Third party Americans Elect fizzles
Americans Elect has thrown in the towel for this round. The group had intended to nominate and get on the Presidential ballot in all 50 states a so-called centrist candidate through an internet convention balloting process that was to begin on May 15th,.
Politico reports that the party has qualified for 27 state ballots, evidencing a strong organizing effort, but that:
its complicated online nominating process had failed to generate sufficient interest to push any of the candidates who had declared an interest in its nomination over the threshold in its rules...
...under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today.
This third party group, which has roots in an earlier version called Unity08, and was once described by Tom Friedman of the New York Times as the iPod of politics that would "flatten the incumbents and let the people in," was aimed at taking a portion of the sleepy electoral middle ground, thus complicating the Republican effort to unseat the sitting President.
While the group was never out front about what many perceived to be a spoiler role on Obama's side, a previous American Thinker look at a few of its founders and backers would dispel any doubts, as would a report by WND's Aaron Klein, which found among other things that a number of Americans Elect figures have ties to Obama and other Democrats, including John Podesta and the Clintons.
The Americans Elect statement that their "primary process would end today" was in fact made by the group's Chief Executive Kahlil Byrd, the former communications director for Massachusetts Governor and Obama buddy Deval Patrick. Mr. Patrick happens to be one of 35 co-chairs of Obama's reelection campaign.
While there are no direct Axelrod fingerprints on this bunch of third-party-spoiler-wannabes, and, with the exception of chairman, former Obama supporter and major donor Peter Ackerman, its donor list is mostly undisclosed, it surely would have helped the Obama campaign if Americans Elect had covered the middle while Obama trolls his left flank for support.
A recent Daily Beast report on Mr. Ackerman's activities indicates that early donors like Ackerman are being repaid from new fundraising, in effect pulling their money out. Mr. Ackerman, who has a rather interesting history, as outlined in a January Bloomberg profile, has now begun talking of the longer term, looking toward 2016, and contending that "Americans Elect isn't a third party, it's a second process."
As for now, the group plans to "huddle," as the CNN blog describes it, confer "with its community," and emerge with its "next steps" on Thursday.
Forward, no doubt.