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
“qualifying” vote is a vote from any of a candidate’s top-ten vote-tally states, since only a candidate’s top ten state totals can qualify him or her for the next round of balloting (according to Americans Elect Corporation’s rules).
·      All candidates remain well off of a winning pace. With the voting period now almost 75% complete (indicated by the dashed red line in the graph),  no candidate has anywhere near 75% of the votes required to qualify him or her for the next round of balloting. And with overall voting activity at Americans Elect flat-lining, it now seems inevitable that no candidate can qualify for the second round unless Americans Elect Corporation insiders move the goal-posts.
·      Ron Paul retains his lead. This despite the fact that Paul is not a declared Americans Elect candidate. But despite the fact that Paul has a commanding lead relative to all other candidates, even his qualifying vote totals aren’t sufficient to gain him a place in the next round of balloting.
·      Buddy Roemer is fading. Despite having every possible advantage, Roemer’s vote-harvest continued to sag this week (just 177 new qualifying votes, down from 200 last week, 257 the week before, and 319 the week before that). The advantages which should be propelling Roemer toward victory (but clearly aren’t) include:
1.     One of the very few professionally-managed campaigns in the AECorp derby
2.     A rigged ‘Candidates’ page on the AECorp web site, which has displayed Roemer at the coveted top-of-first-page position ever since he was merely in fifth place
3.     Increasingly frantic Twittertizing by Roemer supporters to get out the vote, amounting to thousands of campaign message re-tweets per day
4.     Continuing positive national media exposure (unique among AECorp’s declared candidates)
5.     The only AECorp declared candidate who is even close to being a ‘brand name’ on the national scene (thanks to his recently failed Republican nomination bid)

Finally, in a surprising new development this week, undeclared ‘draft’ candidate David Walker skyrocketed out of nowhere (OK, out of 25th place) last week to break into our Top 20 candidate list this week in 17th place, leapfrogging all but three declared candidates. This surprise move had nothing to do with actually winning voter support (Walker gained only a lamentable 8 qualifying votes this week, anemic even by Americans Elect’s standards) and had everything to do with back-room funny business.

How can just 8 votes (out of AECorp’s membership of 400,000+) significantly propel a candidate toward success in the Americans Elect beauty pageant? They can’t, of course. But moving the goal-posts sure can, and that is what transpired this week while you weren’t looking, as AECorp insiders quietly upgraded Walker’s ticket to ride.

The explanation involves a bit of otherwise tedious ‘inside baseball’ detail, but bear with us for a moment; in the end it’s a fascinating story, and ‘Kremlin-watchers’ among us here at AE Transparency suspect it may have just tipped Peter Ackerman’s hand with respect to his strategy for rescuing his Americans Elect Corporation from a humiliating failed first-round ballot.

In AECorp’s rules there are two very different classes of candidates:
·      ‘First-Class’ Candidates (or what AECorp’s rules call “Automatically Qualified” candidates, who it defines as a person having previously served as Vice President, Senator, Member of Congress, Cabinet Member, Head of a federal agency, Governor, Mayor, Chairman or Chief Executive Officer or President of any corporation or nonprofit corporation, President of a national labor union, military officer who has attained flag rank, Ambassador, or President of an American-based university.
·      ‘Coach’ Candidates (what AECorp rules refer to as “Contingently Qualified” candidates). Any candidate who does not meet the above qualifications to be “automatically qualified” is “presumed to be unqualified...unless the Candidate Certification Committee finds that the candidate is capable of competent service as President.”
In AECorp’s distinctly odd vision of democracy, ‘First Class’ and ‘Coach’ candidates must hurdle two very unequal bars. Automatically Qualified candidates must win 1,000 votes in each of 10 states (a total of 10,000 qualifying votes) to advance to the next round of balloting, whereas Contingently Qualified candidates must win 5,000 votes in each of 10 states (50,000 qualifying votes). This is why our weekly voting graph reports candidates’ results as “Percent of required ten-state votes attained,” rather than simply reporting numbers of votes. A First Class candidate with 5,000 ten-state votes and a Coach Class candidate with 25,000 are, oddly enough, tied at 50% of their required totals.

Walker’s major career accomplishment was to head the Government Accountability Office (GAO) as Comptroller General from 1998 to 2008. The GAO is an arm of Congress and is, by law, independent of the Executive Branch, and is thus not a Federal agency, as section 551(1) of title 5 of the U.S. Code and many court decisions have long established. “Congress and the federal courts are expressly excluded from the definition of ‘agency’.” Thus, Walker has never served as “Head of a federal agency,” any more than he has ever served as “Vice President.”

Initially recognizing this, Americans Elect’s Candidate Certification Committee apparently originally classified Walker as a “contingently qualified” candidate, requiring him to net 50,000 qualifying votes to advance to the next round of balloting. Yet sometime during the past week (in the dark of night, perhaps, while we were all asleep?) Walker’s candidacy status on his Americans Elect web page appears to have been quietly changed to “Former Head of a Federal Agency” without any announcement, and his qualifying vote requirement was accordingly reduced from 50,000 to just 10,000. In other words, AECorp generously upgraded Walker’s ticket from coach to first class. Thus Walker (with only 94 qualifying votes) thereby automatically leapt from 25th place – behind contingently qualified declared candidates Michealene Risley (454 qualifying votes) and TJ Ohara (141 qualifying votes) to 17th place (ahead of them both). And with just 11 more votes Walker will surpass contingently qualified declared candidate Laurence Kotlikoff (524 qualifying votes), as well.

[UPDATE: Tip of the hat to Irregular Times' Jim Cook for independently verifying Walker's Easter Week Ascension (He is Risen!), with an able assist from Bing's cache. Complete with before-and-after screenshots. Thanks, Jim!]

All this would be much ado about nothing, but for the fact that David Walker, who has long lobbied for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other safety-net programs, is an Americans Elect Board of Advisors member (i.e., an AECorp insider himself), as well as for the existence of numerous signals over the past few weeks that Walker is a particular favorite of his fellow AECorp insiders. As Jim Cook of Irregular Times has carefully documented, AE insiders Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild and Mark McKinnon (George W. Bush’s former campaign manager) have both sung Walker’s praise as a potential presidential candidate lately, as has apparent AE auxiliary, “No Labels”. AE itself has issued a gushing press release extolling Walker’s virtues, and AE’s cheerleader on the New York Times op-ed page, Thomas Friedman, published a shamelessly flattering column in the Times in February imagining the glories of a Walker presidency. This represents a lot of serious firepower being brought to bear in support of a candidate who has, as yet, persuaded only 94 Americans to give him their qualifying votes at Americans Elect. Strange indeed.

‘Kremlin watchers’ here at AE Transparency (that is, the more paranoid among us) suggest that AECorp’s odd move this week...moving David Walker’s goal-posts by re-defining the term ‘Federal agency’...signals a growing impatience within the Americans Elect penthouse with Buddy Roemer’s now clearly established inability to draw votes (one of the major reasons for AE’s embarrassingly unsuccessful ballot thus far). Casting about for another potential draw (or so the theory goes), insiders have set their last desperate hopes on Walker. All that is required in order to save AE’s disastrous first-round balloting would be for a humble, self-sacrificing Walker to officially declare his candidacy, for AE to once more rev up its powerful publicity machine in his favor (with reliable support from the Times’ Friedman), and – if absolutely necessary – to ever-so-slightly re-jigger the rules just one more time to, say, automatically advance the top three declared candidates (which could soon easily include Walker) to the next round of balloting, whatever their vote totals might be.

Right now, it’s just a theory. But our hawk-eyed election monitors will be closely observing AECorp’s moves in these final weeks of its first-round ballot, looking for further Walker-promoting skullduggery. Maybe you should, too. After all, "Ninety-Four-Vote Dave" Walker might just be the next leader of the free world, if that’s what Ackerman Elects.

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. Ahh...sniff the whiff of Chicago Sulphur!

  2. This is the best article on AE I have read. Thanks for keeping an eye on it. I have been fascinated by AE and still suspect they have a superstar candidate getting ready to announce ...

    1. I have been assured by AE, that there is no superstar candidate. I for one, don't want "business as usual". The sad thing is running a campaign where the MEDIA completely ignores you, is difficult. I have a volunteer staff, we are on GOOGLE campus, and no matter what we do, not a single source of media has agreed to talk to us. By the way, I have talked all over the country, been on major shows...blah blah blah. It's pathetic.

  3. There's actually a better person on AE, an everyday person. An unknown teacher named Jeffrey 'JK" Kelly. He needs votes but he's actually not a professional politician and this is why he should get delegate's support clicks. To read about "The Teachr" copy and paste:

  4. Individual campaigning is 'off-topic' here at AE Transparency. No more, please.

  5. So, part of my challenge has been that MANY of my supporters have been refused access over and over. I assumed that the technology has bugs. Living in Silicon Valley, we are use to repairing bugs in software pretty quickly in real time. Now I am wondering...perhaps there is something different going on. Do you have any REAL data about behind the scenes maneuvering?

    Thank you. Michealene Risley

    1. If only you knew the power of the Light Side, Michealene...

  6. AE Transparency, I want to know. I am here and committed because I do not want to leave this country to my children. So tell me


Join the debate. What's your take on this?