks succeed in getting Americans Elect removed from the Oklahoma ballot. Then I’d have to change back to Independent, or consider another option such as becoming a Democrat.

    I like the Reform Party, but it has no pulse. I believe a “third” party has little no chance at any level of winning in Election 2012, but there will be some impact. What will that impact be? I believe voting for a “third” party candidate will amount to a protest vote. It is important to consider the matter that doing that will take votes away from Democrats or from Republicans. If it will likely take votes away from the side a voter might consider to be the lesser of two evils, then it would be better for the voter to go ahead and vote on that side. As an Independent, I don’t like the two-party system, but that’s the logic I’m faced with. If I were to vote for an Independent candidate, any “third” party candidate, then doing so could possibly cause Romney to win instead of Obama. I’d not like that.

    The arrogant behavior of the Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans, during the past 4 years, has pushed me further to the political left. Also, as I’ve become better informed, I’ve changed my position on a few issues. When I first took the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz/ I scored slightly right of center within the Centrist square, and I nearly identified with Libertarians. Eventually, I scored slightly left of center but still within the Centrist square, and could identify with the Reform Party when I became interested in Americans Elect. As of August 2012, I’m scoring as a Left Liberal. The quiz only covers 10 issues, of which I’ve changed my position on 4 during the past 4 years, but it is comparable to the percentage of my shift on the other issues of interest to me.

    Therefore, on September 3, if I don’t remain registered as an Independent, then I might change my political affiliation to Democrat, rather than to Americans Elect. I don’t want to abandon my Americans Elect friends here in Oklahoma, but most of them are right of center anyway. It reminds me of when the American Centrist Party “merged with” [or was absorbed by] the Modern Whig Party, the result was a majority of members shifting far from centrist to the political right, as I was headed left, and so I departed.

    I’m disappointed and disgusted with the gross incompetence of the political middle, lack of cooperation therein, and its failure to create and establish an effective and realistic third party choice. There’s no logic in how Americans Elect self-destructed, and now its attempt to destroy its own supporters, delegates and members, at the state level. It’s absurd. Especially after all the effort, the money spent, and the ground gained. I would have considered getting on the ballot in this bloody red Republican state of Oklahoma to be impossible, but they got it done. Now they want to throw it away. What a horrible waste. They are so out of touch with reality, that they believe they can do that, and then try it again in the future according to the notice posted at the Americans Elect website. That’s just crazy.

  • A comment above said about me, “You talk out of both sides of your mouth, just like any politician!” I am insulted and offended. That is an obnoxious thing to say about a person who has temporomandibular jaw disorder (TMJ) and cannot fully open his mouth on one side!

    • And yet I see you can at least use one finger to type on a keyboard. I myself have no such ability, having been forbidden by the hyperregulative federal government from participating in online discussion under the Free Distribution of Fish Act of 1842. How DARE you complain about your condition while those of us without the ability to access the Internet are prevented entirely from engaging in speech?

  • Bahahahaha, I must say I’m not surprised at this at all. When the wannabe two bit technocrats began forming state parties under the banner of “Americans Elect”, I wondered how long it would be until activists within those states would try to take over the local state parties, given a lot of states actually have rather strict laws that determine how a local state party is run, often with a bottom up infrastructure (generally thanks to the progressive era reforms of the late 19th and earth 20th century). I wonder if anyone bothered to inform these beltway wannabe insiders about this. I’m guess not.

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