Non-profit

Accountable.US

Website:

www.accountable.us

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

83-4158350

Type:

Center-Left Political “Watchdog” Group

Former Project of:

New Venture Fund

Accountable.US is a center-left advocacy group and self-described “nonpartisan watchdog group.”

The group is a former project of the New Venture Fund, a center-left 501(c)(3) nonprofit managed by the Washington, D.C.-based philanthropy consulting firm Arabella Advisors, though Accountable.US has announced that it is “in the process of transitioning from the New Venture Fund” into a standalone nonprofit. [1]

Accountable.US Action is the advocacy arm of Accountable.US, and a project of the Arabella Advisors-run Sixteen Thirty Fund, the 501(c)(4) affiliate of the New Venture Fund. [2]

Accountable.US claims that a number of other New Venture Fund projects are in fact projects of its own. Those include Restore Public Trust, Allied Progress, and Western Values Project. [3] As of 2020 the group had obtained independent tax status.

Campaign Against Corporate Complicity

After the Trump administration, Accountable.US and American Oversight announced Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, calling on American businesses to withdraw business engagements with any former Trump administration officials and to promise to never hire them. In its initial statements, the campaign denounces the administration and its officials for allegedly violating commitments of “diversity, equal justice, and integrity” as well as for endorsing “violent extremism” and “white supremacy.” [4]

The campaign claims that former president Donald Trump cited “baseless” claims to pressure political allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election and claims his “incendiary” speech incited the riot on the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. It also claims that Trump “enabled” white supremacy, citing his remarks about the 2017 Charlottesville confederate statue protests and despite numerous recorded times where he denounced white supremacy. [5][6]

In an open letter to America’s CEOs, the campaign called on American businesses as “the first line of defense against normalizing hate and misconduct” to request that they “vet” former senior-level Trump administration officials to see if they are openly critical enough of Trump’s alleged transgressions against America. The letter claims that this is also necessary because it claims the Trump administration was disgraceful to America and attempted to undo America’s democracy. [7]

On Feb. 22, 2021, the House of Representatives’ Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity requesting documents to fully disclose the reasoning of the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, stating that it is discriminating against Trump administration officials by mischaracterizing them and that it is making “inaccurate partisan characterizations.” [8] The letter read as follows:

Mr. Austin Evers Executive Director American Oversight  1030 15th St. NW, Suite B255 Washington, D.C. 20005

 

Dear Mr. Evers,

 

We are writing to inquire about your recent joint campaign with Accountable US entitled Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, which seeks to blacklist certain Americans from employment after their public service on behalf of the federal government. [9]  This campaign perpetuates disgraceful discrimination and intends to unjustly punish former federal government employees for carrying out the policy of a duly elected president—tactics that have no place in America.

Though American Oversight claims to be a “non-partisan, nonprofit ethics watchdog” [10] this campaign focuses solely on blacklisting former federal government officials solely because they worked for the President of the United States.  Accountable US and American Oversight are calling on American companies to “make it clear that [they] will not hire for employment, contract for consulting, or seat on [their] boards any senior level official from the Trump administration that has participated in undermining our democracy, endorsing violent extremism, or tearing families apart.” [11]  These inaccurate partisan characterizations of complex policies ignore the intricacies of developing and enforcing laws to ensure American safety—a burden borne by every administration.  Additionally, these mischaracterizations discriminate against individuals because they served an administration.  They are trying to deny Americans the opportunity to earn livelihoods simply because they made the sacrifice to serve on behalf of the President.

Barring and banning public servants from reentering civil employment has no place in American political discourse.  As President Biden said in his inaugural address, “[f]or without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and fury…unity is the path forward.”  The Campaign Against Corporate Complicity does just the opposite of what President Biden encouraged by treating allegedly political opponents as targets to be destroyed.  In American Oversight’s campaign, these “political opponents” are public servants with a spectrum of backgrounds, experiences, and views—some are only “guilty” of being Republicans.  To deny them future employment only further discourages quality candidates from serving in subsequent administrations.

To better understand the genesis and purpose behind the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, please produce the following documents and information to the Committee no later than March 8, 2021:

  1. All documents and communications between American Oversight and Accountable US relating to the creation of the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity;
  2. All documents and communications relating to the internal process for selecting individuals targeted by the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity;
  3. All documents and communications used as evidence of wrongdoing against the selected individuals qualifying them for the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity;
  4. Any and all communications between American Oversight and the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition; and
  5. Any and all communications between American Oversight and the Biden-Harris Administration.

Additionally, please make arrangements to schedule a briefing on this matter with Committee staff no later than March 1, 2021.  To schedule the briefing or ask any follow-up or related questions, please contact Committee on Oversight and Reform Republican staff at (202) 225-5074.

Leadership

Accountable.US’ board members have extensive connections to Democratic officials and causes, left-wing advocacy groups, and in particular other left-wing “accountability” organizations that dovetail with the mission laid out in the January 2017 Brock proposal. Three board members have history with American Bridge 21st Century and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) – the two main organizations specifically promoted in the Brock proposal. [12] [13]

Kyle Herrig is currently the president and founder of Accountable.US and previously worked on the advisory board of Restore Public Trust. He is the director of New Venture Fund and is on the board of American Oversight. [14] He co-founded and is an advisor for Allied Progress, Equity Forward, and Fix the Court. [15]

Shripal Shah is currently on the advisory board of Accountable.US and previously worked on the advisory board for Restore Public Trust. [16] He is vice-president of American Bridge 21st Century, a Democratic Party super PAC. He was formerly a staffer for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In 2014, he worked as both communications director and deputy campaign manager for Senator Jeanne Shaheen. [17]

Brad Woodhouse is currently on the board of Accountable.US and previously worked on the advisory board for Restore Public Trust. [18] He is executive director of Protect Our Care, an Obamacare advocacy organization and project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) advocacy group and sister to New Venture Fund. He is also a former president of both American Bridge 21st Century and Americans United for Change, and a former communications staffer for the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He worked as an advisor and a spokesperson for Senator Jon Corzine in the early 2000s, a communications director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee in 2003-2004 and as communications director for the Democratic National Committee in 2008. He also worked as a senior strategist for both of President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012. [19]

Melissa (Bruns) Bonine’s RPT bio refers to her as an operations expert for center-left groups. She has a work history that includes the offices of congressional Democrats and in the Obama administration.

Funding

In 2019, New Venture Fund donated $4,649,850 to Accountable.US. [20]

References

  1. “Donate.” Accountable.US. Accessed January 23, 2020. Original URL: https://www.accountable.us/donate/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/01/Accountable.US-Donate.-New-Venture-Fund-Project.-01.2020.pdf

    From the archived page:

    Accountable.US is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that provides fiscal sponsorship and project hosting for various public interest campaigns. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Contributions to Accountable.US may appear as New Venture Fund on your bank or credit card statement. EIN 20-5806345

    Accountable.US is in the process of transitioning from New Venture Fund and expects to be able to accept donations as an independent 501(c)(3) entity in the near future. ^

  2. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Search: Sixteen Thirty Fund. Fighting Chance for Families Action. Accessed June 30, 2021. https://corponline.dcra.dc.gov/BizEntity.aspx/ViewEntityData?entityId=2696217. ^
  3. “About.” Accountable.US. Accessed January 23, 2020. Original URL: https://www.accountable.us/about/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2020/01/Accountable.US-About.-Projects.-01.2020.pdf ^
  4. American Oversight, and Accountable.US. Letter to To Whom It May Concern. “An Open Letter to America’s CEOs,” n.d. https://corporatecomplicity.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/20210120-FINAL-CACC-Open-Letter.pdf ^
  5. “Campaign for Corporate Complicity.” American Oversight and Accountable.US. Accessed February 25, 2021. Original URL: https://corporatecomplicity.org/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/02/Corporate-Complicity-Site-Pull-Main-Page.-02.25.21.pdf. ^
  6. Singman, Brooke. “Trump Denounces White Supremacy ’38 Times’ in New Campaign Video, amid Biden-Harris Criticisms.” Fox News. FOX News Network, October 28, 2020. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-denounce-white-supremacy-biden-harris. ^
  7. Cloud, Michael. Letter to Mr. Austin Evers. “Letter to American Oversight.” Committee on Oversight and Reform. US House of Representatives, February 22, 2021. Original URL: https://republicans-oversight.house.gov/letter/letter-to-american-oversight-regarding-campaign-against-corporate-complicity/02-22-22-letter-to-american-oversight/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/02/Corporate-Complicity-Letter-to-Americas-CEOs.pdf. ^
  8. Cloud, Michael. Letter to Mr. Austin Evers. “Letter to American Oversight.” Committee on Oversight and Reform. US House of Representatives, February 22, 2021. Original URL: https://republicans-oversight.house.gov/letter/letter-to-american-oversight-regarding-campaign-against-corporate-complicity/02-22-22-letter-to-american-oversight/. Archived URL: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/02/Corporate-Complicity-Letter-to-Americas-CEOs.pdf. ^
  9. Campaign Against Corporate Complicity, ACCOUNTABLE US & AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (last visited Jan. 27, 2021), https://corporatecomplicity.org/. ^
  10. About, AMERICAN OVERSIGHT (last visited Jan. 28, 2020), https://www.americanoversight.org/about. ^
  11. Letter from Accountable US & American Oversight to America’s CEOs (Jan. 26, 2021), https://twitter.com/accountable_us. ^
  12. “Who We Are.” Restore Public Trust. Accessed January 4, 2019. http://restorepublictrust.org/about/ ^
  13. Schoffstall, Joe. “Read the Confidential David Brock Memo Outlining Plans to Attack Trump.” Washington Free Beacon. January 26, 2017. Accessed December 12, 2018.https://freebeacon.com/politics/david-brock-memo-attack-trump/ ^
  14. “Kyle Herrig.” About Us. Accountable.US. 2020. https://www.accountable.us/team/kyle-herrig/. ^
  15. David Horowitz Freedom Center, ed. “Restore Public Trust .” Discover the Networks . David Horowitz Freedom Center. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/restore-public-trust-rpt/. ^
  16. “Shripal Shah.” About Us. Accountable.US. 2020. https://www.accountable.us/about/. ^
  17. David Horowitz Freedom Center, ed. “Restore Public Trust.” Discover the Networks. David Horowitz Freedom Center. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/restore-public-trust-rpt/. ^
  18. “Brad Woodhouse.” About Us. Accountable.US. 2020. https://www.accountable.us/about/. ^
  19. David Horowitz Freedom Center, ed. “Restore Public Trust.” Discover the Networks. David Horowitz Freedom Center. Accessed January 23, 2020. https://www.discoverthenetworks.org/organizations/restore-public-trust-rpt/. ^
  20. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). New Venture Fund. 2019. Schedule I. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Austin Evers
    Board Member
  2. Shripal Shah
    Board Member
  3. Caroline Ciccone
    Executive Director
  4. Mindy Myers
    Board Member
  5. Kyle Herrig
    President
  6. Brad Woodhouse
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2020

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    Accountable.US

    1919 M ST NW STE 450
    WASHINGTON, DC 20036-3553