Through “Level the Playing Field,” Americans Elect Wades into Ranked Choice Voting
During its nine-year history, the privatized-presidential-election corporation called Americans Elect has taken on many names: Americans Elect, Change the Rule, Level the Playing Field, Unity08, Unity12 Task Force. In a post yesterday about the group’s resurrection for 2016, I noted how its recent activity featured a “charitable donation” to a mysterious 501c4 corporation called “The Chamberlain Project” that formed within a month of the formation of “Level the Playing Field” by Americans Elect executives.
Cara McCormick stands at the middle of these circles of activity, serving as a corporate officer for Americans Elect and “Level the Playing Field” and The Chamberlain Project. Cara McCormick’s business Smart Campaigns and “Level the Playing Field” are, according to campaign finance records, the sole monetary contributors to The Chamberlain Project.
According to those same campaign finance records, The Chamberlain Project has spent its money on just one enterprise in Maine — a political one. On November 6 2014, The Chamberlain Project sent $10,000 to Maine’s Committee for Ranked Choice Voting. On December 3 2014, The Chamberlain Project sent another $10,000 to the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting.
The Committee for Ranked Choice Voting did not exist as a registered political group in the Maine campaign finance system until October 28 2014, meaning that it formed just a week before The Chamberlain Project sent it its first infusion of cash. The Chamberlain Project was the single largest contributor to the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting in 2014.
Guess who chipped in an additional $4,000 contribution in cash and more than $1,600 in in-kind support to the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting in Maine on October 29, October 30, and November 1, 2014? Guess who filed the paperwork to establish the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting as a political committee in Maine? And guess who is the Treasurer for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting? It’s just one person, and you already know the name: Cara McCormick.
Why did “Level the Playing Field” send money to a group formed by its officer for the sole purpose of in turn sending money onward to a ranked choice voting advocacy group — a group that was founded on the money it and its officer sent? I don’t know, but I suspect the answer will be interesting. It’s time for me to look up some addresses and see if I can find out. I’ll be sending some letters tomorrow — but in the meantime, the fun of following this money trail has been its own reward.