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Reinvention: Americans Elect Leaders Stump for … Campaign Finance Reform?

You may recall that during the 2008 and 2012 campaign season, the political corporation calling itself Unity08 and then Americans Elect hired high-price lawyers to overturn campaign finance laws so that it could take campaign donations of unlimited size and then keep the names of those donors a secret from the public. Unity08/Americans Elect won its legal battle to overturn limits for political corporations, massively tilting the campaign finance system in favor of big money.

What are the leaders of Americans Elect doing now?

Kahlil Byrd and Lawrence Lessig of Americans Elect march for campaign finance reform, January 24 2014

Why, touting their participation in marches for “campaign finance reform” that use the name of the deceased “Granny D” (aka Doris Haddock), who walked across the country at the age of 90 to bring attention to the growing problem of big money in politics.

I place “campaign finance reform” in quotes because the march organizers aren’t actually calling for any specific reform. They just want to be identified with the issue:

“There are so many different ideas being pushed by reformers on both the Right and the Left – all of which deserve consideration. We aren’t demanding a specific fix during the walk – what we’re asking is that politicians tell us how they intend to fix the problem.”

Using the phrase “campaign finance reform” in public while stacking the deck in favor of big money in private is not new for Americans Elect — they’ve pulled this trick before. Its leaders are talking the talk they’ve talked before. Where are they planning to walk?

13 thoughts on “Reinvention: Americans Elect Leaders Stump for … Campaign Finance Reform?”

  1. JLMEALER says:

    The national Americans Elect is DONE.
    The remnants, such as in Arizona, is merely ballot access for people like me who are Independents, ‘l’ibertarian, Constitutionalists.

    This is our chance (we Independents) to actually win for once.

  2. Bill says:

    “Reform” is such a great word, implying as it does “fix it to make it better,” but really meaning only “change it to be the way I want it.” As in the plutocrats’ favorite, “entitlement reform,” which means “kick Granny out in the snow.”

    1. Bill says:

      And how could I have forgotten those other perennial favorites, “tax reform” (raise taxes on the working class and abolish them for the wealthy</em) and "tort reform" (stop letting poor people sue rich people)?

  3. Alex Hammer says:

    Angus King and Eliot Cutler to jail if guilty?

  4. Charles Manning says:

    This article and the comments leave me confused. Is Americans Elect a corporation? Partnership? Sole proprietorship? Non-profit organization? What does it stand for?

    If the idea is to make money available to political candidates or campaigns, I think that’s fine as long as the recipients disclose to the American people where this money came from and what ideological or other strings are attached.

    At the same time, freedom of speech has its limits. If someone showed up at every venue with loudspeakers to drown out anyone else trying to speak, that would be an assault on freedom of speech, and on democracy itself. Flooding MSM outlets with millions of dollars in ads is like that. Equally troubling is the practice of the MSM of excluding from the “news” any voices opposed to those flooding the media with millions of dollars in ads. We need a constitutional amendment embodying the principle that not only is money not the same as speech, but money must not be allowed to drown out speech.

  5. Pingback: Jim Cook: Americans Elect Leaders Stump for … Campaign Finance Reform? | Independent Political Report
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  7. John Lewis Mealer says:

    Americans Elect began just as all other political parties began 501(c)(4) and as a corporate status. They could not exist if they did not incorporate, nor could the GOP or DNC or Libertarians, or Greens.

    When AE abandoned it’s national party and let the state ballot access float away and even as they tried to pull it back in and squash all of it, the ballot access simply stayed in place WITHOUT a party.

    AE in most states where it exists is nothing more than BALLOT ACCESS.

    Under my run it is pure INDEPENDENT candidate ballot access and I have already been threatened with multiple lawsuits from all direction because of it.

    1. Alex Hammer says:

      What are you running for?

  8. Bill says:

    AE was registered as a corporation in the District of Columbia. According to DC’s Sec’y of State’s online database, that registration is now “abandoned.” So, as a legal entity, AE is no more. That said, AE’s puppetmaster and his minions live on, a demonstrate a continuing propensity for conspiring to advance AE’s original corporatist “centrism” masquerade, so it is convenient to continue to refer to their conspiracies by the name “Americans Elect.”

  9. JimG says:

    “Unity08”, “No Labels”, “Americans Elect”, “The Can Kicks Back”. What’s with the endless front groups? Apparently they’re still in the process of throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks? I wonder what the name will be tomorrow.

    Jim: any idea if they are affiliated with the “Concord Coalition”? There’s a video I started to watch on Netflix once put out by them, that argued the usual “bipartisan” “moderates” should get together to solve the national debt crisis by raising taxes and cutting spending. One of the little animations in it showed supposedly ballooning “entitlement” costs in the future, in the form of a pie chart, vis a vis other budgetary expenses. The funny part is, as they showed these evil “entitlements” expanding as we raced into the future, the “defense” portion of the budget was shown shrinking away to nothing. They don’t make great prophets, these “centrists”.

    1. Bill says:

      Concord Coalition was founded by Pete Peterson, who made his multibillions on Wall Street via the Blackrock Group. Peterson is a sugardaddy directly or indirectly behind many of these ‘centrist’ shams.

      1. John Lewis Mealer says:

        Keep in mind guys…. This ONE candidate and a few like-minded candidates here in Arizona could not give a rat’s ass about the foundational creeps of the ballot access via Americans Elect.

        We are Independents, Constitutionalists and in general Arizonans who are sick of watching this country dragged down by political parties.

        At least throw out a good word for those like me, who have grabbed this AE ballot access, threw the ‘lawsuit’ back into the faces of the original AE kingpins. I hope to make this work… Arizona and the I-11 corridor being started in 2015 will remove all of our goals and plans as the Mexican-USA-Canadian nation is made. ((Trilateral Commission stuff)).

        By the way- If you know of any multi-billionaires out there, I can certainly use a few bucks!

      2. Jim Cook says:

        Bill’s got it right on the money.

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