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Buddy Roemer to Seek Americans Elect 3rd Party Presidential Nomination

BY Micah L. Sifry | Wednesday, November 30 2011

The 2012 presidential election just got a lot more interesting. Former Louisiana governor and long-shot Republican presidential candidate Buddy Roemer has announced that he will seek the nomination of the Americans Elect group, a budding third-party that says it will hold an online primary and convention late next spring to pick a ticket.

According to Ballot Access News, Americans Elect currently has ballot status in seven states (Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire and Ohio), has finished collecting signatures in five more (California, Colorado, Hawaii, Missouri, and Utah), and is busy circulating petitions in at least eleven others. AE's founders say they have raised more than $20 million in funding pledges and the group shows every sign of being able to navigate the costly and complicated ballot access process.

As I wrote last summer, Americans Elect is poised to disrupt the two-party presidential nomination process by offering candidates another path to the ballot. So far, about 300,000 people have signed up as supporters, according to AE's website. Come next spring, it will likely be much higher. At that point, we will see conflict break out between AE's founders, who are consistently signaling that they want a "centrist" ticket committed to the kind of "responsible" politics espoused by the likes of Pete Peterson and the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and the group's grassroots delegates, who so far appear to be much further to the left (and closer to the center of public opinion) on economic and social issues.

Roemer has so far run a quirky candidacy, pledging to take no more than $100 per donor and relying heavily on online organizing to propel his candidacy (even granting Skype interviews with bloggers), so far with little success. He has made corruption in Washington a central concern--earning plaudits from the likes of Lawrence Lessig--and even expressed vocal support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. At the same time, he has also said that Senator Joe Lieberman (a longtime ally of Wall Street) would be a top choice as his Vice President, and in an interview yesterday with Neil Cavuto of Fox News, added, "We would pick a Democrat who believed in my economic values, which are conservative, who believed in growth, who believed in fair trade with China, and who believed that campaign reform is the most important issue in this campaign."

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