Indications of the last two months are that the privatized presidential election corporation called Americans Elect is shuttering its state operations while maintaining a nominal national presence. The latest Americans Elect state affiliate to go defunct is that of Maine; an annual report from Americans Elect in Maine was due at the end of May but despite Americans Elect’s extensive investment of money in Maine’s U.S. Senate race this past fall, no report has not been filed.
As Americans Elect continues to wind down, Richard Winger of Ballot Access News brings our attention to a new political corporation on the horizon “1787 for America,” also known as the “1787 National Committee, Inc.”
As of today, the 1787foramerica.org website of this Section 527 corporation is hidden behind a password-protected wall, but some information has been leaking out in advance of a public rollout. Thanks to Chairman Emily Mathews’ filing with the Federal Election Commission, the corporate bylaws have been published — read their full text here. In those bylaws, the 1787 National Committee, Inc. shows a clear intention to field a candidate for President of the United States in 2016, running under a corporate model very similar to that of Americans Elect. As with Americans Elect, Americans will be able to sign up as “members” of the 1787 National Committee and are supposed to be able to cast votes for candidates for President, but also as with Americans Elect these “members” will not have any say in the actual governance of the 1787 National Committee. Instead, as with Americans Elect, the self-appointed corporate board of directors (and any board-appointed successors) will have sole power in the running of the “1787 for America” process — including making changes to the bylaws that determine how the presidential election will be run.
For now, there are elements in the tentative presidential election process of “1787 for America” that are improvements over the Americans Elect process. Any candidate who is constitutionally qualified to run for president will be supposedly eligible to run under the 1787 for America system. All meetings are according to the bylaws supposed to be open, without secret ballots, and with all minutes posted online for the public to see within 15 days of their occurrence.
Of course, according to Chairman Emily Mathews, “the Board of Directors has met ten times,” and yet all information on the 1787foramerica.org website is hidden from the public behind a password wall. Maybe that’s about to change — wait and see.
Also wait and see what kind of platform or agenda the “1787 National Committee” will or will not be rolling out before you jump on the bandwagon. This may or may not be influenced by the agenda of its organizers. For now, it may be helpful for you to know that the official address of “1787 for America”, on New York City’s famed Madison Avenue, is the same as the official address of Mathews Global Consulting LLC, a firm also headed by Emily that specializes in strategy, risk management and public relations for its clients.
As the 2014 and 2016 elections gear up, expect political organizers to try and learn from the successes and mistakes of groups like Americans Elect in the 2012 election. What will be emulated? What will be improved upon? Who and what may newly imperil the integrity of American politics? Watch and wait. Wait and watch. Always watch.