Person

Aaron Eske

Occupation:

Senior Vice President, M&R Strategic Services

Aaron Eske is a left-wing activist senior vice president for the left-of-center political consulting firm M&R Strategic Services (MRSS), board member for the environmental litigation group EarthRights International (ERI), and founder of the socially liberal magazine Double Issue. Eske worked as press secretary for former Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)[1] and communications director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. [2]

Eske wrote My Family, A Symphony: A Memoir of Global Adoption, a memoir of his life in a Nebraska family that adopted children internationally. [3]

EarthRights International

Eske is the board of directors co-chair of EarthRights International (ERI), an environmentalist group. [4] ERI has opposed traditional energy projects including the Keystone pipeline[5] and hydraulic fracturing[6] and protested banks that finance such projects. [7] In November 2019, ERI came out in favor of legislation introduced by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), which would allow the United States to impose sanctions against countries that contribute to global warming. [8]

ERI criticized Trump administration decisions to roll back environmental regulations. [9] Beyond environmental issues, it has weighed in on the Trump administration’s immigration policy. ERI asked people to protest companies that operate detention centers at which illegal immigrants are held. [10]

Funders of ERI include John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur FoundationWallace Global FundTides Foundation, Ford FoundationGeorge Soros’ Foundation to Promote Open Society and Open Society Foundations, and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. [11]

MRSS

Eske is a senior vice president at M&R Strategic Services (MRSS),[12] a government relations and consulting company that helps liberal non-profits with online fundraising, social media, and digital organizing. [13] During the 2018 midterm elections, liberal political committees including Planned Parenthood Votes, PACs associated with the labor union SEIU, and the League of Conservation Voters paid MRSS a combined total in excess of $1,000,000 for the firm’s work. [14] Other left-wing groups that have hired MRSS include People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Sierra Club, and NARAL Pro-Choice America. [15] [16]

Opposition to Trump Administration

When the Supreme Court ruled in Trump v. Hawaii that the Trump administration’s “travel ban” affecting a number of Muslim-majority countries was a legal use of Presidential authority, Eske tweeted his opposition to the ruling. [17] Eske quoted liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent, which Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined, which said “the Court’s decision today has failed.” [18] In response to the Trump administration’s initial travel ban order in January 2017, Eske joined protestors at San Francisco’s airports and tweeted “The #resistance has arrived.” [19]

Eske opposed the confirmation of Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, as Secretary of State. Eske retweeted, a photo of Tillerson with Russian President Vladimir Putin that had a fake conversation between the two men. In the photo Putin says, “I’m so glad I rigged the election,” and Tillerson responds, “Same. You might save Exxon.” [20] Eske retweeted another photo in which the group claimed the Trump administration was filled with “Big Oil Pawns,” and said the Environmental Protection Agency was now the “Exxon Protection Agency.” [21]

Double Issue

Eske is the editorial director of the left-wing magazine Double Issue, which focuses on social issues. [22] The magazine was launched partially as response to the election of President Trump and is “explicitly political.” [23] Double Issue urges people to take actions including donating to their local affiliates of Planned Parenthood. [24] Double Issue retweeted a Washington Post opinion piece that compared the Supreme Court ruling the Trump administration’s travel ban to the infamous pre-Civil War Dred Scott v. Sanford ruling that held that African Americans were not citizens under the Constitution. [25]

References

  1. “Aaron Eske.” LinkedIn. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-eske-6851a133/ ^
  2. “Board of Directors and Leadership Council.” EarthRights International. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://earthrights.org/about/board-of-directors-and-leadership-council/. ^
  3. Qiu, Lisa. “Interview: Aaron Eske, Author of My Family, A Symphony: A Memoir of Global Adoption: Memoirville.” Memoirville RSS, December 21, 2010. http://www.smithmag.net/memoirville/2010/12/21/interview-aaron-eske-author-of-my-family-a-symphony-a-memoir-of-global-adoption/. ^
  4. “Board of Directors and Leadership Council.” EarthRights International. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://earthrights.org/about/board-of-directors-and-leadership-council/. ^
  5. EarthRights Intl. Twitter Post. January 20, 2012. 6:54 PM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/EarthRightsIntl/status/160510522616328192 ^
  6. EarthRights Intl. Twitter Post. November 22, 2019. 11:24 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020.  https://twitter.com/EarthRightsIntl/status/1197913757365743624 ^
  7. EarthRights Intl. Twitter Post. November 9, 2017. 10:42 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020.   https://twitter.com/EarthRightsIntl/status/928648888445276160 ^
  8. Redford, Katie. “Those Who Recklessly Destroy Our Climate Should Face Consequences.” EarthRights International, November 21, 2019. https://earthrights.org/media/those-who-recklessly-destroy-our-climate-should-face-consequences/. ^
  9. EarthRights Intl. Twitter Post. November 22, 2019. 11:24 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020.   https://twitter.com/EarthRightsIntl/status/1210990297666277376 ^
  10. Fantone, Michelle. “Family Separation and the Companies That Profit.” EarthRights International, June 26, 2018. https://earthrights.org/blog/family-separation-and-the-companies-that-profit/. ^
  11. Information provided by FoundationSearch. EarthRights International. www.FoundationSearch.com ^
  12. “About.” M+R. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.mrss.com/about/. ^
  13. “M+R.” Facebook. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.facebook.com/MRCampaigns/ ^
  14. “Vender: M&R Strategic Services.” Center for Responsive Politics. 2018 Cycle. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/expends/vendor.php?year=2018&vendor=M%26R+Strategic+Services ^
  15. “Work.” M&R Strategic Services. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://www.mrss.com/work/ ^
  16. “Recent Clients (archived).” M&R Strategic Services (Archived Page). Archived March 3, 2009. Accessed May 22, 2019. https://web.archive.org/web/20090303132736/https://www.mrss.com/clients.html ^
  17. Aaron Eske. Twitter Post. June 26, 2018. 11:04 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/eskepades/status/1011626301122232320 ^
  18. Aaron Eske. Twitter Post. June 26, 2018. 11:04 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/eskepades/status/1011626301122232320 ^
  19. Aaron Eske. Twitter Post. January 28, 2017. 8:05 PM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/eskepades/status/825510194692005888 ^
  20. #ExxonKnew. Twitter Post. December 13, 2016. 11:30 AM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/Exxon_Knew/status/808710698675175424 ^
  21. #ExxonKnew. Twitter Post. December 18, 2016. 1:44 PM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/Exxon_Knew/status/806932384989839360 ^
  22. “Aaron Eske.” LinkedIn. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaron-eske-6851a133/ ^
  23. Haber, Matt. “Long Live Print: San Francisco Has Become Awash in Indie Magazines.” SFChronicle.com. San Francisco Chronicle, March 13, 2019. https://www.sfchronicle.com/style/article/Forget-what-you-ve-heard-Magazine-publishing-13683724.php. ^
  24. “Actions.” Double Issue. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://www.doubleissuemag.org/actions.html. ^
  25. Double Issue. Twitter Post. June 27, 2018. 12:24 PM. Accessed January 11, 2020. https://twitter.com/doubleissuemag/status/1011827533782716416 ^

Connected Organizations

  1. EarthRights International (ERI) (Non-profit)
    Board Member
  2. M&R Strategic Services (MRSS) (For-profit)
    Senior Vice President (2010-Present)
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