Make Americans Elect A Model of the Reform It Seeks
  • Petitioned Americans Elect

This petition was delivered to:

Americans Elect

Make Americans Elect A Model of the Reform It Seeks

    1. AE Transparency
    2. Petition by

      AE Transparency

      Bahama, NC

Americans Elect Corporation claims to seek to provide American voters with the first exclusively online political convention to select and nominate a centrist, non-partisan, third-party ticket for the 2012 Presidential election, and to win that ticket a place on all 50 states' ballots.

Over 400,000 "members" have joined Americans Elect, excited by the potential for what non-partisan, internet-enabled democracy might be able to do to repair America's increasingly dysfunctional two-party political system. A smaller (but not publicly known) number have further attained "delegate" status, qualifying them to vote in the online primary later this summer.

Sadly, despite its purported goal of promoting democracy, Americans Elect's corporate organization is, itself, surprisingly (and discouragingly) undemocratic. The corporation's Board of Directors, which possesses enormous power to determine the conduct and outcome of the online primary, is unelected. The Board's members appointed themselves at the founding of the corporation, and new Board members are appointed only by existing Board members, without a vote of or even consultation with Americans Elect delegates.

The Board's unelected, self-appointed status is particularly worrisome because it is an all-powerful body: the corporation's Bylaws reserve for the Board "extraordinary power and authority to take or compel any action," including arbitrarily disqualifying candidates whom the Board does not favor, and even including rejecting the primary-winning ticket and crowning a ticket of the Board's own choice, instead.

Further insuring that the primary convention will go strictly in accordance with Board members' wishes, members of the important Rules and Candidate Certification committees are appointed by the Board (not elected by the delegates) and "serve at the pleasure of the Board."

Such inattention to democratic principles in its own governance might be less troubling if all Board members were independent-minded paragons of virtue...but that may not be the case. Americans Elect's founder, multi-million dollar donor, and self-appointed Board chairman, Peter Ackerman, is alleged to have been convicted felon Michael Milken's right-hand-man at Wall Street investment firm Drexel Burnham Lambert during its insider-trading and junk bond scandal. Four other members of the Board are in what appear to many to be positions of financial dependence upon Ackerman's continuing goodwill, either as Americans Elect employees or otherwise, giving chairman Ackerman an apparent 5-4 majority control of the corporation's Board. The enormous power of this self-appointed Board, rigidly controlled by Ackerman, has led some doubters to disparagingly refer to Americans Elect itself as "Ackerman Elects".

According to information provided by Americans Elect corporation itself, a large fraction of the organization's founding "Leadership" are current or former executives of Wall Street hedge fund, private equity, or wealth management firms, tending to cast further doubt on the corporation's true intentions. Americans Elect refuses to identify its major donors, and has claimed 501(c)(4) status with the IRS, enabling it to accept unlimited donations while keeping its donors' identities a secret.

We, this petition's sponsors -- Americans Elect delegates committed to advancing the organization's avowed goal of promoting American democracy through the application of non-partisan internet technology -- believe that all of these unresolved issues of undemocratic governance and lack of transparency are harming Americans Elect and impeding its mission. For the sake of its self-proclaimed noble goals we and other signers of this petition demand:

1. That the Americans Elect Board of Directors resign in favor of a Board to be elected by a democratic vote of the delegates.

2. That the current members of the Rules and Candidate Certification committees resign in favor of members elected by a democratic vote of the delegates.

3. That Americans Elect's corporate Bylaws be amended (and ratified by a democratic vote of its delegates) to permit the above two changes, as well as to rescind the Board's "extraordinary power and authority to take or compel any action."

4. That Americans Elect promptly reveal the names of all donors of $10,000 or more, and the amounts they have lent or donated.

And, further, that all four of these actions be completed before an online primary convention is conducted.

You are NOT required to be a member or a delegate of Americans Elect to sign this petition; all are welcome! Friend us on Facebook: "AE Transparency"; follow us on Twitter: @AETransparency

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Mary Wilbur ST. CHARLES, IL
      • over 2 years ago

      Its a bogus organization.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Jeff Winchell GOETTINGEN, GERMANY
      • over 2 years ago

      I read the Slate, Guardian and Huffington Post exposés on Americans Elect.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • John Lumea SAN FRANCISCO, CA
      • over 2 years ago

      I'll take a pass on the "centrist" part of the corporation's apparent agenda. But there is, in principle, no reason why the basic structural elements of Americans Elect --- a Web-based nomination platform and a 50-state ballot line --- could not be used for good. Given the opportunity, it's tragic that the Board, staff, and leadership of Americans Elect seem to have made it their highest priority to concoct more and more ways to insulate themselves from, and against, the will of the delegates --- and that they seem generally determined to act in ways that squander and betray trust.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • James Cook CAMDEN, ME
      • over 2 years ago

      I am signing because if it weren't for the astroturf, the lies, the lack of democracy, the disregard for delegates and the secretive disregard for people who are not hedge fund managers... well, without all that Americans Elect would actually be a good idea! So let's get rid of the rot. If the rot won't dislodge itself, let's move on.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • AE Transparency BAHAMA, NC
      • over 2 years ago

      Take a byte out of plutocracy!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the Change.org API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.