Americans Elect: Where Are They Now?

Jim Cook at Irregular Times:

As you may recall, from 2010 to 2012 the Americans Elect corporation operated an effort to try and elect its own candidate for President of the United States via a privatized selection run by a corporate board. That effort failed dismally despite repeated national promotion due to the lack of interest and support of the American voters. Even as the corporation dissolved, Americans Elect told the country to expect that it would return and attempt to restart its old plan in some new form. But three of the corporation’s leaders show no public inclination to continue the Americans Elect mission.

Where is Americans Elect chairman, founder and primary funder Peter Ackerman? Giving speeches on the Arab Spring and otherwise staying out of sight.

Where is Americans Elect CEO Kahlil Byrd? Jumping ship to StudentsFirst, an advocacy organization promoting public school privatization that just like Americans Elect has been primarily funded by ultrarich private capital players, including (no surprise) Americans Elect player Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg employee and mouthpiece Douglas Schoen is now busy promoting Kahlil Byrd and StudentsFirst.

Where is Americans Elect’s former Secretary and legal adviser, Dan Winslow? Trying to run for a U.S. Senate nomination in the Republican party. He’s also busy defending his work with Americans Elect, with many questions coming from Massachusetts Republicans who wonder why he would work for an effort to elect someone other than a Republican in the 2012 presidential contest. Dan Winslow’s new answer is that he was a Romney supporter through the entire presidential campaign season, and that (in reporter Schira Schoenberg’s paraphrase) “the online nominating process was not meant to hurt Romney, but could have provided Romney with an alternative path to the ballot should Republicans have chosen another candidate.” According to this account, Winslow saw Americans Elect as a backup for Mitt Romney.

20 thoughts on “Americans Elect: Where Are They Now?

  1. Richard Winger

    Americans Elect is still ballot-qualified in nine or ten states, for 2014. It has party status in California, which is extremely hard to obtain. But it will lose that in January 2014 unless its registration rises from the 4,000 it now has, to about 14,000.

  2. Sam Kress

    This was interesting:

    ” Dan Winslow’s new answer is that he was a Romney supporter through the entire presidential campaign season, and that (in reporter Schira Schoenberg’s paraphrase) “the online nominating process was not meant to hurt Romney, but could have provided Romney with an alternative path to the ballot should Republicans have chosen another candidate.” According to this account, Winslow saw Americans Elect as a backup for Mitt Romney.”

  3. George Phillies

    I seem to have heard several guesses about what AE thought they were doing, but Winslow’s claim seems to have been missed by the press last year. Romney could not win as a Republican, and would hardly have done as well this way. Indeed, if the claim had any merit, surely someone would have polled Obama-Santorum-Romney. Did they?

  4. Eric Sundwall

    The only meaningful role for a third party in the American system is protest.

    Ain’t no bite in that dog. Not enough people at Linked-in to cause a fuss.

  5. Melty

    “The only meaningful role for a third party in the American system is protest.”

    I think there’s circular thinking in this. Let x = x.
    The belittling term “third party” certainly puts any upstart party in its place from the get go.

  6. Kimberly Wilder

    The third party strategy is not just for protest. It can be used in a variety of ways. And, some third parties have become the major parties.

    Also, some people have been elected on third party lines. So, that is not just a protest or just a statement.

    Loved the update on Americans Elect and its players. It is great to follow up on organizations that “the powers that be” would like to see fade away or hide in the shadows.

  7. paulie Post author

    The third party strategy is not just for protest.

    I agree. I think it’s plausible that Bloomberg could win in 2016 or 2020.

  8. paulie Post author

    I seem to have heard several guesses about what AE thought they were doing, but Winslow’s claim seems to have been missed by the press last year.

    Myself and possibly Jim Cook and a few others speculated that this may have been what they were up to, but I don’t think there was a public statement like that from one of the ring leaders until now.

    Romney could not win as a Republican, and would hardly have done as well this way. Indeed, if the claim had any merit, surely someone would have polled Obama-Santorum-Romney. Did they?

    It’s possible that a poll was done but never released to the public.

  9. Sam Kress

    Somehow I think AE or some mutant version of the same thing backed by the same people will be back.

  10. Sam Kress

    I’m pretty sure Bloomberg is involved in it, although I don’t know whether that was ever proven for sure.

  11. Eric Sundwall

    Victory is rare, no third party since the Civil War has become “major”.

    “Meaningful role”, not anecdotal occasion. Certainly it is not the role one wants, but the coliseum is a fixed game. Accepting the role of protest is hard for the dreamers . . .

  12. Richard Winger

    No, Mayor Bloomberg was not involved with Americans Elect.

    Romney could have had a strong campaign if he had gone with Americans Elect. He need not have retracted his liberal views on gays and abortion if he had sought the Americans Elect line. Then he wouldn’t have looked like an unprincipled politician. Also he was rich enough to have self-financed a very big campaign. And the many voters in this country who consider themselves independents would have been attracted to someone willing to run against both major parties.

  13. Mark Axinn

    I want to protest.

    I am starting the Protest Sundwall Party.

    Organizational meeting at Eric’s house.

    Beer is on him.

    I expect to see some Bull Mooses and American Independents there too.

    That rent is TOO DAMN HIGH.

  14. Andy

    “15 Richard Winger // Mar 31, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    No, Mayor Bloomberg was not involved with Americans Elect.”

    There were people associated with Bloomberg who were involved with Americans Elect, and they did try to convince him to run for the Americans Elect nomination, but he turned it down.

  15. paulie Post author

    No, Mayor Bloomberg was not involved with Americans Elect.

    Jim Cook’s reporting indicates otherwise. Bloomberg came “out of the closet” with AE in the Angus King financing.

  16. paulie Post author

    That remains to be seen. They promised the Angus King donation would foreshadow a slate of such candidates in 2014, and having proven they can get on the ballot, they might attract the kind of candidate they are looking for in 2016, especially if they have some people in Congress.

    Bloomberg may step out of the shadows and decide that if he wants it done right he’ll have to do it himself.

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