Non-profit

Campaign Against Corporate Complicity

Website:

CorporateComplicity.org

Type:

Anti-Trump Administration Group

The Campaign Against Corporate Complicity is a far-left attack website created to blacklist former members of the Trump administration, stopping them from obtaining jobs in government and the private sector by demanding major corporations refuse to hire them. The campaign is run by two left-of-center groups: Accountable.US, a former project of the New Venture Fund (part of the multi-billion-dollar network run by the for-profit consultancy Arabella Advisors), and American Oversight, an anti-Trump “watchdog” group created in 2017. [1] [2]

In February 2021 the campaign was criticized by a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives, which sent a letter demanding documents to fully disclose the aims of the Campaign Against Corporate Complicity and accusing the group of making “inaccurate partisan characterizations.” [3]

Background and Criticism

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.

References

  1. Hayden Ludwig. “Former Arabella ‘Pop-Up’ Caught Blacklisting Trump Administration Officials.” Capital Research Center. March 23, 2021. Accessed March 29, 2021. https://capitalresearch.org/article/former-arabella-pop-up-caught-blacklisting-trump-administration-officials/?blm_aid=2821126 ^
  2. CorporateComplicity website archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2021/02/Corporate-Complicity-Site-Pull-Main-Page.-02.25.21.pdf ^
  3. 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. ^
  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. ^
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