Third-Party Group Draws Criticism For Trying To Gain Ballot Access

Mar 19, 2012
Originally published on March 19, 2012 12:00 am

SALEM, Ore. – A new political group is trying to qualify for the presidential ballot in all 50 states. "Americans Elect" submitted signatures Monday in Oregon as part of that effort. But some liberal and conservative groups are blasting the new organization for not revealing its donors.

Americans Elect says it will select a presidential candidate via an Internet election later this spring. The group has no stated positions and says it's not affiliated with any existing party or political ideology.

Nonetheless, the organization is seen as a threat by groups on the left and the right. Americans Elect has come under fire for not revealing its donors. The group’s Northwest Regional Director Peter Arno says the people bankrolling the 50-state ballot access drive don't need to be identified.

"I don't blame them for wanting to necessarily not be public and endure perhaps some criticism that they may have to go through for being lenders," Arno says.

So far more than two dozen candidates have put their names into the ring for the Americans Elect nomination. They range from former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer to white supremacist Merlin Miller.

Americans Elect says it does not support or oppose any candidate who seeks its nomination.

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