Monday, January 16, 2012

Americans Elect: Voters, schmoters

Remember Americans Elect, the mysteriously-bankrolled third party group seeking ballot access in all fifty states? Remember how they're going to have a big on-line convention this June so that you get to choose the ticket? Well, it turns out they're doing most of the choosing for you. They're trying (so far unsuccessfully) to recruit some established political figure with weak parties ties to run. They've already called Bob Kerrey, Lamar(!) Alexander, Joe Lieberman, and Chuck Hegel to no avail, although I assume they still have plenty of other retirement-aged white guys in their Rolodex. (Is Lowell Weicker still available?)

Now, I have no problem with party leaders narrowing the field of candidates -- that's what parties do! But Americans Elect has been going out of its way to argue that it's not a party. It's supposed to be something different. They invite you to nominate candidates and have a vibrant debate. CEO Kahlil Byrd claims that the group "has no candidate and has no issue."

And now it turns out they're just like the other parties, with insiders doing the selecting for you. The only difference is that they don't stand for anything.

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