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Mon Jan 2, 2012, 02:00 PM

Americans Elect - Wallstreet insiders would broker 2012 election

My hair is on fire. I've been challenged by some to provide more than one source for my concerns about Americans Elect.
The Americans Elect corporation aims to arrange the election of its own candidates for President and Vice President of the United States. Whats wrong with that? They use internet voting, they keep sources of funding secret, they have a committee that can override the voters choice, ties to the FBI, CIA and Council on Foreign Policy, and AE has plans to broker the 2012 election.

Americans Elect Watch
Jim Cook|Irregular Times
Numerous links to Americans Elect website and AE documents

Americans Elect Responds to Some of Its Internal Democracy Problems
Posted on December 21, 2011 8:19 pm by Rick Hasen, Election Law Blog. Sponsored by UCLA School of Law.

Americans Elect should "1) disclosure of all of their donors; (2) abandoning Internet voting; (3) removing the provisions giving the board-appointed committee the ability to reject an “unbalanced” ticket."choice

Editorial: Americans Elect needs to identify its donors Dec. 21, 2011
Sacramento Bee

AMERICANS ELECT - Third Party Hazy as California Smog
NBC Los Angeles
In effect, Americans Elect is a small, self-selected group that will decide on a list of "qualified" candidates for consideration by the voters. If that isn't manipulative arrogance, it's hard to know what is.

Can Well-Heeled Insiders Create a Populist Third-Party Sensation?
By ALEX ALTMAN. TIME. December 21, 2011
...“If the candidate of Americans Elect were to play a key role in determining the outcome of the 2012 election using secret money to finance their candidate, that would be an extraordinary scandal.”

Its Web-based nominating process has raised additional questions. Though Americans can pay bills and swap stocks online, experts say online voting is susceptible to skulduggery.
Skeptics are also wary of the powers the group has reserved for itself. The group’s bylaws entrust an appointed group of advisers — known as the “candidate-certification committee” — with deciding whether candidates who don’t automatically qualify for inclusion on the ballot are eligible for nomination.

Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2011/12/21/americans-elect-can-a-well-heeled-group-of-insiders-create-a-populist-third-party-sensation/

“The slick shtick of Americans Elect; Just what Americans yearn for: A high-tech presidential ticket funded by secret Wall Street money”
Justin Elliott. Salon. December 9, 2011
Here’s what the group is not so upfront about: It’s fueled by millions of dollars of secret money, there is a group of wealthy, well-connected board members who have control over Americans Elect’s nominating process, and the group has myriad links to Wall Street.”

The Truth Behind Americans Elect, An Our Oregon Series
A new Astroturf third party effort, funded by hedge fund millionaires, has landed in Oregon. Americans Elect is paying for signature gathering in Oregon to become recognized as a political party.

Unfortunately, the media’s reporting on Americans Elect has been uncritical, failing to ask any important questions of the shadowy group. Here’s Our Oregon’s series on the organization, exposing who’s behind them, how they operate, and what they want to accomplish.

Part I. Americans Elect: The Truth Behind the Corporate Scheme to Swipe the 2012 Election
Part II. A Shell Game Designed to Block Real Democratic Participation
Part III. Who's Behind the Astroturf Organization
Part IV. Paying Big Money for Signatures
Part V. What Do a Handful of Hedge Fund Millionaires Want?

Americans Elect 2012

Americans Elect: On the Ballot in California, and Still Hush-Hush About Its Dark Money
Siddhartha Mahanta| Mother Jones |Wed Dec. 21, 2011

Buddy Roemer Throws In His Lot With Americans Elect -- Which Is A Huge Mistake
Jason Linkins. Huffington Post. 12/01/2011
On the matter of money in politics, Buddy Roemer and Americans Elect are at cross-purposes.

Let's recall that Buddy Roemer has been adamant in his support for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and smash cut to the people who are behind Americans Elect, who are essentially a bunch of hedge fund managers and lobbyists:
Pretty much a bunch of dyed-in-the-wool one percenters. But we've only begun to examine the extent to which Americans Elect stifles Roemer's advocacy of Occupy Wall Street.
And the co-chairs of Americans Elect's Rules Committee? Meet Tom Sansonetti and Chris Arterton. The former is a coal industry/casino lobbyist and the latter is a funder of Joe Lieberman's Reuniting Our Country PAC. Per the Roemer campaign, these are the sorts of people who are destroying the country.
But in terms of Roemer's political identity, using Americans Elect as a solution to his problem is like prescribing pancreatic cancer to cure the flu. They don't share his values and they won't support his positions.

Meet the Political Reform Group That's Fueled by Dark Money
Americans Elect says it wants to reform the political system. Campaign watchdogs say it should start by reforming itself.
—By Siddhartha Mahanta | Fri Nov. 18, 201

A democracy deficit at Americans Elect?
Salon. By RICHARD HASEN | 11/9/11
Campaign finance reformers have already condemned Americans Elect for switching its organizational status under the Tax Code from political organization to 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. This change allows an organization to shield its donors.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/67965.html

Founder of Americans Elect used tax shelter scheme
Will Evans. California Watch. July 29, 2011
The businessman behind an ambitious effort to field an alternative, nonpartisan presidential candidate has paid millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties for his part in an alleged tax shelter scheme, records and interviews show.
The 2005 tax court opinion [PDF] found that Ackerman and his business partner had shifted $1.7 billion in tax losses from European banks to a California company.
Ackerman also fought another tax dispute in California stemming from his work in Beverly Hills as a top aide to former “junk bond king” Michael Milken in the 1980s.
Ackerman’s lawyer at the time also hired a Sacramento lobbyist to get a bill introduced that would change state tax law. A Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee analysis noted that the bill, introduced in 2005 by state Sen. Bob Dutton, R–Rancho Cucamonga, appeared to solely benefit Ackerman, at a cost of $5 million to the state. The bill went nowhere.

Americans Elect: Can an Internet-Powered 3rd Party Transform 2012?
BY MICAH L. SIFRY |TECH President| Monday, July 25 2011
Unfortunately, I have severe doubts about the prospects of Americans Elect being that party. Why? First, because it isn't being transparent about its funding. Second, because control of the party isn't genuinely vested in its members. Third, because it's not being truthful with the public about its political agenda. Instead, I think Americans Elect could actually be a devilishly brilliant leveraged buyout of our broken electoral system that could have the perverse effect of reinforcing the same brain-dead politics we already have.

Americans Elect Makes Plans to Broker the 2012 Presidential Election
JIM COOK | Irregular Times| 7/21/2011

Americans Elect: A new political party that isn’t
By Greg Lucas | Capitol Weekly| 04/21/11
“They’re very secretive,” said Richard Winger, the long-time publisher of Ballot Access News. “I found out about their petition drive independent of them.”

Americans Elect, which became a 501(c) 4 corporation in September, can be as secretive as it wishes. As a 501(c) 4 it is not required to report who its contributors are.
However, prior to becoming a 501(c) 4, the group was required to divulge it's sources of income.

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Reply Americans Elect - Wallstreet insiders would broker 2012 election (Original post)
WillYourVoteBCounted Jan 2012 OP
Bill Bored Jan 2012 #1
4dharma53 Jan 2012 #2
snot Feb 2012 #3
jordanpg May 2012 #4

Response to WillYourVoteBCounted (Original post)

Wed Jan 4, 2012, 03:55 AM

1. Why not post this in GD, or whatever the new place-to-be is on DU? nt

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Response to WillYourVoteBCounted (Original post)

Thu Jan 19, 2012, 10:40 AM

2. Follow the money

Initially when I stumbled across this site I was excited that it might be a way to voice my concerns and be heard. However, this is just another arm of the GOP backed by Wall Street. Just another way they to steal the election, especially if their attempts at voter repression does not succeed. Bankers and hedge fund managers are running this show and are trying to keep America an Ologarchy. BEWARE, follow the money.

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Response to WillYourVoteBCounted (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 10:39 AM

3. K&R'd & Bookmarked.

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Response to WillYourVoteBCounted (Original post)

Tue May 1, 2012, 12:28 AM

4. Practicality?

Is it possible that Eliot and Peter Ackerman are well-meaning and that their apparent recalcitrance to reveal their sources of funding are a function of the reality on the ground? In other words, it's all well and good to propose a system for upending the bipartisan gridlock, but something has to pay for it. Maybe their hands are tied?

The Wikimedia foundation has $24M in revenues, and lists 3 donors who give >$1M:


One of the three is "anonymous donors." I realize that Wikipedia and Americans Elect are not the same thing, but is the lack of disclosure problematic in this case?

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