A native-born Rhode Islander, educated in Providence Public Schools, went to college in North Carolina and a political junkie and pessimistic optimist.

4 responses to “Occupy Americans Elect”

  1. Moderate

    Sam –

    I think you are right on.  AE has spent a fortune to win ballot access in most of the most difficult states to do so in the country, including RI.

    It is pretty much unconscionable that no effort has been made to do something with that ballot access at the state level.

    You should check to see if AE has a declared Chairperson for the state party.  The challenge is branding the party the way you want if the party has infrastructure in place that may try to thwart you.  It seems a bit silly to have a bunch of candidates storm AE running as ‘pirates’ when AE may very well have thought about this and have a plan to deal with it.  It would be better to have buy in from any infrastructure they may have in place.  They may not have any at all.

    Lastly, AE really didn’t have any discernible ideology. The roster of declared candidates for president traversed the entire political spectrum – multiple times.  While AE’s founders have their own political leanings (and knowing some of them I can tell you that those leanings are not all in one direction), the mechanism they put in place would have nominated anyone who met the minimum demonstrated support requirements.  It speaks volumes that only 5 of the hundreds of *declared* candidates even bothered to file FEC paperwork.  None of the candidates was able to muster the 1,000 ‘clicks of support’ in 10 states needed to qualify for nomination.  That is pretty sad given that those candidates were looking at running a national campaign.  Most of the declared candidates appear to have woken up one morning, chugged down a beer or two and decided to run for president.

    In fact, I was always kind of horrified by the whole idea that AE had no idea what their candidate was going to look like.  I for one was not about to support the effort financially without knowing where the eventual candidate was going to stand on the issues.  The same roadblock prevented any real grassroots recruitment from occurring. 

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  2. RichardGraysonSupremeLeaderArizonaAmericansElectParty

    An excellent post.  We are trying to do the same thing in Arizona, where we will have ballot access this year and in 2014 under state law.  We have about 150 registered voters with the Arizona Americans Elect Party.  I’ve been trying to get people from the various Occupy movements to run as write-in candidates in the AEP in Arizona, although I will be happy to have people from all ideologies.  It’s hard for an independent to qualify for ballot access in Arizona, but due to an obscure loophole in our election law, a “new party” can have a state-registered write-in candidate win its primary with a plurality of the vote — or with as little as one write-in vote.  I won the Green Party nomination in my Arizona Congressional district in 2010 with 6 write-in votes.  The Arizona Green Party challenged me and others in federal and state courts, but they lost both cases. 
    Currently someone is trying to get enough signatures of registered Americans Elect party voters and independents to get on the ballot as one of our candidates for two seats on the statewide Corporation Commission.  But if he doesn’t succeed, he can still run as a write-in and get our nomination.
    Filling for on-the-ballot primary candidates ends on Wednesday, May 30.  Then write-in candidates, who just have to fill out a simple notarized form declaring their candidacy, can register until July 19.  We especially hope to have candidates in those congressional and legislative races (and the Arizona legislature is currently filled with right-wing loonies who make us the laughingstock of the US) where there is no Democrat running (or, in a few, where there is no Republican running).
    We’ll see how much interest we can get.  I’ve humorously declared myself Supreme Leader of the party, but all the members have the title of Supreme Leader.  The joke is that it should be like Occupy, leaderless. 
    I’d encourage Rhode Islanders to check out your election laws and see if you can do something similar.  Many of us in other parts of the country admired the Cool Moose Party and I think it would be cool if you can take advantage of the ballot line in your state.

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  3. RichardGraysonSupremeLeaderArizonaAmericansElectParty

    We now have the first candidate ever to get on the ballot on the Americans Elect Party line.  Stephen Dolgos submitted 171 signatures and will appear on the ballot in the Americans Elect primary in Arizona’s new 8th congressional district (not the old 8th, which is having a June special election to replace Gabrielle Giffords).  He will appear on the ballot in November as an Americans Elect candidate.  Others will, we hope, be filing as write-in candidates for the Arizona primary.
    We hope this will encourage others to run on the Americans Elect line in Rhode Island, Hawaii and other states.

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  4. PinkHatLib

    Perhaps we take a page from Grayson (or Jello Biafra) and run a satirical candidate. I’ve always thought it would be funny to run a campaign premised on business friendliness and government efficiency… under my administration, all graft 50% off!

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