Don't be bamboozled by the glossy, "empowering the common voter" sales pitch coming from Americans Elect—a nonprofit group that calls itself a political party, touting its grand plans to worm its way on the presidential ballot in all 50 states with a nominee allegedly chosen by people like me and you, all dutifully logging on the internet.

Sounds nice. A revolt against the two-party system led by frustrated voters! Yay democracy! You might even see signature-gatherers in the wild; the group has begun ground operations in Oregon. But guess what? It's all likely a bunch of finely perfumed bullshit.

Our friends over at liberal advocacy group Our Oregon, using data compiled by the Irregular Times, have put up a post on their Sockeye blog—which you really ought to read—that kindly explains why.

Americans Elect claims that it receives no funding from “special interests or lobbyists.” Even though the group has refused to disclose its list of funders, there is enough evidence to show that this statement is patently false...According to various reports, Americans Elect has raised between $20 million and $30 million so far for its efforts. Other known funders are hedge fund manager Kirk Rostron and Melvin Andrews, president of Lakeside Capital Partners... John Avlon, the founder of the corporate-backed “No Labels” group, wrote in the Daily Beast that Americans Elect has raised $20 million from just 50 people. That’s an average of $400,000 per donor.

So who's frustrated here? Apparently a bunch of multimillionaires—looking, as Our Oregon suggests, to siphon any remaining "independents" from Barack Obama by giving them an alternative to the traveling carnival show that is the current Republican presidential field.

Just like the industrialist-financed Tea Party! But this time for moderates! Beware.