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.

The finish line continued to recede into the mist. With the first-round voting period -- Feb. 2 to May 1 -- now 81% complete (indicated by the red dashed line in the graph above), no candidate has accumulated anything like 81% of the qualifying vote numbers required to advance to the second round of balloting. Leader (and undeclared 'fantasy' AECorp candidate) Ron Paul has just 38% of his required qualifying vote total. Leading declared candidate, and very active campaigner, Buddy Roemer has managed to garner only a disheartening 16% of his required vote total. And following behind him, all other declared candidates in our Top-20 list have amassed only a combined 4% of the qualifying votes a single candidate would require to advance. AECorp's 29 declared candidates are the only ones worth seriously considering in any analysis of voting results, since undeclared 'draft' candidates are merely Hamburger Helper names AECorp has added to its web site in a somewhat sad effort to lend imaginary star power to its line-up -- and none of these 'draft' candidates, to our knowledge, has expressed the slightest willingness to be 'drafted' by AECorp. In a particularly telling statistic, only 4 of the 29 actual declared candidates (the starred names in the graph above) have even made it on to our Top-20 list (the cut-off for the list this week being just 0.9% of a candidate's required qualifying votes). Right out of the gate, in its first-round balloting, AECorp has failed very publicly and, we don't doubt, rather discouragingly for AECorp owner/operator and shadowy billionaire Peter Ackerman.

Individual Candidate Highlights:
  • Buddy Roemer: Despite the head start Roemer's failed quest for the Republican nomination and his comparative 'brand name' recognition provided, Roemer's very active campaign continued to flat-line this week. Roemer gained just 119 qualifying votes, down from 177 last week -- the fourth week in a row that his performance failed to beat or even to match the previous week's. We assume that the combined burden of Roemer's recent embarrassing transgressions, including what some feel were blatant efforts to buy votes, has irreversibly tarnished his image among potential new supporters.
  • Rocky Anderson: Self-styled anti-corporatist and progressive Rocky Anderson, past mayor of Salt Lake City and standard-bearer of his own Justice Party, earned naught but groans of derision from his small but once-passionate following when he chose to sleep with the devil by throwing his hat into Americans Elect Corporation's ring in March. Since then his campaign has gone nowhere. It continued that motionless death march this week, with Anderson persuading only 153 Americans to lend him their qualifying votes. Critics have suggested that Americans Elect Corporation was founded on the strategy that its enticing promise of 50-state ballot access, bought and paid for by a shadowy billionaire, would prove irresistible to ethically shaky (and thus infinitely malleable) also-ran presidential wannabes...just about the only part of AECorp's strategy which still looks ingenious. Anderson's fate at AECorp appears to once again affirm the old truism that making a deal with the devil is always a sucker's bet.
  • Laurence Kotlikoff: Boston University economist Kotlikoff continued to cling by his fingernails to our Top-20 list, attracting just 93 new qualifying votes. Kotlikoff might do well to answer our candidates challenge to "fix AECorp first."
  • Michealene Risley: Last week we reported that filmmaker/author/activist Risley had been displaced from her previous 17th-place position on our Top-20 list by an interloper coming out of nowhere, with apparent assistance from AECorp's invisible webmasters. Risley clawed back her 17th-place spot this week with 81 new qualifying votes. She too might be wise to consider accepting our candidates challenge.
Special Mention for David Walker:

Although he is not yet a declared AECorp candidate, Walker's 'draft' candidacy bears close scrutiny. We reported last week that, in an unannounced gambit, AECorp quietly moved candidate Walker's personal goal-posts by upgrading his qualifications from "Other" to "Former Head of a Federal Agency," thus magically slashing by 80% the number of votes Walker would require in order to qualify to advance to the next round (confusing, we know; it's an AE thing). As we mentioned in that report, this would be much ado about nothing except for Walker's membership in AECorp's insiders' ring (its Board of Advisors), the considerable effort the Corporation and its cheerleaders have recently put into talking up a possible Walker run for the Presidency, and the many millions of dollars Walker could bring to bear in support of his run should he choose to, thanks to his apparently bottomless support from the ultra-conservative and fabulously well-endowed Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Walker's claim to be a "Former Head of a Federal Agency" is tenuous at best. He served as head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for nearly a decade as its Comptroller General, but the GAO is a congressional office, not a federal agency. By law, federal agencies are arms of the Executive Branch, not Congress, and have national rule-making and legal enforcement authority, which the GAO does not. A Twitter exchange with Walker we had the pleasure of this past week demonstrates that Walker himself (not merely some invisible AECorp webmaster) supports his questionable representation as a past head of a Federal Agency:

@AETransparency: "Ask @DaveWalkerCAI: do you claim to be the "Former Head of a Federal Agency"?"

@DaveWalkerCAI: "@AETransparency - I headed the U. S, GAO for about 10 years. GAO had over 3K employees. I have also headed two other federal agencies. DW"

@AETransparency: "@DaveWalkerCAI Thanks. So you're saying a congressional office (GAO) is  "a Federal Agency"? You know the definition, right?"

@DaveWalkerCAI: (...crickets...)

Keeping your eyes open for further developments in this intriguing story may be worthwhile.

Check back every Saturday afternoon for updated 'Weakly Voting Highlights,' and follow @AETransparency on Twitter for more breaking AECorp shenanigans news as it happens.


  1. See here for more biographical detail:

    I don't see an indication that David Walker "headed two other federal agencies." I only see an indication that he has worked for the government in two other capacities in advisory or secondary leadership positions.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Walker's pretty sure he worked in an office, and it was in DC. And he has a head. So...

    3. Thanks for pointing this out, Jim. We thought about it, but didn't want to kick Walker while he was already down.

      Seriously, we've been scratching our collective head trying to figure out what the heck Walker was thinking, expanding his already dubious claim of being a former "Head of a Federal Agency" to the even bigger whopper now of having headed no less than THREE Federal Agencies. Go big or go home, maybe. Or else he thinks that an "Agency" is an office with desks and chairs and stationary.

      Or...having never actually worked in a federal agency, he just hasn't had to worry about the definition before.

      We are just yearning for an official Walker candidacy at AECorp. We desperately need new material around here.


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