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Nick Troiano, the Mayday PAC, Americans Elect, No Labels and the Peterson Network: Connections?

2012 saw the rise of Americans Elect, a corporation that planned to manage the election of its own “centrist” presidential candidate, thanks to insider connections and large cash flows from undisclosed sources. 2012 also saw Americans Elect’s demise, when American citizens elected to stay away from Americans Elect and refused to participate after finding out that a corporate board could nullify any candidacy it didn’t like.

Since Americans Elect failed and subsequently dissolved, its leaders have migrated to new projects, one of which is a congressional campaign by Americans Elect National Campus Director Nick Troiano and another of which is the Mayday Super PAC led by Americans Elect alums Lawrence Lessig, Mark McKinnon and Kahlil Byrd. Yet other leaders drifted back to No Labels, an Americans-Elect-connected public relations organ funded by billionaire social security privatization advocate Pete Peterson.

Given that Americans Elect is itself a resurrection of Unity08, a prior corporate privatized presidential election effort, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that Americans Elect organizers might resurrect the effort for the 2014 or 2016 election seasons. Now that the Federal Election Commission has released fundraising details for the first half of 2014 for the Mayday PAC and Nick Troiano’s campaign, we can answer two questions:

Question 1. How many financial contributors do the Mayday PAC and the Nick Troiano campaign hold in common?

According to FEC filings for the two groups through June 2014, the Troiano campaign has received money from only 60 individuals who gave enough for their identities to be disclosed. Only 29 of the 60 disclosed contributors (including Nick Troiano himself, his mother, and his father) live in Pennsylvania. In contrast, the Mayday PAC reports 1,485 identified contributors. There is only one person who has contributed to both the Mayday PAC and the Troiano congressional campaign — Republican public relations strategist Mark McKinnon.

Question 2. How reliant are the Mayday PAC and the Nick Troiano campaign on Americans Elect and No Labels leaders for financial support?

The Mayday PAC contains three former Americans Elect leaders in its inner circle — Mark McKinnon, Lawrence Lessig and Kahlil Byrd. McKinnon and Lessig have also donated to the Mayday PAC. No other individuals listed in the leadership of Americans Elect appear to have donated to the MayDay PAC. The Mayday PAC appears at this point to be financially independent of the Americans Elect group.

In contrast, 9 of the 60 identified contributors to Nick Troiano’s congressional campaign are tied to Americans Elect and/or No Labels:

* Robert Bingham, financier and large-scale funder of Americans Elect’s predecessor Unity08
* David Walker, employer of billionaire Pete Peterson, leader of No Labels and failed Americans Elect presidential candidate
* David Albertson, contributor to Americans Elect and member of Americans Elect leadership circle
* Laurence Kotlikoff, supporter of Americans Elect and Americans Elect presidential candidate
* Erskine Bowles, No Labels leader and spokesperson for policy priorities of billionaire Pete Peterson
* Zack Hubbard, Americans Elect intern
* Mark McKinnon, Americans Elect and No Labels leader
* Jake Brewer, Americans Elect employee and spokesperson

4 more of the identified contributors to Nick Troiano are participants in the broader “centrist” pro-corporate, anti-social-program network of groups supported by the billionaire No Labels’ funder Pete Peterson:

* Morgan Ryan, organizer of the Common Sense Coalition, a group that billed itself as a successor to Americans Elect
* Brian Edelman, in leadership of Run For America, a political corporation taking up the Americans Elect mantle in selecting congressional candidates to fund in 2014
* Phil LaRue, organizer of the New Democrat Coalition, a group of Congressional Democrats who articulate a desire to vote for Republican-lite policies
* Timothy Pagliara, head of a Pete-Peterson-funded group pushing for Peterson-favored budget plans also spoken for by Erskine Bowles

In short, while the Mayday PAC appears financially untethered from the Americans Elect/No Labels/Pete Peterson policy network, congressional candidate Nick Troiano appears to remain enmeshed in it.

2 thoughts on “Nick Troiano, the Mayday PAC, Americans Elect, No Labels and the Peterson Network: Connections?”

  1. Elliot S. says:

    This is a very interesting post but I don’t know if I agree with the conclusion. You asked, “How reliant [is]… the Nick Troiano campaign on Americans Elect and No Labels leaders for financial support?”

    You listed the figure that 13 of Troiano’s 60 itemized contributors are connected to sketchy “centrist” causes, but this doesn’t actually seem like very much. And there’s no way of saying that Troiano is “reliant” on these contributions unless we know how much they gave.

    I took the liberty of calculating what percentage of Troiano’s total donations came from these 13 donors, based on his July FEC report. Here’s what I found:

    From the first list: RB donated $250; DW donated $500; DA donated $500; LK donated $250; EB donated $500; ZH donated $250; MM donated $1800; JB donated $250. All in all, $4,300 from people connected to Americans Elect and No Labels.
    From the second list: RM donated $2000, BE donated $550, PL donated $300, and TP donated $500. All in all, $3350 from the second list.

    It seems as if Troiano has only taken $7,650 from individuals connected to the Americans Elect and the Peterson policy world; seeing as he’s received $82,474 in total contributions, this seems like a pretty small drop in the bucket — certainly not enough to say that he’s “reliant on” or “enmeshed in” these interests.

    Plus, Troiano has kept his pledge not to take any money from PACs, which is pretty darn admirable and you didn’t give any credit for.

    1. Jim Cook says:

      Fair enough; making a conclusion certainly is a judgment call and we differ in our judgments.

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