Saturday, November 3, 2012

Beltway Urchins: AECorp Alumni Who Still Can't Shoot Straight

Like their big brothers, the notorious Beltway Bandits (but considerably younger, and much less savvy), a small clutch of Junior League political hacks, whom we like to think of as 'beltway urchins,' wander the streets of DC searching for special interest groups with two nickels to rub together and a pressing need for some youthful-looking front men. Call them The Millenials That Couldn't Shoot Straight, if you will. You'll find them wherever an old-rich-white-guys' DC gambit is in need of a bit of a Youth Movement patina. Hey, it's a living.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

When Did Angus King's Campaign Chairman Part Ways With Americans Elect? Pick a Date, Any Date....

AE Transparency has uncovered factual discrepancies between official Americans Elect (AE) documents which raise new questions in the growing controversy surrounding the organization's involvement in the the U.S. Senate campaign of Maine's ex-governor, independent Angus King.

King's campaign became entangled in controversy last week with the appearance of $1.75 million worth of advertising on Maine television promoting his senate bid, produced and paid for by the  tax-exempt "social welfare" organization, Americans Elect. The ads prompted Maine's Republican Party to file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, arguing that they reflected "illegal coordinated spending practices" between the King campaign and Americans Elect, because Eliot Cutler, King's campaign chairman, was  a member of Americans Elect's board of directors.

Last Friday, Americans Elect released a copy of Cutler's letter of resignation from Americans Elect's board, dated and "effective the close of business on June 26, 2012". But an Americans Elect filing submitted to and posted on the web site of South Dakota's Secretary of State includes an AE board resolution, executed June 23/24 2012, which states in part "the undersigned, being all of the members of the Board of Directors of Americans Elect," and does not include the name or signature of Eliot Cutler among those signatories.

In short, Cutler's resignation letter declares that he was a member of AE's board through June 26th, 2012, whereas AE's South Dakota filing declares that he was not. At least one of these two statements must therefore be false.

A three-day discrepancy in the date of Cutler's resignation from Americans Elect's board does not, in itself, contradict AE spokesperson Ileana Wachtel's claim that "Eliot Cutler...resigned...before any expenditure was made or before any funds were raised [in support of King's campaign]." But it is yet another in a growing list of inconsistencies in AE's story, casting more doubt on the veracity of its claimed timeline of events. As recently as October 5th of this year AE's one-page web site listed Cutler as a member of its board of directors (the page was modified on October 6th to declare Cutler a "former" member). Over the past two weeks AE has therefore asserted no fewer than three different dates as of which Cutler no longer served on its board: June 23, June 26, and October 5, 2012. Which -- if any -- of these assertions is true will be a central issue in determining the merit of the complaint now before the Federal Election Commission charging Angus King and Americans Elect with illegal coordinated spending practices.

Throughout its brief troubled life, Americans Elect has established a pattern of behavior (documented throughout this blog) of issuing statements which, most generously, might be declared to be half-truths, and in the extreme are provably false -- such as the assertion in its 2010 IRS Form 990 filing that "Americans Elect does not and will not support or oppose any candidate or candidate committee" [emphasis added]. We believe that this pattern of behavior makes it unwise to rely upon the truth of any statement made by Americans Elect which has not been verified by extensive forensic analysis.

We call upon Americans Elect's founder and chairman, Peter Ackerman, to submit Cutler's alleged  resignation letter to legal authorities for independent laboratory analysis to determine its actual creation date.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Profiles In Courage, Revisited: Meet Americans Elect's John H. Burbank III

With the reincarnation of Americans Elect Corporation as a de facto SuperPAC (reported by us and others), we are once again receiving emails echoing the Cassidian cry, "Who are those guys?" Among the rogues' gallery of players we previously chronicled in our series, Profiles In Courage: The Affiliations AECorp Insiders Don't Want To Talk About, only one, founder and sugar-daddy Peter Ackerman, is on record as staying with the morally sinking ship which is AECorp. But this month's AE filing with the Federal Election Commission introduces one new insider (New York mayor Michael Bloomberg) and one old insider we have not previously profiled: Passport Capital founder, John H Burbank III.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Americans Elect Declares War On Democracy; Maine's Angus King Smiles

[UPDATED - Maine voters curious to know what sort of company Angus King is keeping with his new friends at Americans Elect should read here: Profiles In Courage: The Affiliations AECorp Insiders Don't Want to Talk About]


On October 5th, Americans Elect filed Form 5 (Report of Independent Expenditures Made and Contributions Received) with the Federal Election Commission, bringing into sharp focus the new face of the old scam which once claimed to be a non-partisan (sic) online presidential nominating convention. We have more than once panned Americans Elect as "Ackerman Selects" on this blog, in honor of its founder and sugar-daddy, ethically-challenged Wall Street tycoon Peter Ackerman. While much has changed since AECorp summarily shut down its online nomination process and locked out its 'delegates' on May 17th of this year, one thing remains the same: Peter Ackerman still elects to throw the 2012 election in whatever direction he damn well wants to. But joining him now in this quixotic and vaguely sociopathic quest is an even more notable...and perhaps surprising...Wall Street tycoon, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. A synopsis of the events behind this latest twist in Americans Elect's Never-Ending Story follows below.

According to its October 5th FEC filing Ackerman, joined by hizzoner Bloomberg and fellow tycoon John Burbank (founder of Passport Capital), donated a total of $1.75 million to Americans Elect between August 8th and October 4th of this year (respectively $500K, $500K, and $750K). This bankroll was immediately turned around to survey, plan, and execute a massive partisan advertising campaign in support of the Senate bid of Maine's ex-governor, Angus King (independent), with expenses including:
  • $150,000 to notorious hired-gun pollster (and long-time AECorp insider) Douglas Schoen for "polling and research"
  • $50,000 to Schoen for "production planning/strategy"
  • $120,470 to SKD Knickerbocker LLC for "ad production" and "media consulting"
  • $412,250 to Maine television stations WABI, WAGM - CBS, WAGM - FOX, WCSH, WFVX, WGME, WLBZ, WMTW, WPFO, and WVII for "television advertising - media placement"
As fellow AECorp-watcher Jim Cook reported last week, the resulting 'vote for King' TV ads, over Americans Elect's name, began running in Maine on October 5th.

The beneficiary of this largesse, Senate candidate Angus King, back in June of this year bemoaned the influence of outside money on Maine's election: "This money is distorting our politics and it is largely anonymous. Sen. John McCain referred to the way it all works as, ‘identity laundering’ — where you can’t really tell who is making these enormous contributions to people’s campaigns,” King said. “I think it is also this flow of money that has contributed to the public cynicism and distrust of government."

However, since this tsunami of outside cash crashed over his Republican opponent's head last week, the King campaign has come to see things differently. "We did not know about this ad nor did we ask for it," King's spokeswoman, Crystal Canney, said in a written statement. "[The King campaign] will not unilaterally disarm. The time has passed when this money could have been kept out of Maine."

So how does Americans Elect rationalize its sudden metamorphosis from a "grassroots" organization intended to empower independent voters, into yet another entitled cabal of wealthy donors seeking to steer elections in whatever direction they personally desire? It doesn't even try. Americans Elect's hired mouthpiece, attorney Daniel Winslow (yet another original AECorp insider) told the Boston Globe: “As Maine goes, so goes the country. The country and Mainers are hungry for problem-solving, independent candidates running for important offices. “If [AECorp's King's Gambit] is successful, Americans Elect will participate in the upcoming election cycle to develop 3, 5, or 10 more Angus Kings representing an independent caucus to bridge the divide between the partisan extremes, to turn the tide of gridlock in Washington, and to put us onto a course of government the American people want and deserve.”

The problem with AECorp's old strategy was that while "the country [is] hungry for problem-solving independent candidates," it nonetheless proved to be the case that the country -- as represented by Americans Elect's delegates in its online nominating convention -- proved not to be hungry for precisely those candidates which Pete Ackerman and his henchmen personally favored. So it was necessary to destroy the village (the old AECorp) to save it. AE now retreats back to the time-tested cynical strategy of simply enabling a few ultra-rich individuals to throw wads of money around  influencing elections, thus handily side-stepping the problem of the inherent untidiness of actual democracy.

We here at AE Transparency have been in the business of predicting AECorp's future ever since its appearance on the national stage, with (we blush to admit) uncanny accuracy. Here's our prediction for the rest of AE's future. The Corporation will indeed, as Winslow has warned us, throw tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in the next election cycle into promoting the candidacies of its hand-picked favorite 'independents', with increasingly visible participation by Mike Bloomberg. This cycle's King's Gambit is merely a test-drive. Then, with this coterie of nominally independent (but financially dependent) sycophants in its pocket, doing its bidding (for how else could they be re-elected?) and aping its words, AECorp will go after its long-sought brass ring: putting Bloomberg himself in the White House in 2016.

In short, Ackerman Selects has simply abandoned the short con, in favor of the long con.

If this is not a future for American democracy which appeals to you, we encourage you to look at the big picture and to vote AGAINST any candidate who permits him- or herself to be supported by Americans Elect (Angus King in Maine) or Mike Bloomberg (Massachusetts senate incumbent Scott Brown). Only by sending a clear message to politicians that Ackerman/Bloomberg's Americans Elect is radioactive can we effectively oppose its further gaming of the democratic process. Candidates who are merely innocent bystanders and who  might otherwise suffer collateral damage from Americans Elect's interference can easily defend and redeem themselves, and their campaigns, by simply coming out and loudly proclaiming their unequivocal opposition to Americans Elect's schemes. We eagerly await such messages from candidates Angus King and Scott Brown.

Vote FOR democracy. Vote AGAINST Americans Elect.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Americans Elect: Still Crazy After All These Years

Perhaps you thought, as we did, too, that with the failure of Americans Elect's online primary earlier this year (chronicled throughout this blog's previous posts) that AECorp was finally consigned to a tawdry little footnote in American politics...but no. Apparently AECorp's founder, Peter Ackerman, meant what he said when he took down AE's $40 million web site and replaced it with a single page ominously warning us "See You in 2013!" Except it turns out that Pete couldn't wait even that long to meddle once more in the democratic process in a morally (and legally) questionable manner.

As always, Irregular Times' cub reporter, Jim Cook, broke the story yesterday: television ads are now appearing in Maine over the Americans Elect name, explicitly promoting the Senate campaign of Maine's ex-governor, independent Angus King. Subsequently Politico revealed that this ad buy, totaling $1.75 million, was funded by six-figure donations from AECorp's founder (and sole remaining official?) Pete Ackerman, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (Ackerman's clubhouse chum and unindicted co-conspirator in waiting), and fellow Titan of Finance John Burbank (founder of Passport Capital).

The fly in the ointment is that such explicit political advertising in support of a named candidate is in direct contradiction of AECorp's long-prized tax exempt status as a 501(c)(4) "civic welfare" organization. With the airing of this ad, Americans Elect has transformed itself into a political action committee (PAC). There's just one teensy tiny problem: AECorp appears to have forgotten to register itself as a PAC with the Federal Election Commission first.

Oops.

In response to this eyebrow-raising activity, yesterday the Republican Party of Maine filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, accusing Americans Elect Corporation of "illegal coordinated spending practices." While we are not election law experts, we find the GOP's argument compelling: AECorp certainly appears to now be functioning as an illegal unregistered PAC, in flagrant violation of Federal law. This leaves us wondering whether AECorp is still attempting to maintain 501(c)(4) tax- (and scrutiny-) exempt status, as well? Have some more cake, Pete (and eat it too)?

Man, you just can't make this stuff up.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Obituary: Americans Elect Corporation (2010-2012)

Americans Elect Corporation passed quietly last night, May 17, 2012, in its Washington D.C. penthouse bunker. It is survived by its loving father, Wall Street tycoon Peter Ackerman, its half-brother, COO Elliot Ackerman, and its faithful man-servant Arno Political Consultants, estimated to have pocketed $10 million in its loyal service to AE as ballot access procurer.

A private service will be held today at an undisclosed location. The family requests that memorial donations be directed to the Republican National Committee.

Requests for refunds of donations made to AE may be inserted in any convenient body orifice.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

VICTORY OVER PLUTOCRACY DAY! (Or Is It?)

In a statement just published by Americans Elect Corporation, AE states: "yada, yada, yada...The primary process for the Americans Elect nomination has come to an end...yada, yada, yada."

AECorp has thrown in the towel. Or has it?

Let's face it; we don't trust the guys behind Americans Elect. Never have. Never will. Does the quote above mean that the nomination process has come to an end (i.e., there will be no nominee), along with the primary process? Remember that the AECorp Board of Directors has "extraordinary authority and power to take or compel any action"...including awarding the nomination by fiat. We can't actually imagine they'd be stupid enough to do that...but then, we have never yet imagined in advance the idiocies AECorp's now-stringless puppetmasters have conceived over and over again.

We'll keep watching AECorp's corpse. We'll let you know if it twitches. And if it does, we'll be the first to pump a few more rounds into it.

Our sincerest thanks and congratulations to our thousands of concerned and vigilant readers, our nearly 1,000 Twitter followers who did so much to help us get the word out, and most especially to the Father of AE Watchers, Jim Cook of Irregular Times. Democracy thanks you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Publication of AECorp's 2011 IRS Form 990 Is Now Overdue. What's It Hiding?

Americans Elect Corporation has avenues available to it to delay the legally-required public release of its 2011 IRS Form 990 until after it has awarded its nomination, and potentially until after the November election...either way, far too late to be useful to voters. And so, predictably, AECorp is stonewalling our repeated email requests for a copy of its 2011 Form 990 -- a document which will shed considerable sunlight on its dark finances.

Don't let Americans Elect hide its money trail from voters. We have a right to know about the money behind AECorp, and AE has a legal obligation to provide that information by publicly releasing its IRS Form 990 upon request. Let AE know you're watching, and you care: write kahlil.byrd@americanselect.org requesting a copy of AECorp's 2011 Form 990 filing, and please cc us at aewatch@gmail.com. Thanks!

Learn more about the revealing nature of a non-profit's Form 990 filing here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

For the First Time Admitting Failure, AECorp Descends Into Bald-Faced Lies

From top: AECorp Chair Ackerman & CEO Byrd

Faced with one ballot failure after another, early this morning Americans Elect Corporation's Chief Evasion Officer, Kahlil Byrd, published the following statement on the AECorp web site, which we will dissect here:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Our Endorsement For The Americans Elect Presidential Nomination


AE Transparency was founded one year ago today, with a strict commitment to impartiality. Our job was, and remains, to observe Americans Elect Corporation, to report its misdeeds, to commend its good deeds (more on that should we ever detect any), and to press it by all means necessary to reform and thus to become the transparent, democratic institution we all wish it was. And that commitment has thus far barred us from endorsing any Americans Elect candidate.

But no more. After a heated day-long Editorial Board meeting here high atop the palatial AE Transparency Tower...a meeting involving considerable cosmetic but, fortunately, only minor structural damage...our Board (or, at least, its surviving membership) has determined that now is the time for us to cast aside our non-partisan heritage and take a stand.

Weakly Voting at Americans Elect: Slow-Death Overtime Edition

The first-round 'support click' voting period at Americans Elect Corporation is now 112% complete...we think. Really, no one knows any more, as AECorp continues to send conflicting messages regarding the re-re-scheduled date of the upcoming first primary round, as well as the date on which the current round actually ends. Apparently, this round's voting will end only when AECorp owner/operator Peter Ackerman damn well says it's over...perhaps sometime in 2013. The standing joke here in AE Transparency's palatial penthouse tower is "Peter Ackerman says 'you'll keep voting until you get it right!'"

Ersatz 'voting' at Americans Elect Corporation now appears to have lost whatever pretense of legitimacy it may once have had, given the corporation's recent string of disastrous flubs including canceled ballots, yet more canceled ballots, compulsive violations of the rules, and ballot-rigging shenanigans. Therefore we really see no point in commenting in detail on this week's faux voting results, except to note that:
  • Nothing happened, again this week. All declared candidates (affectionately know as 'stage props' here at AE Transparency), and all draft campaigns (AKA 'innocent bystanders'), are losing simultaneously -- which may be a first in the history of voting. 
  • Insiders' favorite and AECorp Chosen One, peek-a-boo candidate David Walker, made no noteworthy progress again this week.
  • In the latest of an increasingly desperate series of efforts to look presidential, this week Buddy Roemer attempted unsuccessfully to stir interest in his campaign's vice presidential selection process...thus putting the cart several time zones ahead of the horse. 
  • We express our sincerest gratitude to recently declared candidate, Stuart Hillman, for displacing white supremacist Merlin Miller from our top-ten declared candidates list. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fast & Loose: How Americans Elect Scoffs at the Rules

The ideal form of governance has been a subject of heated debate since antiquity. For example, while Plato advocated a benevolent monarchy, ruled by an idealized Philosopher King who was above the law, Aristotle argued instead that "It is more proper that law should govern than any one of the citizens" Or, as Samuel Rutherford avowed in 1644: "Lex rex" (the Law is the King), the reverse of the more medieval  notion, "Rex lex" (the King is the Law).

We had thought that this argument had long since been definitively decided, at least in Western democracies, squarely on the side of "the rule of Law, not of Man."

Then along came Americans Elect Corporation, whose owner/operator, Wall Street billionaire Peter Ackerman, has demonstrated throughout his remarkable career that he is a law unto himself.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

With Failures Rapidly Mounting, What Is Americans Elect's End-Game?

Having now been forced to cancel two primary ballots in a row due to the American electorate's utter failure to respond to its spiel, Americans Elect may now be judged by any rational observer of the political scene to be an abject failure, and dead in the water. So what happens now?

AE Speaks, Claims May 15 Ballot Now Canceled, Too

BULLETIN (7:40 AM ET, May 9): We have just spoken with Americans Elect press secretary Ileana Wachtel regarding the passing of the yet-again failed May 8th deadline for support clicks and its impact on the scheduled May 15 primary vote at AE. In a terse statement Wachtel said: "We're still waiting for the candidates to get their clicks by the 15th." In response to our question regarding whether that means  the May 15 ballot is now canceled too she replied, "Yes, because they didn't get their clicks."

Wachtel assured us that an announcement to this effect is available on the Americans Elect web site, but could not direct us to the page. As of this time we are unable to locate that announcement.

UPDATE (8:00 AM ET, May 10): As of this time, Americans Elect still has posted no notice on its web site, has issued no press release, nor has it notified delegates via email regarding the expiration of the May 8 deadline for support clicks to qualify for its previously-scheduled (and now canceled, according to press secretary Wachtel) May 15 first-round primary ballot. We wonder what kind of 'democratic' organization would simply refuse to communicate with its own members?

UPDATE #2 (7:30 AM ET, May 11): Still no public acknowledgement from Americans Elect Corporation, and likewise no retraction from Wachtel of her May 9 statement that the May 15 vote has been canceled. AE's 'Caucus' web page still indicates the first 'caucus' round of voting will be held on May 15. If so, Americans Elect will be in violation of its own Pre-Election Convention Rule 3.2.2, which provides that candidates "...shall demonstrate public support of the Candidate by Delegate Support Clicks on the Website 7 days before any Primary Ballot on which the Candidate seeks to be considered, to provide sufficient time for a Candidate Certification Committee review prior to the first Primary Ballot."

We encourage readers who are curious to know exactly when the first primary voting round will be held, and what the 'support click' deadline is/was for that round, to direct their questions to AECorp CEO Kahlil Byrd at kahlil.byrd@americanselect.org

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ackerman Wrecks: The Tragi-Comedy of Americans Elect Corporation Continues

With no candidates qualified to advance to its first-of-three primary ballot (originally scheduled for May 8), last week Americans Elect canceled the May 8 ballot, allowing candidates an additional week to gain the needed support clicks to qualify for its second (May 15) ballot.

The deadline for support clicks to qualify candidates for that May 15 ballot expired at 12:00:00 AM this morning (Tuesday, May 8). As expected, the story remains unchanged: no candidate has qualified to advance to the next round.

As of 7:30 AM ET on May 9, Americans Elect has issued no comment, nor has it presented any disaster recovery plan. Our calls to AECorp press secretary Ileana Wachtel have not been returned.

UPDATE (7:40 AM ET, May 9): We have just spoken with AECorp press secretary Ileana Wachtel, who provided surprising news discussed in our latest post.

Personally, we suggest Americans Elect should next try holding a raffle to award its nomination. Proceeds from ticket sales could be used to defray AECorp owner/operator Peter Ackerman's expenses.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

This Weak's Voting At Americans Elect: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Edition

Feeling like Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day, we have spent the past nine weeks collecting and analyzing 'weakly' voting data from Americans Elect's long-running first-round ballot for its nominee for President, only to observe every week that the vote was going nowhere and that we were fast running out of fresh synonyms for 'fail':
  • 3/31/12: "Voter participation continued to disappoint as Americans elected to ignore this..."
  • 4/07/12: "...no candidate can qualify for the second round...."
  • 4/14/12: "Voter turnout...was anemic again this week...."
  • 4/21/12: "...disinterested voters continue to fail to vote...."
  • 4/27/12: "...we project the winner will be (...drum-roll...): no one"
So it came as no surprise when the clock struck midnight on May 1 this week -- the appointed end of first-round voting -- and all of AECorp's 489 declared and draft candidates simultaneously turned into pumpkins, with none in possession of the failrly modest number of votes required by the rules in order to advance to the next round ballot.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Does Americans Elect "Get Big Money Out of Politics"?

A big part of Americans Elect Corporation's self-proclaimed value proposition is that, by providing 'non-partisan' 50-state ballot access plus a digital megaphone for candidates who do not wish to align with either of the two conventional parties, it provides a means to take the 'big money' out of politics. Provided, that is, that one ignores the 'big money' pumped into Americans Elect itself. It's a nice idea, and a bold claim. But does it hold up under scrutiny?

Up to this point no one could really answer that question...there were simply no hard data available with which to test the hypothesis. But now, for the first time, we have some solid (although admittedly still sparse) data, and the answer is: "sorta, but sorta not, and definitely not in a good way."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

First-Round Voting Deadline Passes At Americans Elect; May 8 Primary "Cancelled"

The deadline for candidate 'support clicks' at Americans Elect Corporation was midnight last night (May 1), according to both its official Pre-Election Convention Rules and their online summary. That deadline came, and went, ten hours ago as we write. But as yet there is not hardly a peep from Americans Elect noting this significant (and, we guess, embarrassing) event in its short but troubled life.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Stronger Weak of Voting At Americans Elect, And The Winner Is...


As first-round voting approaches its close (on May 1st), Americans Elect Corporation managed to log a record-setting week, harvesting 1,707 qualifying votes for its Top 20 candidates (see graph). This was the highest weekly vote tally we have observed since we began vote-tracking in early March, although not by much, and not nearly a strong enough performance to change the story we have been reporting here week after week. With the voting period now 97% complete, no declared candidate has even 25% of the qualifying votes required to advance to the next round. And so we project the winner of the first Americans Elect ballot will be (...drum-roll...): no one.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Take A Byte Out of Plutocracy: Withdraw Your Support Clicks (Here's How)

If you're like us, when you first learned about Americans Elect you were excited. "At last," you thought, "somebody gets it!" Online voting holds tremendous promise to engage voters and to enhance democracy. And a third party with no partisan baggage, and with 50-state ballot access, could really kick some politics-as-usual butt inside the Beltway.

So you went online. You signed up as an Americans Elect member. You ran the gauntlet of questions about your nephew's high school mascot in order to get your identity verified. And you voted for your favorite candidates.

And then...too late...you realized that you'd been chumped.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What To Look For In Americans Elect Corporation's Upcoming IRS Form 990

 "Follow the money. Always follow the money," has been the First Law of political science since long before Deep Throat thus advised Bob Woodward in the 1976 classic, All The President's Men. Alas, miscreants know that too, and they have a powerful armamentarium at their disposal with which to cover their money's tracks. But there is one thing which stands forthrightly between organizations such as Americans Elect Corporation and the invisibility they crave: the Internal Revenue Service's Form 990. So here follows a brief tutorial on what to look for in AECorp's upcoming 2011 Form 990 filing, and how to find it. Over the next 20 days we'll outline one new tip every few days regarding how to read AECorp's tea leaves when it de-cloaks on May 15th(?).

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Americans Elect Corporation Weakly Voting Highlights for 4/21/12

With just ten days left in the months-long ordeal that is Americans Elect Corporation's first-round ballot, the big picture remains as it has since Day 1: disinterested voters continue to fail to vote in sufficient numbers to advance any candidate to the second-round ballot. As the graph above illustrates, no candidate has achieved even half the number of qualifying votes required to stay on pace. But the fix is in, and that may be good news for these poor campaigners.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Americans Elect Giving Up On The Whole Intertubes Thing, Admits It's Too Complicated For Them


A central aspect of Americans Elect's value proposition is its implementation of what we like to call 'digital democracy', also known as 'online voting' -- empowering voters to record their electoral choices via the internet, with all the benefits you might imagine that innovation would offer in the way of enhanced voter participation. In fact, we would guess that that is one of AECorp's biggest attractions, particularly for the youthful demographic it works so hard to target. As every American corporation today understands, if you cater to the youth market and you're not online with fully internet-enabled transactional capabilities, you're just not in the game. Hence our surprise to learn today that Americans Elect Corporation has apparently given up on this whole intertubes thing, at least as far as one critical aspect of its operation is concerned.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

'Weakly' Americans Elect Voting Highlights for 4/14/12

Voter turnout for the first-round ballot at Americans Elect Corporation was anemic again this week, with just 921 qualifying votes (out of AECorp's 400,000+ recorded 'members') logged for the Top-20 'candidates' we track in our weekly analysis. This result is, however, up from last week's record low turnout (just 829 qualifying votes), largely on the strength of AECorp's too-little too-late new get-out-the-vote initiative (an email advising members "It only takes a few minutes, and if you get verified today, you'll be entered to win a free gift from us to you!" We're hoping the "free gift" is a shiny new toaster. Given the preponderance of billionaire Wall Streeters and other Titans of Finance among AECorp insiders this hardly seems like too much to ask.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Road-Testing Americans Elect's Declared Candidates: Try Before You Buy

Inspired by a brief Twitter exchange yesterday with AECorp declared candidate TJ O'Hara, we have laid down (via Twitter and email, and herewith) this sensible challenge to all of Americans Elect's leading declared candidates: What will you do, as individual candidates or (better) collectively, to demand and actually achieve immediate reform of Americans Elect Corporation?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

‘Weakly’ Voting Highlights For Americans Elect (4/7/12)


[UPDATE: For our most recent 'Weakly Voting Highlights' click here]

Many of the results encapsulated in this week’s graph are now old news (that is, little different from the week before), but bear with us: one highly curious event this week, also discussed below, just may telegraph a  new disaster-recovery strategy emerging from Americans Elect’s penthouse.

But first, to recap the more obvious highlights:
·      Voting activity continued to slump, with just 829 qualifying votes recorded this week for the top 20 ‘candidates’, down from last week’s already poor showing of 1,165. In our analysis, a

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Push-Polling 101: Americans Elect's Platform of Questions Answer Themselves (So You Don't Have To)


Like the old joke about Unitarians burning a question mark in your front yard, Americans Elect has plenty of questions, but no answers. Or does it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Buddy Roemer's Slippery Slope Into Bed With Americans Elect


Never mind that Buddy Roemer has tried on as many political parties as Newt Gingrich has wives. What really counts in a presidential candidate isn’t party affiliation, but rather what he or she stands for. Because if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Or...maybe not. If Gov. Roemer’s current Americans Elect dating game demonstrates anything at all, it is that one can, in fact, stand for something and still fall for anything.

In his own words (or, at least, his campaign web site’s) Roemer is “committed to fighting the corrupting influences in Wall Street and Washington,” stands firm against “billionaires buying an election,” stands up against the “special interests” and “the corrupting influence of money in politics.”

So what do you do if you’re a hard-scrabble corruption-fighting reformer whom the other less ethical candidates and their billionaire backers have (at least in your view) systematically squeezed out of the debate, and out of the running? Why, you find yourself the very last billionaire in America who doesn’t yet have a date for the prom, and you jump into bed with him. You declare your candidacy with Peter Ackerman’s pet ‘party’, Americans Elect Corporation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Americans Elect: Do Cheap Clicks Cheapen Picks?


Friction: the force of Nature we all love to hate. It restricts your gas mileage, gives you rug burns, wears away at all your beloved possessions turning them to dust. And yet, friction is also the force which makes it possible for us to move forward, instead of just spinning our wheels.