When the 501(c)(4) corporation Americans Elect was trying to convince people in 2010, 2011 and 2012 to give it money and participate in its process, it promised that Americans Elect had no hidden agenda, no favored candidates. Americans Elect promised that the people, not its corporate leaders, would choose candidates:
“Your voice matters. You decide the issues. You choose the candidates.”
Last night and this morning, the following advertisement started appearing on TV screens around Maine, the state in which I live:
Minutes ago, the Online Sentinel confirmed what own my eyes saw today.
Americans Elect promised you that its process wouldn’t be rigged.
When it fundraised, Americans Elect told you that the delegates of Americans Elect would be the ones to choose candidates.
Americans Elect official corporate rules and bylaws declared that in order to change those official rules, it would have to post public notice and allow delegates to overrule such changes: “Any Delegate who wishes to reverse any decision of any Committee or Board may do so by sending a statement of 500 words or less by email to the Board within 72 hours after notice of any decision is posted on the Website.” No such notice has been made.
Americans Elect has threatened to sue the pants off people interested in building local Americans Elect chapters independent of corporate headquarters.
But all on its own, without any change of rules as provided for in its bylaws, without any notice to its delegates, the corporate board of Americans Elect has funnelled half a million dollars in two days into advertisements blanketing the state of Maine with promoting Angus King for Senate.
Without any democratic process, the Americans Elect corporation has appropriated its funds for the direct and undemocratic support of a major political candidate’s re-election campaign. This is a direct contradiction of the principles, rules and bylaws Americans Elect committed itself to for the 2012 elections.
No promise Americans Elect can ever make can restore this broken trust. There is simply no reason to ever believe Americans Elect again.