Third Parties

Americans Elect: Don't Give Up!


As Americans Elect, the attempt at a internet-based third party, fails to meet its own stated standards for demonstrated public support for its would-be candidates and tries to punk out (after winning coveted and hard-to-get ballot access in at least 29 states), some would be candidates are pissed, reports California Watch:

Complaining that the group's leadership hasn't listened to the membership, the insurgents are pushing for Americans Elect to forge ahead. They don't want the $35 million the group raised to get on the ballot in 29 states, including California, to go to waste.

Involved in the effort is a Bay Area activist and filmmaker who ran for the Americans Elect nomination and came in third place, after former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson. Michealene Risley, a resident of Woodside in San Mateo County, said she was shocked when she heard – via press release – that Americans Elect was shutting down the nomination process….

Americans Elect had bulldozed through the tremendous hurdles alternative parties face in getting on ballots, gathering more than a million signatures to become the first new official party in California since 1995. But in its announcement last week, Americans Elect explained that its rules mandated an end to the process because no candidate achieved the "national support threshold" necessary to enter its online convention in June.

Roemer, for example, needed 10,000 supporters among those who registered as Americans Elect delegates online, but he came up with only 6,293. Risley and Anderson needed to collect 50,000 supporters – more than Roemer because they didn't have high-level political experience….. 

Americans Elect always faced long odds in its quest to field a viable, centrist presidential candidate who would shake things up. The group also drew criticism for not disclosing the donors who bankrolled the effort. In a previous story, California Watch found that one of the main funders, board Chairman Peter Ackerman, once had to pay millions of dollars in delinquent taxes and penalties for an alleged tax shelter scheme.

"They haven't been the most transparent group from the outset," Anderson said. "Nobody really knows how the rules were set from the beginning or how Americans Elect has been financed."…

Risley said the group's top-down decisionmaking "feels like more of the same" instead of an alternative to the traditional two parties.

Given their insistence on a transpartisan "centrist" choice, it never really promised to be anything but more of the same, alas. A fascinating experiment in conquering ballot access restrictions, though. I only wish people would throw money at such problems with a better idea than "transpartisan centrist." Of course, if they followed their own rules and enough people cared to meet their numerical triggers, any number of interesting things might have happened. Alas, they did not.

Guess who is number one in the Americans Elect "draft" with more than twice as many picks as his nearest competitor, GOP also-ran Jon Huntsman? Ron Paul, subject of my new book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.

Past Americans Elect blogging from me here and here.

NEXT: QQ Rhode Island Noobs: You Paid $75 Million for Failed Game Company

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  1. “Americans Elect always faced long odds in its quest to field a viable, centrist presidential candidate who would shake things up”

    Uh, what?
    Them’s some long odds from the get go!

    1. Yeah, wouldn’t a centrist candidate just keep going with the status quo? Seems like both big parties are happy with it.

      1. A “centrist” Pres candidate: Midway between Obama and Obama-light!
        Hell, you’d have to pry ’em apart with a crowbar to squeeze somebody in between.

  2. I must give you props, Doherty. This was an extraordinarily elegant and subtle setup to pimp your book.

    1. The choice of image was brilliant too. This was one of the best non-rant posts I have seen in a while.

    2. Thanks Brandon and Hugh. I won’t even ask if you’ve bought the book.

      1. I bought it and read it, and I didn’t see any mention of Ron Paul’s centrist credentials. You’ll have to correct that oversight when the paperback comes out.

      2. It is waiting eagerly on my nook. I was going to come down and see you at Book Soup on Tuesday, but y’know, stuff.

        There was a stack of copies on the shelf at BN tonight, so I went ahead and faced them for you. Let it never be said that I don’t contribute to the movement.

    3. I never made it that far and wouldn’t have noticed the book plug if you didn’t mention it. I found the aticle to be completly uninteresting.

  3. Did someone write a bo-….nah. Too old.

  4. I couldn’t possibly imagine a worse slate of candidates than what Americans Elect would foist upon us. I’d take the OWS crowd before I’d vote for these establishment schleps.

    1. Maybe No Labels could come up with something worse, but I’m not sure.

      1. Frum? Brooks? Yeah, I’m thinking the bottom of the barrel. OWS Party would likely give us a Jello Biafra/Tom Morello ticket.

        1. And honestly, I’m pretty sure Biafra would be much better than R Money or the Kenyan. Having police run for election on their beats alone would be worth the price of admission.

  5. We don’t need a new centrist party. We just need Democrats to stop treating reasonable economic policies as if it were ridiculous, and we need the Republicans to stop treating issues like gay marriage and immigration as if they were somehow more important than taxes and spending.

    1. “We just need Democrats to stop treating reasonable economic policies as if it were ridiculous”

      Gutting the new deal and ‘trickle down’ is reasonable?

      1. Gutting both the New Deal and the policies of “trickle down” sounds good to me

      2. About a million light years to go before you even approach sensible, slaver.

  6. after former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer and former Salt Lake City
    Mayor Rocky Anderson.”

    Buddy…Rocky… If they could field a third candidate named Nipsy, I’d donate money to the organization.

  7. I never even thought about it like that. WOw.

  8. OT: The new old Gay DC Superhero is apparently…the Green Lantern that no one cares about. And used to have kids.

    I guess it makes sense since making Wonder Woman a lesbian would be implying that strong women are lesbians, Batman would get raise troublesome implications with his relationship with Robin and Superman being gay would mean retconning out his relationship with Lois.

    1. As a kid, I just assumed super heroes had no wieners or pussies and that is why they had all that free time to fight crime, guest in each others books, and form groups dedicated to simultaneously fight an entirely different set of villains in a different part of the galaxy then in their own main books. Here is looking at you Wolverine. Fighting the Shi’ar Imperium with Scot and Jean, going toe to toe with Sabertooth while trashing Warren’s penthouse, and making sweet love to Kitty Pride in Japan as she is possessed by the demon spirit of your dead wife in the same month, I don’t fucking think so.

      1. different part of the galaxy then in their own main books.

        Hey! I corrected that squirrels. What are you doing to me you little nutgrabbers?

    2. Aquaman is obviously gay, now that I think about it.

      1. Seam’n

      2. What about Mera?

  9. Gotta ask Richard Winger what’s gonna happen to the ballot lines in states where they’ve already petitioned for them.

  10. OT: but…..



  11. She’s dead…oh, you mean Rand Paul. This would be Mittens attempt to pander even more to the Cultural Conservatives he needs to win in November.


  12. Hey, if the Ron Paul supporters can almost take over the Republican Party, they should be able to OWN Americans Elect, and get Ron Paul on the ballot in November…

  13. Hey, the Free State Project didn’t let failing to get their 20,000 signees in the first 5 years stop them….

    1. Now at 11,814… I wonder how many of those will still honor their pledge when the other 8,186 sign up.

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