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Bob Ely

Bob Ely
Personal details
Born 1958
Political party Democratic Party
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University
Website Bob Ely for President 2012

Bob Ely (born 1958), also known as Robert Moulton-Ely, is an American entrepreneur and former investment banker. He challenged President Barack Obama in several primaries for the Democratic Party's 2012 presidential nomination.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
  • 2012 presidential campaign 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Early life

Ely was born in Connecticut in 1958 to Harriet and John Ingraham Ely. His mother, the daughter of the New Haven Register and Journal Courier owner John Day Jackson was also a newspaper owner. Ely's father was a lawyer and partner at the firm Wiggin & Dana.[1]

Ely attended the [2] In 1983, Ely married freelance illustrator Alice Fairchild Moulton, and both assumed the last name Moulton-Ely.[1]


After graduating from Yale, Ely moved to Chicago, Illinois. He was initially unemployed, but found work with Nuveen Investments. For an 18-year period as an investment banker, he also worked at Merrill Lynch[4] and served as managing director at Dillon, Read & Co.,[3] which was later taken over by UBS.[4]

In 2000, Ely left the banking industry and became an entrepreneur and private investor.[5] That year, he worked as a consultant and acting president for SeafoodAlliance, LLC until 2001, when he founded the M&M Investors Firm with Michael C. Morton, and became interim CEO for PayDQ Services.[3] In 2010, Ely purchased the weekly community newspaper, The Canton Press-News Journal of Canton, Missouri with partner Phil Calian. Ely remarked that he had wanted to buy such a publication for the previous three years due to the belief that "small newspapers – especially those who know how to embrace their community and provide relevant news and local information – have great futures."[6]

2012 presidential campaign

In 2011, Ely grew concerned about the economy and national debt. Because he was "tired of bitching and moaning,"[7] he opened a campaign website titled "" and filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president as a Democrat, reasoning that "if [Congresswoman] Michele Bachmann can run for president, I can, too."[2] On his website, he expressed support for spending cuts and higher taxes and promoted a "jobs bank" to allow businesses to create new positions and hire new employees, who would then receive a minimum wage salary from the government in lieu of unemployment benefits.[5] He lists "two dozen good reasons not to vote for me" on the site,[2] and refers to himself as a "jerk," explaining that he has such an attitude "because I am angry, scared and fed up with what passes for political discourse and leadership in this country."[8] In a later interview with Wikinews, Ely remarked that the intent of the website was to combine "humor, some outrageousness and a cogent 'platform' [to] make me a safe protest vote."[5]

Ely filed for the January 2012 New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2011.[9] To spread his message, he bought space in local newspapers and sent out 145,000 mailers to homes throughout New Hampshire, asking, "Are you pissed-off enough to vote for a jerk?" For the primary, he told The Portsmouth Herald that he had spent $200,000 of his own money,[2] including the $1,000 filing fee.[10] Among the field of 14 candidates on the ballot, Ely finished seventh with 287 votes for 0.47 percent of the total.[11] In additional primaries, his numbers steadily improved. At the March 6 Oklahoma primary, for which he paid $2,500 to appear,[12] he finished in fifth place with 5,318 votes for 4.72 percent.[13] At the March 24 Louisiana primary, whose filing fee was $1,125,[14] he came in third, behind only Obama and attorney John Wolfe, Jr., and won 9,897 votes for 6.57 percent.[15] After this, his strongest showing, Ely sent out a letter, later published by Politico, which explained that in Louisiana without buying any advertisements or campaigning, he was able to win 120 voting precincts and out-paced President Obama in 457 precincts. He speculated that "most [of the votes] came from those who concluded 'I’ve never heard of this guy so he can’t be any worse than the rest of these clowns.' It seems a strange indictment of our political establishment that obscurity becomes an asset."[16]

After prison inmate Keith Russell Judd won 41 percent against President Obama in the West Virginia Democratic primary (for which Ely did not register), Ely was featured in a Politico article as "an aspiring Keith Judd".[17] He paid $2,500 to appear on the May 29 Texas primary ballot, and was listed alongside Obama, Wolfe, and historian Darcy Richardson.[18] A contributor to The Hays Free Press of Hays County, Texas speculated that some Texas Democrats may vote for Ely, "on the hopes he is kin to [musician] Joe [Ely], who belts out good songs on the radio."[19] Overall, Ely won about 2.4 percent of the vote in Texas and received a plurality in King and Loving counties.[20]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Ely Weds Alice F. Moulton". The New York Times. September 18, 1983. p. 75. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Dinan, Elizabeth (January 8, 2012). Jerk' running for president"'".  
  3. ^ a b c "M&M Partners – Principals Page". M&M Investors, LLC. 2006. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Two Dozen Good Reasons Not to Vote for Me". Bob Ely – Democrat for President. Bob Ely for President Committee. 2011. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "Wikinews interviews Bob Ely, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama".  
  6. ^ "Canton newspaper is sold". Hannibal Courier-Post. July 14, 2010. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Well I care (2)". Bob Ely for President Committee. 2011. Retrieved June 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ Leubsdorf, Ben (January 5, 2012). "From the fringe: Bob Ely". Concord Monitor. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  9. ^ Sadin, Steve (January 10, 2012). "Lake Forest Resident Challenges President in New Hampshire Democratic Primary". Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch.  
  10. ^ McCord, Michael (January 8, 2012). "New Hampshire’s primary ballot filled with lesser-knowns".  
  11. ^ "New Hampshire Democratic Delegation". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  12. ^ Associated Press (December 7, 2011). "Three Democratic challengers to Obama file in Oklahoma".  
  13. ^ "Oklahoma Democratic Delegation 2012". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  14. ^ Anderson, Ed (December 7, 2011). "Mitt Romney becomes first presidential candidate to qualify for Louisiana primary".  
  15. ^ "Louisiana Democratic Delegation". The Green Papers. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  16. ^ Ely, Bob (April 2012). "Who Voted For Me". Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  17. ^ Mahtesian, Charlie (May 10, 2012). "Meet Bob Ely, an aspiring Keith Judd".  
  18. ^ Winger, Richard (December 15, 2011). "Texas Democratic Presidential Primary Ballot Has Three Candidates So Far".  
  19. ^ Barton, Bob (May 16, 2012). "Election predictions: Local and not-so-local". The Hays Free Press. Retrieved May 26, 2012. 
  20. ^ "Election Map 2012: Live Voting Results – TX".  

External links

  • Campaign website
  • FEC filing
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