As Richard Winger points out in his latest Ballot Access News, Americans Elect lost ballot status in California on December 31 2013, capping a year of drawn-out erosion in the official position of the corporate political party that tried to elect a “centrist” president but failed to find enough actual “centrist” people.
Can we finally say that Americans Elect is dead? Well, that depends on what you mean by “Americans Elect.” After all, what is Americans Elect but the resurrection of the equally dismal “centrist” failure Unity08? The mode of the big money hedge fund speculators behind Americans Elect and Unity08 is to rename their brand from cycle to cycle while they pursue the same goal: a candidate who supports the causes of the moneyed like Republicans but doesn’t alienate big money support with distasteful anti-gay or anti-immigrant frothing. The trick is to watch the people behind Americans Elect, not the moribund corporation named “Americans Elect” itself.
This week, Steve Mistler of the Portland Press Herald has spotted a curious clustering of Americans Elect alums in Maine. Mistler noticed that Ileana Wachtel, longstanding Press Secretary for Americans Elect, was the organizer of a press conference held today to complain that Eliot Cutler, member of the Board of Directors of Americans Elect and 2014 candidate for Governor of Maine, isn’t getting enough appreciation and support. Mistler also noticed that Americans Elect board member Cara Brown McCormick and Americans Elect executive Kahlil Byrd are donors to the Cutler for Governor campaign, referring to filings dating back to July 2013.
Guess who else is a donor to the Cutler campaign according to that report?
- Washington DC fundraiser Nancy Jacobson, who is credited with initiating the No Labels political corporation frequently tied to Americans Elect in the 2012 election cycle.
- Americans Elect Board of Advisors member Les Francis
- Americans Elect Board of Advisors member W. Bowman Cutter
As I noted above, this information goes back all the way to July 2013. Campaign contribution information since July 2013 will be due to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices on January 15. I wonder what we’ll find when we look then?
Americans Elect’s interest in Maine politics is not new. You may recall that in 2012, Americans Elect dumped nearly $2 million into the Maine U.S. Senate race on behalf of Angus King. Angus King’s campaign chair at the time was Eliot Cutler.
Americans Elect as a brand is moribund, but the people of Americans Elect keep popping up in the darndest places.