Other Group

Congressional Integrity Project

Website:

congressionalintegrity.org/

Founded:

2020

Executive Director:

Kyle Herrig

Type:

Opposition research

The Congressional Integrity Project (CIP) is a left-of-center activist group that opposes Republican members of Congress and exposes allegedly compromising information about them with the intent of damaging their public images and re-election prospects. In particular, the project targets lawmakers who allegedly hold further-right beliefs or were not sufficiently critical of the Capitol riot in January 2021. However, the CIP is also hostile to all Republicans who support reducing government spending on social welfare programs, claiming that they have used the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic recession as a reason to “block” left-progressive economic policies. The project openly states that it also targets the “friends and family” of the legislators it chooses to attack. [1]

The CIP first started issuing statements on the alleged wrongdoing of Republican lawmakers in late September 2020, less than two months before the general election in November. CIP has shown no sign of public activity since January 2021 and appears to be inactive. [2]

The leadership of the CIP is made up of high-level Democratic Party operatives, including former senior staffers for the campaigns of former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Al Gore, and influential Democratic legislators such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). [3]

Public Statements

Between September 2020 and January 2021, Congressional Integrity Project issued press releases detailing alleged unethical activity by Republican lawmakers, as well as their associates and family members. [4]

In October 2020, the CIP engaged in a publicity stunt involving its statement on Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI). On its website, the project posted poorly translated, error-filled versions of the statement in Russian and Ukrainian, claiming that this would make the statement “easier for the Senator and his associates to read.” The CIP acknowledged that it had used Google Translate to create the Russian and Ukrainian versions of the statement. [5] Senator Johnson was one of the project’s primary targets throughout its active period: the CIP issued at least ten statements featuring or mentioning him. [6]

In January 2021, shortly after the protests in Washington, D.C., over suspected fraud in the 2020 presidential election results and the ensuing riot at the Capitol building, the CIP issued a statement calling on the staffers of Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) to undermine their bosses by resigning and criticizing them in public. As part of its statement, the project released a list with dozens of names of the two senators’ senior staff members. [7]

Funding

According to the Washington Examiner, the CIP has received roughly $1.5 million in donations from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a nonprofit advocacy group managed by philanthropic firm Arabella Advisors. [8] The Sixteen Thirty is one of several Arabella-managed nonprofits that have been previously criticized of being “dark money” organizations. [9] The Examiner also claims that tax filings show the $1.5 million as accounting for a majority of donations CIP received between 2020 and 2021. According to the CIP’s tax forms, the donations were meant for “civil rights, social action, [and] advocacy.” [10]

Leadership

Kyle Herrig is the executive director of the Congressional Integrity Project. He is also the founder and president of Accountable.US, a pressure group which demanded that businesses blacklist any individual who had worked in the administration of President Donald Trump and refuse to hire them. [11] Herrig has previously served as executive director and as a board member of Arabella-linked nonprofit group New Venture Fund. He also sat on the advisory board of Restore Public Trust, a center-left advocacy organization that was formerly a project of New Venture Fund and is now a project of Accountable.US. [12] [13]

Leslie Dach is a senior advisor to CIP. She is the founder and Chair of the Board for healthcare advocacy organization Protect Our Care as well as the Co-Chair for Defend Democracy Project, an election advocacy group. [14] [15] She previously served as Senior Counselor to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama Administration and was formerly a member of the management committees for multinational retail company Walmart and its charitable arm The Walmart Foundation. [16]

Melanie Sloan and Brad Woodhouse sit on the board of the CIP. Sloan was the founding executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a left-of-center legal activist group. Woodhouse is the executive director of Protect Our Care, an activist group which lobbies against efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Previously, Woodhouse managed left-of-center groups such as Americans United for Change, American Bridge 21st Century, and Correct the Record. [17] Woodhouse previously served as a project director for Sixteen Thirty Fund, a lobbying and advocacy organization managed by Arabella Advisors. [18] [19]

References

  1. “About.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/about/ ^
  2. “Press Releases.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/news/press/ ^
  3. “About.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/about/ ^
  4. “Press Releases.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/news/press/ ^
  5. “Ron Johnson Peddles Misinformation; Refuses to Address Domestic Terrorism.” Congressional Integrity Project. October 14, 2020. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/%d1%80%d0%be%d0%bd-%d0%b4%d0%b6%d0%be%d0%bd%d1%81%d0%be%d0%bd-%d1%80%d0%b0%d1%81%d0%bf%d1%80%d0%be%d1%81%d1%82%d1%80%d0%b0%d0%bd%d1%8f%d0%b5%d1%82-%d0%b4%d0%b5%d0%b7%d0%b8%d0%bd%d1%84%d0%be%d1%80/ ^
  6. “Press Releases.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/news/press/ ^
  7. “Watchdog to Cruz and Hawley Staff: It’s Never too Late to do the Right Thing.” Congressional Integrity Project. January 14, 2021. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/watchdog-to-cruz-and-hawley-staff-its-never-too-late-to-do-the-right-thing/ ^
  8. Kaminsky, Gabe. “Democratic dark money juggernaut behind Biden-allied group targeting House GOP.” December 29, 2022. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-allied-group-targeting-house-gop-has-been-almost-entirely-bankrolled-arabella-advisors ^
  9. Hayden R. Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center (DarkMoneyATM.org). https://darkmoneyatm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money_small.pdf ^
  10. Kaminsky, Gabe. “Democratic dark money juggernaut behind Biden-allied group targeting House GOP.” December 29, 2022. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-allied-group-targeting-house-gop-has-been-almost-entirely-bankrolled-arabella-advisors ^
  11. “About.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/about/ ^
  12. Glynn, Earl F. “Tangled, Dark-Money Web of Congressional Integrity Project.” Watchdog Lab, December 1, 2022. https://watchdoglab.substack.com/p/tangled-dark-money-web-of-congressional ^
  13. Hayden R. Ludwig. “Big Money in Dark Shadows: Arabella Advisors’ Half-billion-dollar ‘Dark Money’ Network.” Capital Research Center (DarkMoneyATM.org). https://darkmoneyatm.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money_small.pdf ^
  14. “About.” Congressional Integrity Project, Accessed December 8, 2022. https://congressionalintegrity.org/about/ ^
  15. Glynn, Earl F. “Tangled, Dark-Money Web of Congressional Integrity Project.” Watchdog Lab, December 1, 2022. https://watchdoglab.substack.com/p/tangled-dark-money-web-of-congressional ^
  16. “Meet Our Team.” Protect Our Care, Accessed December 8, 2022. https://www.protectourcare.org/team/ ^
  17. “About.” Congressional Integrity Project. Accessed November 22, 2021. https://congressionalintegrity.org/about/ ^
  18. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. 2019. Part VII (Compensation of Officers, Directors, etc.). ^
  19. Glynn, Earl F. “Tangled, Dark-Money Web of Congressional Integrity Project.” Watchdog Lab, December 1, 2022. https://watchdoglab.substack.com/p/tangled-dark-money-web-of-congressional ^
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