The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Peter Ackerman’s Democracy Promotion in U.S. Raises Suspicions

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Dan Froomkin writes in the Huffington Post:

Americans Elect, a group trying to launch a third-party presidential ticket, was accused by a prominent campaign watchdog Wednesday of violating tax and campaign finance disclosure laws.

Fred Wertheimer, head of Democracy 21, said in a statement that the group is posing as a “social welfare group” rather than a political organization in order “to keep secret from the American people the donors supporting its political activities.”

Social welfare groups don’t have to disclose who underwrites them — but they’re also supposed to stay out of elections.

Americans Elect’s reluctance to disclose information about their donors is not surprising:

The group claims it accepts no money from “special interests,” but it is thought to be funded primarily by hedge funds.

For some time, it was organized under a different section of the tax code than it is now — the one for political organizations. Its financial disclosure statement showed that it had raised over $1.5 million from controversial financier Peter Ackerman, whose son Elliot is the group’s chief operating officer, and $189 from everybody else combined.

The group is clearly positioning itself to harness and channel the intense dissatisfaction voters currently have with the candidates the political parties have been offering them. But the goal seems to be more a centrist mash-up of the two parties than a dramatic alternative. The group’s bylaws, for instance, appear to allow its leaders to veto any ticket they don’t consider “balanced.”

And while the group used pictures from the Occupy protests in its presentation on Tuesday, its chief strategist is Douglas Schoen, a pollster and Fox News political analyst who just a few weeks ago penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he asserted that the Occupy Wall Street protesters supported “radical left-wing policies” that “are dangerously out of touch with the broad mass of the American people.”


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 9, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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