Talk:Americans Elect

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Americans Elect is a Political Party[edit]

It is a registered political party. Americans Elect collects funds and uses it to promote its organization. It will probably spend this funding on its future candidate so as to win the general election. There is no reason why Americans Elect should be called anything but a political party.--Drdak (talk) 00:16, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The group has stated on their website they will do no funding after the primary. After the candidate is chosen, it is up to that candidate to provide any more funding to support their campaign. They simply exist to get a centralist candidate on the ballot in every state. In that regards, No they are not a traditional political party and should not be treated as such. -- Raukonaug
This has been a contentious point since the start. They are legally registered as a political party, and many news reports have described them that way. I suggest it is largely a PR move to say they are not a political party. --TeaDrinker (talk) 07:16, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Not only are they a political party, but they have apparently edited out my note alluding to the fact that their early website had a quote from an organization on whose board sat none other than David Koch. (talk) 01:21, 3 July 2013 (UTC)

Candidate certification is done by a party committee, not an independent committee[edit]

I removed language that said Americans Elect candidates will be certified by an “independent” committee. The committee that does the certification is the party’s Candidate Certification Committee, which according to the bylaws (section 5.4.2) is appointed by the party’s board of directors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:07, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

What "party" is being mentioned in this statement? This is far too vague. --DThomsen8 (talk) 22:58, 22 August 2011 (UTC)
Redactions made by me have moved this forward. (talk) 11:55, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, the lede now says that Americans Elect is a political party. That clarifies the situation for me, at least as far as candidates for President (and presumably Vice President) of the United States are concerned. Whether voters will register in this party remains to be seen. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:38, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, my understanding, based on the current article text, is that it represents an independently acting section of capital that is convinced that it must provide some legitimacy to the political system which capital already commands by providing this party as a non-party, as an expression of (toothless) direct democracy, which it will channel to assure that the result is the same, and presumably with precisely those candidates provided by, the extant two big business parties (i.e. "considered someone of similar stature to our previous presidents"). (talk) 01:40, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────presumably such an individual, after selection by the AE board, would separate emself from whatever other party and declare eirself an AE party member or as having no party affiliation, something that SFAIK, were it an actual career stance of a candidate, would conflict with the whole similar stature to prior POTUSes thing. If it were not for the fact that it is taking on the role performed by a party, i.e. nomination and running a candidate in the presidential election, it could probably be called a PAC, NGO, political interest group, whatever. However they cross that line with their clear (if not completely disingenuous) statement of function which is why you can click thru and see a matching definition in the political party article . (talk) 01:53, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

No discussion of confusing tagging[edit]

Seems a model of clarity ATM to me. Great work on the Funding § Replace the tag please with an identification of what is confusing so it can be worked. Also has high ratings, although not for completeness. Incompleteness and being confusing are different. (talk) 10:39, 23 August 2011 (UTC)

Equivocation in name[edit]

i.e. between the elided direct object, and the implication that it would be they themselves, as Senator Obama was President Elect between his election and inauguration. Should be something source-able on this if the funding/interests could be traced. (talk) 10:50, 23 August 2011 (UTC)


Americans Elect states that they are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that is funded by individual contributions.

Nonpartisan in the sense that the "delegates" are not ostensibly choosing Democrats or Republicans or Libertarians as their candidate, but on the other hand the organization is quite partisan in one sense, because legally they are seeking to become a political party with a candidate for President of the United States in 2012. How they have achieved that status in some states, and how they are seeking that status in the remaining states, will be a very interesting process to observe, given that many states have adopted a two-party system by law that makes it difficult to establish other parties, and also makes it fairly easy for the Democrats and Republicans to make trouble for any third party candidate, especially for statewide or national office seekers. I hope other editors will explore these issues and create links to other articles on related topics. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:49, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Well, it is all unusual. That they propose that the presidential candidate and the vice president must be from different parties is certainly not going to happen and it's ludicrous to even suggest that possibility. However, it is possible to imagine that one could put a ticket of a Dem or Rep with a Libertarian vice president. Or perhaps Ron Paul with with one or the other to pull in some votes? It was interesting that in the Iowa straw poll the major networks even refused to include him in their list of the top three even though he did so well! Gandydancer (talk) 14:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh...strike that - I forgot that he is running as a Republican. Gandydancer (talk) 14:47, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
DThomsen, please give a source for a state where a two party system has been adopted by law. In fact, I don't believe any such thing is the case in any jurisdiction in the United States and is almost certainly illegal. Pragmatic barriers to getting a party on the ballot are another thing entirely. In fact the entire party system is a largely informal and extra-constitutional layer of the established social order in the US albeit a sclerotic and well established one with traditions that may seem to carry the force of law to those with superficial understanding. (talk) 16:07, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Many states have adopted a two-party system by law that makes it difficult to establish other parties is what I said. Difficult, but not illegal. Here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are other parties, and they do have candidates on the ballot, but the signature requirements can be onerous, especially in state-wide elections. The major parties made it very hard on Ralph Nader when he ran for President, and it cost his campaign a lot of money in legal fees. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:48, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. The fact that there hasn't been a successful 3rd party in 150 years encourages a complacency in the entrenched interests which now that the system is unable to renew itself is getting attention in efforts such as the subject of this article. (talk) 13:04, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Also, in finé, the states (not excluding possibility of some smaller/backwater jurisdiction) have not adopted a two-party system by law. Rather this has been conflated with them adopting various statutes that make it very difficult (but by no means impossible) for other parties to get ballot access. In the PRC for example, there is only one legal political party and the same was true in the Soviet Union. This is what's called semantics and why people who say "it's just semantics" betray their stupidity/ignorance. In some cases (e.g. Cook County, IL), the dominance of a single party can make it look like there is such a basis (talk) 14:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)

Funding section is inaccurate and incomplete[edit]

The page cited as reference states that the information was current as of July 19, 2011 (prior to the date of the article, so the article can be presumed to be accurate), and reflects the April 2010 Arno donation as a "vendor refund" (which is not stated in the Wiki entry) and the $1.55 million (tendered in five unequal payments over April, May, July, August and September 2010) having been donated by Peter Ackerman of Tufts University (not Elliot Ackerman, as stated in the Wiki entry). PlaygroundGirl (talk) 03:30, 24 August 2011 (UTC)PlaygroundGirl, 8-23-11

Peter Ackerman is his dad. Gandydancer (talk) 12:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

Peter Ackerman[edit]

Interestingly, the name Peter Ackerman is never mentioned in this article, however it appears to be an effort both initiated and funded by him. At the Americans Elect site, one finds only the name of his son, thirty-year old Eliot, an Iraq War hero, but looking at his father's bio, it seems very likely that he and not the son is the real instigator. Both this article and the Elect internet site leave out a lot more information than they provide.

In the past, many of us have made serious and dedicated attempts to elect an administration that we assumed would follow through with at least some of the promises that they made during their campaigns. Looking back and seeing our efforts a waste of our time and money, we have now given up all hope of seeing anything different in the near future. So, not surprisingly, one is inclined to look ever-more closely at anyone suggesting that they have an answer to the predicament that the American public finds itself in today.

Reading Peter Ackerman's bio I find that he is associated with the Cato Institute and he has the following to say at their site:

Ackerman, formerly with Drexel Burnham, is now managing director of Rockport Financial Ltd. in London. On joining the Cato board, he commented, "As a resident of England since the fall of the Berlin Wall, I have watched European political discourse dominated by questioning the legitimacy of key multilateral institutions, including the EU, the IMF, and NATO. This debate will remain intense but unresolved until it is reformulated around the issue of the role of government in the lives of individual Europeans. Then Cato's work will be recognized as vitally important. I am particularly pleased to serve on Cato's board. During my tenure the themes Cato addresses, and the tone of its advocacy, will become more and more compelling to a worldwide audience.

Gandydancer (talk) 14:06, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I've combined these related threads. Please correct the obverse if there is so glaring an error as a case of mistakenly identifying a common name. Wikipedia policy is very clear about this sort of thing. (talk) 16:11, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I wish a separate heading. Why don't you correct the article? Gandydancer (talk) 16:22, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
As you wish. Because I'm not the one raising the issue, haven't even looked into it or formed an opinion except at the highest level of what it is about. (talk) 16:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
i.e. I haven't formed an opinion on what this thread (or the one I had included it with) is about. Obviously I've formed an opinion on AE itself, one I'm not suggesting should be in the mainspace of the article. The facts should speak for themselves, readers can make their own judgments. (talk) 02:01, 25 August 2011 (UTC)


NEW INFO 9/6/11 Please read this page at AE to see the new controversy brewing. The general idea is: The board of advisors here include people like Peter Ackerman who is on the board of dir. of the Cato Institute. An extreme right wing group funded by , who else, the Koch bros. So look behind the curtain on this. The question asked here at AE "IS the drug war a success or failure? 90% answered a failure, therefore this site has a strong left wing leaning. Thus the candidate will be left leaning and take votes from the Dems. Therefore, this is attempt to split the left's vote and get a Republican to win. TrueAndroids (talk) 18:01, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

You may be right. See this article: [1] Gandydancer (talk) 02:02, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

>>The question asked here at AE "IS the drug war a success or failure? 90% answered a failure, therefore this site has a strong left wing leaning.>>

WHAT?! That's a wildly broad conclusion to draw from that result. Are you really unaware that most Libertarians and quite a few libertarian-leaning Republicans would agree that the so-called War on Drugs is a failure that is damaging America? And that these are precisely the kind of people you would expect to find interested in a project like Americans Elect? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:07, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Information about Americans Elect staff[edit]

Some sites: [10] [11] [12] Gandydancer (talk) 17:22, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Political Party[edit]

It's listed as a political party in Nevada and presumably other states where it's on the ballot, See that that has been replaced by "organization", unclear by what agency or for what purpose, but I don't think it matters at this point. Lycurgus (talk) 22:46, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

The word "party" has been removed from early sections of this article, but that may not be accurate as a legal term, because ballot access is dependent on qualifying as a political party. This question has been discussed above, and I am uncertain what should be said in the article. Please, other editors comment on this question, and perhaps edit the article. --DThomsen8 (talk) 12:29, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
It's a party, they're just trynna sell themselves as something else to a population whose powers of critical judgement in this they are rightly contemptuous of, and no doubt one of their operatives made the change. Nonetheless to do what they're trying to do they have to declare themselves to be a party which they did for example in Nevada where they are a registered political party. It's for the wiki community to enforce and restore the edit, I don't edit war and only contend on articles where I've declared an intention to do so, on this one restricting my self to editorial comment. (talk) 16:23, 16 November 2011 (UTC)
Agreed, legally they are a party. By the common definition of a party they are a party. They are described in the press as a party. It seems like the "we're not a party" business is marketing--something they have in common with a lot of third parties. I have tried to clarify this in the lead and cited a news source describing AE as a "third party." --TeaDrinker (talk) 07:22, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
To be sure, Americans Elect is doing certain things that political parties do. It is running its own nominating process. It is attempting to secure 50-state ballot access for a presidential ticket -- and in some states this has necessitated legally registering as a political party. But Americans Elect also lacks significant features that generally qualify a party as a party. There is no platform -- nor is there yet any real organizational structure for enforcing and perpetuating a platform, or for electing local and state leaders. The fact is, it's too soon to say whether Americans Elect is a political party. Certainly, Americans Elect itself doesn't claim this designation. The fact that one can find instances in which the editors of some newspapers and magazines identify Americans Elect as a "political party" or a "third party" means little more than that they don't know what else to call it. In the first few months after the public launch of No Labels, many of these same editors were calling that a "third party" too -- but one hears that a lot less now. It may well be that, eventually, Americans Elect is widely recognized as a party. But the only thing that one can say definitively and with authority today -- 29 December 2011 -- is that Americans Elect is a nonprofit corporation. And that's all that Wikipedia should be saying right now. Anything beyond that is pure speculation. Johnlumea (talk) 03:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Lots of religions claim they are the one true religion too. Wikipedia does not endorse that claim, but it may be worth reporting. Likewise, it should not endorse the claim that they are a "nonpartisan organization" when they are nominating a candidate. --TeaDrinker (talk) 02:52, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Expand this article tremendously[edit]

This article is dismal, and the subject is significant. I've started editing it, and need help. To start, can someone give some reliable, recent third party articles or online videos that explain Americans Elect thoroughly? I can do that myself, but just to get the ball rolling here, lets start with that. If I have more questions from there, I'll ask them. Started the same discussion here [13]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NittyG (talkcontribs) 06:26, 27 November 2011 (UTC)

Fully Agree[edit]

Consider one of American Elect's big backers: Lynn Forester de Rothschild, currently the largest non-institutional investor in The Economist magazine, also its largest "trust share" investor (according to the Economist Groups 2011 Annual Report), which grants her principal right to select its Editor. A huge Hillary Clinton supporter, financial and vocal, she never accepted Obama's nomination, supported McCain, and ridiculed Obama ever since. Note The Economist supported Obama, though quickly turned critical. Since 2010 de Rothschild has been a major Huntsman supporter, precisely the kind of candidate some hope American Elect would produce. Yet confusing comments suggest more than just policy drives her: she stated the Obama healthcare plan did not provide "what we should have — like the British have, which is a single-payer system" [], while she also said Obama's "hope is, and has always been, to turn the country into a nation that looks more like a European social democracy" [14]. I have no facts about her motivations, but such conflicting rhetoric from an extremely powerful behind-the-scenes influencer suggests some kind of grudge or personal animosity towards Obama, similar to Perot's animosity towards G.H.W. Bush.

Given major third-party US Presidential candidates, post World War II, correlate with the incumbent party presidential candidate's defeat (Wallace in 1968, Anderson in 1980, Perot in 1992, Nader in 2000), de Rothschild may consider it a strategy. --Brian Coyle — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Press coverage[edit]

Much of the press coverage of recent note on AE has been about their secrecy in donations and potential for a Hobson's choice in the candidate selection process. This coverage has not been reflected in the article, however. Any thoughts about how it might be worked in? --TeaDrinker (talk) 07:25, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

I'm rather concerned about the use of a lawsuit to back up some of the claims in the article. Reading a court decision is non-trivial and I should think seeing it as being applicable to a particular case (and saying a particular thing) is really a professional interpretation for a lawyer, not something we can include in Wikipedia. Thoughts? --TeaDrinker (talk) 15:20, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

We can find additional sources, but I think the suit is a key citation and not that hard to follow. Note that this is at the appeals level, so it carries more weight. WilliamKF (talk) 15:41, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
There are dozens of secondary news articles on this org.; I haven't seen one which takes to calling it a "non-partisan non-profit." Most call it a political party. The article seems to rely heavily on the website of Americans Elect and parrot its talking points and pedantry of organizational structure. No coverage has yet been included which is at all related to the bulk of the media coverage. I will accept that this is as much a NPOV issue as OR, but it is highly problematic at present. --TeaDrinker (talk) 20:50, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Here are a number of secondary news articles referencing nonpartisan and nonprofit. None of these call it a political party nor cite the website as a source:

--Jphorowitz (talk) 22:28, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I added some formatting to your comment to make a response easier; I hope you don't mind. I came here due to a request on [[[WP:NORN]]. First, court cases cannot be cited as a source in this case, because statements people make in court are not vetted by an independent editorial agency (the very definition of a reliable source). In very rare cases, court cases can be cited as primary sources on the court case itself, but they certainly can't tell us whether or not this group is a political party or not.
Regarding the references you added, #1 explicitly says that its status as a non-profit is challenged. #2 is an Op-ed, and thus not a reliable source. #3 appears to be okay, though I'm not 100% certain of the source. #4 seems okay (I think CSM is meets WP:RS, but I'm not sure), but I will note that the descriptions of the group come primarily out of the mouth of the group itself. TeaDrinker, could you point out some of the sources that call this a party? I mean, to me, it's obviously a party--they're registering positions on a ballot. But, of course, we should focus on what sources say. In the meantime, the court case needs to be removed as a source. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:21, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
The court case is at the appellate level so the issue of statements people make I do not think is an issue, unless you are concerned about statements made by the judges in their opinion. Rather than remove the cite, I think it should remain and be fortified with additional cites to other sources. I do feel this court case is very germane to this article given that it is only because of that ruling that AE can exist today without having to register at the federal level as a political party. Since they have not registered, they are by definition not a political party as far as the Federal Election Commission (FEC) is concerned and not subject to its rules. States have their own rules and in some states AE does register as a political party in order to get on the ballot in that state. A distinction needs to be made here between the technical term of 'political party' with respect to the FEC and who it has oversight for and common everyday language use of 'political party'. AE is not a political party as far as FEC is concerned, but in everyday speech we may choose to label them as such. I believe at this point, the cites to AE's site have been minimized greatly and the article no longer heavily relies on AE and thus hopefully is no longer just parroting their position. WilliamKF (talk) 18:01, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

This appears to be academic at this point, but I don't see why court opinions cannot be cited. There's nothing in WP:RS that indicates otherwise. TeaDrinker's concern seems to be that you have to be a lawyer to interpret a court decision. Not true, lay people can and do cite and interpret court opinions all the time. WP doesn't give legal advice so there's no reason why we would have to be lawyers. WilliamKF's concern is that statements people make in court are not vetted by an independent editorial agency ("the very definition of a reliable source"). Of course people can say whatever they want in court, and those statements are not reliable sources. But what a court says is reliable precisely because the court is independent. If the court parrots an assertion made by a party without qualification then the court has accepted that assertion as true. Just as would a journalist. But what a court says is even more reliable because the statement is usually made under oath, and the opposing party gets the public opportunity to rebut the statement. --Nstrauss (talk) 18:12, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Well-sourced critique of media bias in favor of Americans Elect[edit]

The 1 Percent President; Americans Elect’s hypothetical ‘centrist’ candidate wins plaudits from pundits from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting Extra!. (talk) 01:47, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Changed header of this section. Peter Hart does mention Occupy- and campaign finance-related objections to Americans Elect. But, notwithstanding the phrase "1 Percent" in the title, his article -- which was, after all, published in the monthly magazine of FAIR -- really is a much broader analysis of media bias. Johnlumea (talk) 18:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Americans Elect=Unity08?[edit]

I see that sources which refer to Unity08 are being used as if they refer to Americans Elect. For example, the Appeals Court decision on Unity08 is being used as if it referred to Americans Elect.[15][16] But it's my understanding from reading the articles that they are legally separate. If so, we should avoid blurring the distinction and only use sources which talk about the subject of this article, Americans Elect.   Will Beback  talk  08:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Explaining my edits[edit]

I removed the reference to a certain political consulting firm being "controversial" as a violation of neutral point of view; see WP:LABEL. I also removed the reference to the AE team as being "diverse" because the sources provided for that sentence did not use that term and it appeared to be praise rather than a neutral comment. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 07:09, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Unnecessary section?[edit]

Is the Association with Arno Political Consultants section necessary? The fact that there is an association with that group is irrelevant. (talk) 04:42, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

What is the neutrality dispute?[edit]

I would like to remove the neutrality notice on the article, now when AE has ended its role in the 2012 election it could stay there for ever because no one really care. I have tried to figure out what the problem is so to fix it and have a nice little article about AE, but I cant seem to find the problem. Could the once with the problem please state it here so we can get it done and go on with other things. Thanks a lot Jack Bornholm (talk) 08:37, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

Since no one has responded and I really cant see what it is I guess the contreversy has been solved and I am removing the tag. If anyone puts it up again please write here what the problem is. Jack Bornholm (talk) 09:39, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Agree, no discernible neutrality dispute. The placement of the tag appears to have been a drive-by edit by someone who did not bother to provide a rationale for adding it.--JayJasper (talk) 22:03, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Maybe a case of:

Jack Bornholm (talk) 09:29, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Yes, exactly!--JayJasper (talk) 21:32, 7 June 2012 (UTC)

Time To Thoroughly Revise This Article?[edit]

While considerable efforts have been undertaken to keep this article current via minor updates, I would suggest that recent events (AE's cancellation of its online nominating convention, failure to nominate a candidate, resignation of most of its Board members, dissolution of its state committees, and -- importantly -- its recent 180 degree turn toward partisan political advertising in support of non-AE candidates such as Angus King's independent senate bid) really require a more-or-less thorough revision of this article. AE's past identity as an online nomination process is now really of only historical (i.e., not current) interest, yet the lion's share of the current article is still devoted to the details of that now non-existant process, and a less-than-careful reader could be forgiven for coming away with the impression that Americans Elect is either (i) still a political party, or (ii) defunct...neither of which is the case. I would propose that much of the old discussion regarding the minutia of the online nomination process should be significantly condensed and relocated in the "History" section, and that the body of the article should now focus more on AE's current incarnation as kind of entity (I guess a political action committee in function, if not yet in law?). As one who has been helping to maintain this article, and as an active student of Americans Elect, I would be happy to undertake such a revision, but I don't want to tackle it without the benefit of prior feedback from the community. Please discuss.--AETransparency (talk) 17:56, 8 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree, it seems like this article is completely out of date, and perhaps too long considering the relative insignificance of the subject. Does the organization still exist? Poplicola76 (talk) 03:32, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

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