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."
Leading AECorp declared candidate Buddy Roemer provides us with a unique test-bed on which to evaluate AECorp's claim. In this election cycle Buddy has been, first, a declared Republican candidate (through February 22, 2012) and then, most recently, a declared Americans Elect Corporation candidate (from February 23rd through today). His candidacy thus provides us with a wealth of authoritative and comparative campaign finance data to draw upon for our analysis, courtesy of his legally mandated and publicly accessible filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
Cranking Buddy's FEC numbers, we first find that Americans Elect Corporation definitely does get the big money out of politics, but maybe not in a good way (see the figure below; click to view an enlarged version).
But donations don't win elections -- spending wins elections. So the next chart, below, analyzes the Roemer campaign's FEC-reported expenditures per vote earned, both as a Republican and as an AE, and puts these into context by comparing them with the expenditures per vote of the entire Republican field in the Florida primary.
as of March 31st) had earned 1,289 support votes at AE, a spend of $47 per AECorp vote earned. To lend some perspective to these numbers, the right-hand bar in the chart above illustrates the entire Republican field's expenditures in the Florida primary (as reported by ABC News): just $8.50 per voter. Thus, at least when looked at from a bang-per-buck perspective, Roemer has been spending like a drunken sailor both as a Republican and as an AE.
As of today (May 4) no other declared AECorp candidates' campaign finance reports are yet available on the FEC web site, so we can't really compare AE Roemer's spending to that of his rivals. But given that Roemer's AECorp spend-per-vote is clearly astronomical (compared to conventional Republican politicians, who are not exactly penny-pinchers), we won't be surprised to learn, in a few weeks, that AE Roemer is massively out-spending his AE rivals. He is able to do this because, thanks to his failed Republican run, his campaign entered the AE sweepstakes with money in the bank ($41,000 to be precise), whereas we're willing to bet that AECorp candidates such as true independents Michealene Risley and Laurence Kotlikoff launched their AECorp bids with little more than the lunch money they had in their pockets the day they declared. More importantly -- and likewise thanks to his failure as a Republican -- Roemer is the only declared candidate qualified to receive Federal campaign funding; he has hoovered up $285,000 of it since February 1st of this year. Your tax dollars, uniquely at work for AECorp's Buddy.
'Big money' is a relative term. It doesn't have to mean "billions." Forty-one large...or certainly two hundred and eighty-five large...can look like big money to a field of competitors who, between them, don't have two nickels to rub together. Buddy Roemer got into his first place position at Americans Elect Corporation the old-fashioned way: he bought it.
So does Americans Elect get the big money out of politics? Well, yes -- in the sense of being the kiss of death for a candidate's fund-raising efforts, as the case of Buddy Roemer clearly demonstrates. And, no -- not in the sense of preventing candidates from throwing fistfuls of dollars at handfuls of voters, if they happen to have the bucks.