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.

Let’s briefly review. Americans Elect is indeed a corporation, not a party, incorporated in Washington, D.C. It is founded, owned, led (with an iron fist) and bankrolled by billionaire Peter Ackerman, whose vast fortune derives in part from his service as a leader at the now defunct Wall Street investment firm of Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he served as a lieutenant to convicted felon Michael Milken during the famed 1980s ‘junk bond’ scandal which nearly destroyed the entire American savings and loan industry.

OK, so Buddy’s in bed with a billionaire who has an unsavory past. So what? It’s not too much to hope that the billionaire had his Road To Damascus moment and is now a civic-minded corruption-fighter in his own right, is it?

Yes, it is. But don’t take our word for it. Ask the Center for Investigative Reporting’s  CaliforniaWatch, which has mapped in exquisite detail Ackerman’s more recent deviations from the path of righteousness, including:

·      A $150 million personal tax shelter rejected by the United States Tax Court in 2005.
·      A “questionable, self-serving” $2.6 million tax deduction in 2009 (also rejected).
·      Ackerman’s unsuccessful 2003 bid to sue the California Franchise Tax Board to recover $5 million in state taxes.
·      Ackerman’s attorney’s 2005 effort to introduce a bill which would change California tax law, which a Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee analysis determined “appeared to solely benefit Ackerman, at a cost of $5 million to the state.”

Someone should tell Buddy about the unseemly reputation of his new best friend, quick, before it tarnishes Roemer himself! But alas, someone has; in fact, lots of someones have. He just doesn’t seem to care.

For example, in a recent online exchange in which we ourselves asked Roemer, on Facebook, about the questionable characters he has cast his lot with at Americans Elect, Buddy replied:

“I don't agree with your baseless concerns. My staff and I have met with AE's chairman [Peter Ackerman], executive leadership and board of directors numerous times and I can tell you their heart is in the right place. Peter Ackerman is a good man and I do not buy into the rumors. Their board is made up of well-respected CEOs, former Governors and Senators and Congressmen who are fed up with the partisan gridlock and corruption. These are decent people and some of them I call friends.”

Interesting, isn’t it, how the billionaire puppet-master who supports and enables your candidacy is so much better a person than are all those billionaire puppet-masters who won’t give you the time of day? Documented transgressions, matters of public record, recorded history, all become mere “rumors”, which Buddy feels free to “not buy into,” somewhat reminiscent of a Holocaust denier.

Interesting, too, how once you’ve taken that first tiny step which inexorably leads to sleeping with the enemy, the truth becomes, shall we say, fungible. Buddy’s assertion that Americans Elect’s board is made up of “well-respected CEOs” is simply wrong. There is one CEO on AECorp’s board of directors – the CEO of Americans Elect itself (who hardly counts). Ditto his assertion that the board is likewise composed of “Senators and Congressmen.” There are no senators, no congresspersons, past or present, on AECorp’s board of directors, and there never have been.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Buddy is just making this shit up. He’s in denial. He wants to believe – or rather, he needs to seem to believe – that Americans Elect is led by fine, respected, civic-minded public servants, and so he believes.

And once you start down that slippery slope, it never ends. Bad becomes good, wrong becomes right, and even a corruption-fighter can become...well...corrupted.

On March 28th at 1:44 PM, Roemer hit a new low in his slick slide to Hell when he sent from his personal Twitter account the following tweet:

“Support @BuddyRoemer on @AmericansElect, tells us why you did it by e-mailing joshua.chavers@buddyroemer.com & receive a free piece of swag”

The only way to ‘support’ a candidate on Americans Elect’s web site right now is to vote for him in the ongoing first-round ballot, so what Buddy appears to be offering here is swag for votes. That, we suggest, is called vote-buying, one of the most heinous forms of electioneering, and a Federal crime as well as a crime in each of the fifty states. An interesting approach to battling corruption, to say the least. When we called him on this on his Facebook page was he contrite? Did he reflect upon his sins and ask for a do-over? Did he at least have the decency to blame it on an unnamed overeager intern?

Nope. What Buddy offered in reply was “Give me a friggin break and get over it!” Apparently we hit a nerve.

Embracing a billionaire puppet-master. Making up fantasy-friends. Offering swag for votes. When a once-good man climbs into bed with the Bad Guys, anything can (and will) happen next.

Our gripe isn’t with Buddy. We once actually kind-of respected him. Our gripe is with Americans Elect Corporation, and what it does, so actively and with such apparent zest, to cheapen and degrade democracy, as witnessed by the way it has cheapened and degraded Gov. Roemer. And all that embarrassment for much less than a handful of silver, as Roemer's Americans Elect campaign is going nowhere fast.

Save Buddy Roemer's soul. Reform Americans Elect before it’s too late by signing our reform petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/americans-elect-make-americans-elect-a-model-of-the-reform-it-seeks


  1. It would have been great if Roemer could have made his campaign without these guys. He had a good message.


  2. I don't like these Americans Select guys much but I think you're being unfair. Buddy tried every way he could to get his campaign message out but the MSM and republican crazies shut him out. He did what he had to do.

  3. Signed the petition! Thanks for getting the word out about these creeps.

  4. Lately it seems like every third word out of Buddy's mouth is "friggin". Not sure whether he just thinks this is an endearing man-of-the-people-ism or whether he's about to snap. Either way, its just sad. Old white guy candidates should try to not sound like crazy old men.

  5. Funny how your smear does not mention all the good he has done for Louisiana. Oh wait thats not smear. You forgot to mention how he refused his benefits from congress when he left and forgot to mention that he didn't take his benefits from Louisiana after he was Governor either. So smear all you want OBAMA supporters cause that's who you are! How is that hope and change workin for ya?? Obama is an EPIC FAILURE!!! who cant run on his merits!!! And it looks like you got a lot of signatures on change. org

  6. Buddy Roemer has adopted a technique often used by political demagogues. He relies on the dissatisfaction of the American public toward politics and politicians. His strategy is to attack everyone in politics and the whole system in order to present himself as someone different — an honest politician.

    Mr. Roemer’s trick is to blame all the faults of American politics on the excessive money that is raised and spent on political campaigns. Although this problem has existed for decades and there are other problems that are even more important now, almost everyone agrees that the huge cost of political campaigns is an issue. It is a political position that is not disputed, so Mr. Roemer can safely use it as his central theme without being challenged. That is like betting the sun will rise tomorrow. He can’t lose. (See the 1987 NY Times article about Buddy, cited below, where he says he uses his poker technique in politics). He claims the system is corrupt and all other politicians are corrupted. He is betting that because he is so effective at stating this problem, the public will assume that he is the one and only solution.

    The real question is not whether there should be campaign finance reform, as Buddy harangues with convincing ferocity. The question is whether Buddy is the man who will fix it. To answer that question, we need to look at his history to learn if he really was as good a congressman and governor as he claims.

    Many people accept everything Buddy says about himself as true (as I did). That is a dangerous assumption when dealing with a politician. Let’s look at the record. Independent, objective, and reliable historians and journalists have shown Buddy Roemer to be an exceptionally effective public speaker who is not averse to fabricating the truth to make his point, but is an incompetent disaster when holding public office. Roemer has to be the worst public official that I have ever studied. I thought I was a critical, intelligent voter, but even I was, for a time, fooled by Roemer's fancy talk.

    If you will read the citations below, you will see that I am not making this stuff up.

    Most of the things Buddy says about his past are false. See this web page and the comments showing that he obtained a reputation in Louisiana as a liar who did it because he enjoyed seeing if he could get away with it.

    That reputation continues to today, as shown by this article written by a political journalist on Louisiana’s leading newspaper, who jibes Mr. Roemer for his current exaggerations and falsehoods:

    A PPP poll of Louisiana voters, just released, shows that here in his own home state, he has the worst rating of any candidate for president. Two out of three of the people who know him best have an unfavorable opinion of him. (28% favorable, 56% unfavorable). Twenty years after he last held office, he is still Louisiana’s UNfavorite son. See http://race42012.com/2012/03/23/poll-watch-ppp-d-louisiana-2012-republican-primary-survey/

    Roemer says he is an honest politician who cannot be bought. However, his actions speak with greater honesty than his words. After failing in the Republican primaries, he switched to the nomination of Americans Elect because he wants to be bought.

  7. Roemer talks against corruption and argues for transparency, then seeks the AE nomination, effectively using AE’s $20 million financed by unknown donors to launch his campaign.

    Roemer did the same thing in the past. In 1991 he was such a bad governor that he could not hope to be re-elected as a Democrat, so he cut a deal with the Republican party to switch to Republican if they would finance his campaign. See this history:

    In 1987 he won election because he could mesmerize the crowd with his preacher-like talk condemning corrupt politics. But once elected, he did not have a clue how to govern. His personality is that of a loner, a curmudgeon, damning the world with such passion and skill using his “Buddy Talk.” See this fascinating history as to how he struggled to try to figure out what to do as governor. The author tried to make a flattering story about Roemer, but you can see as you read it that Roemer is a strange, unbalanced person who has no ability to serve in any high public office. http://www.hamiltonmixon.com/Ballad.pdf

    Raymond D. Strother, a professional political consultant who was hired by Roemer to guide his last successful campaign in 1987 calls Roemer “a misfit.”

    Buddy Roemer turned out to be one of the worst governors in Louisiana history. He could not get along with people. He could not put together a competent staff. He lacked the political common sense and ability to pass legislation. He did not work hard and seemed to love the adoration of his campaign followers but had no ability to govern. To see Buddy’s ineffective record as governor and congressman look at this excellent history of Louisiana’s governors, pages 259-268:

    As a congressman he was inept. He chaired no committees and did not author any significant legislation. His only accomplishment in Congress was that he won money at poker. Yes, he was a convincing bluffer.
    A NY Times article from 1987 describes Mr. Roemer’s record as a poker player, his only achievement in his eight years in Congress.

    Mr. Roemer says his primary communication style as President will be to resume his successful poker career. Note his statement in this article, the fourth paragraph from the end, beginning with “If elected,”:
    He says he “would emphasize listening and working in a bipartisan way, through poker games.” Incredible!

    Recently Roemer admitted that when he was a Congressman he hardly did any work. Instead, he spent his time either playing or thinking about Fantasy Baseball (when he was not playing poker). See this video at 1:24 to 1:49

    Americans have been deceived by slick politicians in the past. Let’s try to investigate what candidates have done rather than gullibly accept what they say. Buddy Roemer will not withstand that scrutiny.


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