Americans Elect Will Cleanup Politics With Secret Donations, an Issue-free Platform, and Magical Thinking
With Congress enjoying record-low approval ratings and Washington seemingly unable to cope with the challenges of a sputtering economy, many have suggested the time is ripe for reforming the political process. The Senate could reduce the number of veto-points in our political system by eliminating the filibuster. Or Congress could pass campaign finance reform in response to the Citizens United ruling.
Or, an amorphous third-party group could combine the civility and policy insight of random Internet commenters with the democratic influence of secret hedge fund donors to run a candidate for president…
Thousands of volunteers are charged now with recruiting more than 1 million delegates, who will start drafting candidates for the special ticket this winter. Next spring, according to the Americans Elect plan, they will vote in three rounds online, and the field will be narrowed to six names. Those names then must be willing to run and declare their intention to do so, which will include setting up a campaign and filing with the Federal Elections Commission. And then in June, the delegates will vote again, in up to three rounds online, until a majority is reached for the actual candidate.
In other words, by June, organizers of Americans Elect are going to be scrambling to figure out how to keep Lyndon LaRouche from becoming their candidate. But wait! Even a vanity third-party effort requires financing to get on the ballot in all 50 states. Just whose cash will save us from the partisan duopoly?
Kahlil Byrd, the group's CEO, said it is operating "completely within the bounds" of the law. He noted that unlike a traditional political group, "Americans Elect has no candidate and has no issue."
As for the donors, he said, the reason they want to remain secret is to avoid political payback. "This is a very tough political environment," he said. "Retribution is real."
I haven't been this excited by a vague, pointless, secretive billionaire-funded third-party effort since
Unity '08No Labels.
Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images News/GettyImages
Tags: FEC, Third Party