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Secretive Millionaires Funding Online Primary For 'Independent' White House Run

They won't tell us who they are, but they are spending tens of millions as part of 'Americans Elect' to nominate and to field an 'Independent' presidential candidate in 2012.
 
 
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Republican Convention 2008

 
 
 
 

There’s an increasing amount of buzz around Americans Elect, a peculiar Internet-based effort to shake up presidential politics. But dig a bit beneath the surface and there’s reason to be deeply skeptical of the endeavor.

The basic pitch of Americans Elect goes like this: We’ll go through the expensive and time-consuming process of getting ballot access in all 50 states. Then we’ll hold an online convention in June in which any registered voter can participate. Participants will nominate a presidential ticket including one Democrat and one Republican who will then enter the general election fray.

Here’s what the group is not so upfront about: It’s fueled by millions of dollars of secret money, there is a group of wealthy, well-connected board members who have control over Americans Elect’s nominating process, and the group has myriad links to Wall Street.

Americans Elect has been getting periodic bursts of support from prominent commentators.

“What Amazon.com did to books, what the blogosphere did to newspapers, what the iPod did to music, what drugstore.com did to pharmacies, Americans Elect plans to do to the two-party duopoly that has dominated American political life — remove the barriers to real competition, flatten the incumbents and let the people in,” wrote Thomas Friedman in July.

 
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