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Americans Elect Staffers Regroup to Meddle in Maine Politics Again

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?

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.

2 comments to Americans Elect Staffers Regroup to Meddle in Maine Politics Again

  • Bill

    Hey, ya gotta feed the bears…am I right? Byrd and Wachtel lost their cushy positions at StudentsFirst in Feb. of last year when Michelle Rhee found it necessary to throw them under the bus in order to recover from the “Don’t Say Gay” fiasco, and have since been rather at loose ends. Meanwhile, sugardaddy Pete Ackerman, The Man Behind the Curtain at Americans Elect Corporation, still has plenty of money to burn and a compulsion to do so, and needs an organization to burn it for him. Having finally abandoned the notion that an internet-enabled astroturf dodge can harness the political power of tech-savvy disaffected youth, he has moved on to Plan B…or would that be Plan C?: good old-fashioned money-showers in smoke-filled rooms to buy politicos he favors. He had a positive first experience at this in buying Angus King (or at least making it look that way…King would have won anyway without selling out to Ackerman). So now Ack-ack is, wisely, consolidating his Maine strategy by gathering together all his old operatives behind his old chum, Eliot Cutler. This builds nicely, since he can count on King to back Cutler (if King wants to get re-elected, that is). After all, any state crazy enough to elect Paul LePage governor is pretty easy pickins for manipulation.

    This is starting to look like a new strategy for the Oligarchs — each one individually is responsible for delivering one state. The Kochs have selected North Carolina, Ackerman has selected Maine, and we’ll have to wait a bit to see which state Bloomberg drew in the lottery. It’s actually a pretty fiendishly clever strategy.

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