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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 09:26 AM
Original message
New Threat? For DU Investigation: "Americans Elect"
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 09:33 AM by snot
While looking into the #f@ckyouwashington phenomenon, I came across a tweet touting a new organization called "Americans Elect" (http://www.americanselect.org / ). The org's website offers,

Americans Elect is harnessing the power of the Internet to ask every single voter one simple question: who would you nominate in 2012?

You choose the issues.
You choose the candidates.
You nominate the ticket.
And the winner will be on the 2012 ballot in every state.

(More at the link above.) Today I came across this:

The money behind Americans Elect understands disruptive business models. The groups founder, entrepreneur Peter Ackerman (father of Elliot), started FreshDirect.com, which has upended the New York grocery business by letting customers order food and basics online, delivered straight from a warehouse. He and some 50 other initial donors have loaned the organization $20 million, out of an eventual $30 million budgeted, to be repaid if small donors join on. (Their eventual goal: No single individual will give more than $10,000. The group does not accept donations from PACs, political parties, or industry associations.)
third party election

A bunch of political prospolitically homeless, in the words of Michael Arno, the California-based political consultant overseeing Americans Elects national ballot accesshave signed on. CEO Kalil Byrd is a Republican who served as communications director for Democrat Deval Patricks victorious gubernatorial campaign in Massachusetts. Senior political adviser and pollster Doug Schoen worked for President Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg (and often polls for Newsweek/The Daily Beast). An impressive board of tri-partisan advisers ranges from former FBI Director William H. Webster to former CEO of Hallmark Irvine Hockaday to the dean of Tufts' Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Stephen W. Bosworth.

* * * * *

Skeptics, of course, can have a field day with this techno-utopian political fantasy. Casting aside technical hurdles regarding the systems security and integrity (We've taken measures stronger than banks and brokerage firms in the financial industry, says designer Joshua S. Levine, who cut his professional teeth as chief technical officer and chief operating officer of E*Trade), theres the even more daunting prospect of getting on the ballots, when neither Democrats nor Republicans want them to succeed. In Kansas, after submitting twice the necessary number of signatures, Americans Elect was initially denied a ballot line because 60 of the 30,000 signatures came from outside the specified six-month timeframea decision that was later overruled.

And thats all before the candidate-selection process, and the chance that an organized faction could hijack the process, delivering the nomination to a charismatic joke candidate (think Donald Trump).

(More at http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/07/22/americ... ; emphasis supplied.)

I'm not familiar with the named individuals involved, but I think we should find out more about this organization, fast.

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. I note, among other things,
that this would seem to ensure there will be a third party candidate likely to draw votes from Obama. While I'm deeply disappointed in the Prez, I'm not keen on oligargic initiatives to draw off middle-of-the-road voters, if that's what this is.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. Saw a web ad over the weekend
that used Alan Grayson's image. Didn't click on it, and didn't think he would be involved. :shrug:
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. There might be an opportunity to game the system.
Suppose, for example, that this organization nominated a centrist Republican, someone not comfortable with the extreme rightward lurch of the Republican Party (maybe a Giuliani type or a Snowe/Collins type). Such a candidacy might attract votes primarily from lifelong Republicans who don't like the Romney/Perry ticket (or whatever) but who can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat.

Alternatively, suppose that the organization is taken over by Tea Partiers who feel excluded by the mainstream Republican establishment. Perhaps they (with help from a few false-front liberals, heh heh) could nominate someone like Bachmann or Roy Moore -- a Nader of the right.

If either of those things happens, the practical effect would be a big boost to Obama's re-election.

I'm a progressive who's very disappointed with Obama. Nevertheless, I certainly agree that a third-party candidate attacking him from the left would be a disaster.
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Jim Lane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Incidentally, Friedman wrote a column about it over the weekend.
"Make Way for the Radical Center"

According to him, they're about to submit 1.6 million signatures to get on the ballot in California. With no candidate and no clear ideology, they couldn't have motivated volunteers to get those sigs, so they must have paid them -- indicating that there is indeed some serious money behind this.
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. Doug Schoen is a good key to the nature of this group
Edited on Mon Jul-25-11 02:38 PM by starroute
And I've quoted at length because I think it's really important to understand what's happening here.

http://www.openleft.com/diary/9625 /

Nov 02, 2008

Doug Schoen is the DLC-affiliated pollster for Republicans like Mike Bloomberg - the guy who bashes progressive organizations from the right, the genius strategist who makes his name on perpetually telling Democrats to capitulate to Republicans on major issues. . . .

He says a Democratic victory on Tuesday will mean no mandate for Democratic policies, even while admitting an Obama election would be "a wholsale rejection" of conservatism. That's like saying the 1980 election was a rejection of liberalism, but not an embrace of conservatism - an assertion that no pollster would ever make without expecting to be laughed at. In our (unfortunately) binary politics, referendum elections like this year's by definition couple rejection of one party and ideology with the embrace of another party and ideology.

Schoen knows all this - and so his column is yet another preemptive effort to claim that a Democratic victory on Tuesday obviously - self-evidently! - means America is more conservative than ever.


http://www.newshounds.us/2009/08/15/fox_news_democratic...

Is Doug Schoen really a Democrat? Even Sean Hannity wondered during the Sleep-In Sunday Panel segment on last night's (8/14/09) Hannity show. Schoen, purportedly the lone Democrat among three conservatives, barely had a good word to say for what was supposed to be his own side and repeatedly joined in the partisan attacks coming from the others. . . .

But Schoen wasnt through attacking Democrats. He went on to agree with Hannitys distorted account that Democrats have been calling town house protesters "Nazis" and "mobsters." It is tragic, Schoen said, instead of correcting the record about what Democrats have actually said and the way they have been demonized on Fox. He continued, Its un-American to engage in that kind of division and hate. Cause we all are Americans and we all want to work together to solve problems.


http://www.newshounds.us/2010/01/02/doug_schoen_the_fox...

I previously wrote about what a Democratic wanker Doug Schoen is. But for his jaw-dropping appearance on Hannity on 12/18/09, in which he enthusiastically joined every single Republican talking point and failed to rebut the smears leveled at what was supposed to be his own side, Schoen has taken the cake for Democratic Wankers. . . .

Schoen started by giving props to Andrew Breitbart for his anti-ACORN videos. ... Schoen exclaimed with gusto that the undercover videos, made by conservative activists with their own issues regarding truth, are changing the face of politics because what people are learning is that they cant get away with the kind of outrageous behavior that has been part of politics as usual. . . .

Next, after Breitbart went on a tear against the so-called liberal media, Schoen took a gratuitous slap at the Obama administration for criticizing Fox News as an arm of the GOP. Given the extraordinary audience that you (Hannity) command, that Fox News commands, its not acceptable or rational to sort of say This isnt journalism or news, as the White House has said. Its just bad judgment.


http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/10/07/...

Oct 7, 2010

Famed "Democratic" pollster Doug Schoen can commonly be found on Fox News explaining that Democrats are bad and wrong. Sometimes he writes op-eds with fellow "Democrat" Pat Caddell about how awful and disappointing Barack Obama is because of his constant race-baiting and class warfare. (And sometimes he writes, for Fox, that the Democratic party needs a "bold, centrist agenda that focuses on fiscal discipline ." Also Barack Obama's next chief of staff should have "tires fo the business community.")

Obviously, as a longtime, prominent Democrat, Doug Schoen is doing everything he can to help out in the upcoming midterm elections. For example: He's a special guest at a fundraiser for a congressional candidate from New York this Sunday. The candidate is Republican John Gomez. As Media Matters reports, Gomez may not be a Democrat, but he's a part of Schoen's real family: Fox News.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

Opinion | One and done: To be a great president, Obama should not seek reelection in 2012

By Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell
Sunday, November 14, 2010

If the president goes down the reelection road, we are guaranteed two years of political gridlock at a time when we can ill afford it. But by explicitly saying he will be a one-term president, Obama can deliver on his central campaign promise of 2008, draining the poison from our culture of polarization and ending the resentment and division that have eroded our national identity and common purpose.

We do not come to this conclusion lightly. But it is clear, we believe, that the president has largely lost the consent of the governed. The midterm elections were effectively a referendum on the Obama presidency. And even if it was not an endorsement of a Republican vision for America, the drubbing the Democrats took was certainly a vote of no confidence in Obama and his party. The president has almost no credibility left with Republicans and little with independents. . . .

Obama can restore the promise of the election by forging a government of national unity, welcoming business leaders, Republicans and independents into the fold.

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thanks; this is very helpful! I think we need to get word out warning about this org.
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-25-11 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
7. BEWARE VOTING FOR ANYTHING OVER THE INTERNET. (Yes I'm shouting.)

With online voting, there's no transparency. No auditability. No accountability.

The "results" of voting in this so-called online convention can be manipulated in whatever way the organizers desire them to. As can any other form of voting online.

I can't shout this loudly enough: NO INTERNET VOTING (it is paperless electronic voting on steroids, or worse.)

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