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More Shadow Americans Elect Activity in Maine? Group Paying Wachtel also brings on Douglas Schoen

Steve Mistler of the Portland Press Herald has discovered another connection in the growing list of connections between the campaign of financier Eliot Cutler for Governor of Maine and the Wall Street financiers’ political corporation called Americans Elect.

Americans Elect figures already identified as jumping in to support the Cutler campaign through contributions or “independent” expenditures source|source):

Peter Ackerman
Cara Brown McCormick
Kahlil Byrd
W. Bowman Cutter
Les Francis
Nancy Jacobson
Joshua Levine
Ileana Wachtel

Mistler’s latest article takes a look at the Maine campaign finance filings of “Campaign for Maine,” an organization that is not a veteran group, but rather formed just last September. In November, its “campaign manager” Betsy Smith (apparently paid through Vision and Strategy LLC) explicitly declared the purpose of “Campaign for Maine”:

I’m so excited about his candidacy that I am leading an independent campaign effort to elect Cutler as our next governor. This coalition of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, called Campaign for Maine, will do everything in its power to communicate Cutler’s vision and plans for bettering Maine.

“Everything in its power” appears to include, as Mistler found, paying Ileana Wachtel of Americans Elect fame for unnamed services.

Wachtel is not, however, the only Americans Elect connection. The figure garnering the most payment from the “Campaign for Maine” is Douglas Schoen, an admitted leader of Americans Elect both in its failed bid to nominate a centrist corporate candidate for president in 2012 and in an effort to pump millions of dollars into the small state of Maine to alter its U.S. Senate race. Schoen raked in $55,000 in the Fall of 2013 for his “consulting” work on behalf of Eliot Cutler through “Campaign for Maine.”

Add Douglas Schoen to the lengthening list of Americans Elect figures quietly slipping in to the Maine Governor’s race. In this election season’s activity, the Americans Elect leaders have abandoned any claim to populism, democracy or inclusion. They’re simply applying money to obtain a desirable outcome.

4 comments to More Shadow Americans Elect Activity in Maine? Group Paying Wachtel also brings on Douglas Schoen

  • Bill

    This is turning into a great narrative for Cutlet’s opponents. Ackerman Selects (ooops, excuse me: I meant Americans Elect) so thoroughly alienated so many sensible people, and so clearly demonstrated its corporatist “throw Granny out in the snow” agenda, that these new revelations can’t help but tar Cutlet with that same brush. It would be fascinating…and wonderful…if his opponent(s) can turn this campaign into a debate about Wall Street dark money and its plans for the American economy and society. Let’s do that!

    My only complaint with your article, Jim, is that in the phrase “…its failed bid to nominate a centrist corporate candidate for president in 2012….” you forgot to include air-quotes around the word “centrist.” Shadowy Wall Street corporatists who seek to dismantle Social Security, abolish the minimum wage, end environmental regulation, gut Dodd-Frank, privatize public education, and further expand global ‘free trade’ (AKA laissez faire capitalism) to make level the path of the righteous (i.e., the rapacious corporate job cremators) are so far from the ‘center’ of the electorate that their insistence otherwise would be funny if it wasn’t so damn sinister. They are, instead, pure-play economic ultra-conservatives, the rightmost of the right-wing fringe; their false claim to ‘centrism’ hinges solely on their (wise) avoidance of any concern for social conservatives’ issues. Their philosophy reminds me of The Dog’s Motto: “If you can’t eat it or f*ck it, p*ss on it.”

    • Bill

      P.S.: I just checked the District of Columbia’s corporations database, which shows Americans Elect’s status as “dissolved.” I suggest that in future we should acknowledge this by referring to AE as “Peter Ackerman’s now dissolved Americans Elect corporation,” or something to that effect, and refer to it in the past tense, to avoid confusion. Americans Elect is officially dead. Long live Ackerman Selects!

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