Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Dark Money: "Americans Elect" Wants to Pick Candidates Via Internet Voting

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-21-11 08:36 PM
Original message
Dark Money: "Americans Elect" Wants to Pick Candidates Via Internet Voting

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

An upstart political reform group called Americans Elect is looking to blow apart the Democrat-Republican duopoly that dominates American politics. Its imaginative scheme: nominating an independent presidential candidate over the internet. The group is on the ballot in a half-dozen states, and the national buzz surrounding its initiative is growingbut so too are the questions about who's bankrolling this effort and the security of the outfit's voting procedures.

Americans Elect rose from the ashes of Unity08, a group formed in 2006 to increase access to the electoral system for independent presidential candidates. Via Americans Elect's website, registered voters can sign up as "delegates" and nominate "any American believe can be a great leader."


To become certified as a political party, the group must first collect a certain number of signatures in each state. All told, Americans Elect plans to spend $10 million on this effort.


In September, campaign finance watchdogs Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center requested that the IRS investigate whether Americans Elect and several other 501(c)(4)s qualify for tax-exempt status. Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, says that Americans Elect is functioning like a political party, making it ineligible for tax exemption. "A political party cannot be a social-welfare organization under our tax laws," Wertheimer says. "The danger to the integrity of the electoral system is the failure to disclose their donors, which is essential information in our political process."


The source of Americans Elect's money is not the only cause for concern. Pamela Smith, president of, a voters' advocacy group, questions the group's reliance on internet voting. Smith and other election experts argue that it is insecure and exceedingly difficult to audit.


Based on what Americans Elect officials have told her in a series of conversations, Smith remains unconvinced that they have brought on the right people and the right technology to implement a transparent, easily audited internet voting system. "If you allow it to be used in public elections without assurance that the results are verifiably accurate, that is an extraordinary and unnecessary risk to democracy," she says.

Refresh | +6 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
1. Americans Elect sounds a little like "No Labels"...
The main political dynamic in this country is various shades of the Far Right vs. the "Center," the latter characterized by eschewing "labels" (re: philosophies, beliefs, positions, policies). The dynamic WILL change in methodology as the Koch brothers consolidate Right Wing sites and other organizations into some kind of cyber-central institution, and Americans Elect try a centrist approach. Both efforts are pro-corporate and hostile to anything resembling the "left."

What remains to be seen is whether OWS can become a true point of philosophical opposition, and not be left behind in the "techno race."
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 01:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. Charlie Rose interview about this tonight
Edited on Sat Nov-26-11 01:21 AM by Dover

Watching Charlie Rose tonight interview two guys about the third party American Elect.
Interesting that they won't reveal where the seed money that financed this organization came from.
Charlie tried to get to the bottom of that a few times and they would not spill it.
Charlie Rose (video available tomorrow)

Americans Elect

Based on what I've learned so far, I'm personally in agreement with this statement by Albert Hunt who wrote about this in late July. However I think the needed
changes may take a very long time and in the end look nothing like the government we now have. What those steps will be I don't know.

The most basic problem, one that often afflicts such movements, is that its top down; find a charismatic presidential candidate and all flows from there.
If fundamental change is the purpose, the emphasis instead should be on a bottom-up approach to building local candidates and grassroots infrastructure that subsequently could wage a serious presidential run.

Furthermore, unless the unreliable e-voting machines are tossed out by ALL political parties, the system has no hope of renewing trust in the system.

Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-01-11 03:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thank you Dear Leader! ;) nt
Edited on Thu Dec-01-11 03:09 AM by Bill Bored
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. "American Idol" redux
I think I read about this being in our future in Toffler's book, Third Wave. I guess these guys are treating it as a guidebook.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 04:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sourcewatch has a list of those involved on their board and leadership
There's a Rothschild in the mix...not too surprising.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
zacherystaylor Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-06-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
6. Advertising heavily right here
Americans Elect's is currently advertising heavily right here in fact when I down loaded this and most things today that is what is turning up.

Also for more info see this string:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Apr 23rd 2024, 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC