Morris Pearl




Board Chair, Patriotic Millionaires

Investment Banker

Left-of-center Political Activist

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Morris Pearl is a left-of-center financier and activist. He is the board chair of The Patriotic Millionaires, an organization of wealthy individuals who advocate for higher taxes on high-income Americans. The group also pushes for other left-leaning economic and social policies such as an increased minimum wage. Pearl also sits on the board of the Center for Political Accountability, which conducts public relations campaigns and backs shareholder resolutions intended to force businesses disclose their political donations. Previously, Pearl was a managing director at BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management firm and a leading promoter of left-of-center environmental, social, and governance (ESG) activism in the financial and corporate spheres. Prior to that, Pearl spent many years building a career on Wall Street. 1

Morris Pearl is a long-time contributor to Democratic Party politicians. He has notably given to U.S. Reps Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Eric Swalwell (D-CA). 2 3

Pearl has been a vocal proponent of universal taxpayer-funded health coverage and college education, as well as legal status for unlawful border crossers. He has also called for expanding access to abortion. 4


Morris Pearl has touted his “long tenure” working in the financial industry, and claims credit for inventing certain securities technologies related to consumer credit. 5 Notably, he spent one year, from 1991 to 1992, as a vice president at Salomon Brothers, which was one of the largest investment institutions on Wall Street at the time. During his tenure, the bank was undergoing a series of mergers and acquisitions, and it ultimately merged with Citigroup in 2003. 6 7

In 1992, Pearl moved on from Salomon Brothers to Kidder, Peabody, and Company, where he was also a vice president until 1994, when the firm became implicated in what the New York Times called “one of Wall Street’s most spectacular trading scandals” at the time. An internal investigation revealed that one of the firm’s executives falsified $350 million worth of non-existent profits, and that management at all levels of the firm had been failing to investigate apparent discrepancies in order to report positive results. 8 9 Kidder Peabody shut down the following year, with most of its assets being absorbed into PaineWebber Group, which itself later merged with the Union Bank of Switzerland, and which Pearl joined in 1995, becoming a managing director two years later. 10 11

In 2005, he joined BlackRock, where he also rose to the position of managing director and remained until 2014. BlackRock started offering funds tailored to promote ESG activism, such as anti-conventional-fuel advocacy and left-wing identity-politics ideology, in the mid-2000s, and has since come under criticism for apparently failing to generate the same returns for investors as non-ESG funds. 12 13


In 2014, Morris Pearl left BlackRock to become the board chair of The Patriotic Millionaires, a network of rich individuals across the United States founded in 2010 by Democratic Party operative Erica Payne and left-wing activist Guy Saperstein to promote left-of-center economic policies. Pearl also assumed leadership roles at the Tesseract Research Center (previously known as the Agenda Project) and its affiliated advocacy group Tesseract (formerly the Agenda Project Action Fund) – both of which are aligned with The Patriotic Millionaires. 14

The Patriotic Millionaires

In 2010, a group of wealthy individuals started a campaign to repeal tax cuts passed under the George W. Bush administration. This eventually became The Patriotic Millionaires, and the organization went on to develop close ties with the Obama administration, with its members joining then-President Barack Obama at the White House for an address on tax policy in 2012 and for an executive order signing in 2014. The organization became highly critical of the Trump administration, claiming that then-President Trump’s tax policies disproportionately favored corporations and the wealthy. Since then, the group has continued to push for higher taxes, an increased minimum wage, and various government initiatives designed to impose economic and political equality of outcome. 15

Under Morris Pearl’s leadership, The Patriotic Millionaires has attempted to pressure both Republican and Democratic lawmakers. In October 2021, the organization lobbied center-left Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) to support higher taxes, with Pearl personally visiting the senator’s office together with the group’s founder Erica Payne. In October 2023, the organization issued a statement attacking newly-elected Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), calling him an “avowed election denier” for voicing his concerns over the results of the presidential vote in 2020. The group also claimed that Johnson was “among those most responsible” for protests in favor of former President Donald Trump and subsequent riots and trespassing incidents at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. in January 2021. 16

The Patriotic Millionaires has endorsed the proposed “OLIGARCH (Oppose Limitless Inequality Growth and Reverse Community Harms) Act” backed by several Democratic members of Congress, including far-left Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). The act would introduce a taxation scheme in which the tax rate on wealthy individuals would increase or decrease based on selective measures of perceived economic inequality in the United States. 17 An analyst at the left-of-center Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, said that such a law could create unintended consequences such as incentivizing the wealthy to engage in more speculative investing. 18

While The Patriotic Millionaires includes a large number of current and former business and financial executives, there are a number of professional left-wing activists among its leadership. Ana Maria Archila is a career promoter of increased immigration and LGBT interests who was a cofounder of the Center for Popular Democracy, a left-wing voter mobilization organization. Chuck Collins is a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-of-center think tank. Ellyn Gelson is a California-based philanthropist who supports various left-of-center causes in addition to ostensibly nonpolitical initiatives. 19

Verified Voting

Morris Pearl also sits on the board of Verified Voting, a left-of-center election policy advocacy group which campaigns against the use of electronic voting machines in favor of paper ballots. While Verified Voting claims to champion election security, it worked to downplay concerns about ballot integrity during the 2020 presidential election. 20 That year, the organization also faced internal dissent and the departure of a board member over apparent flaws in its approach and alleged cover-ups of unreliable voting systems. In his resignation letter, University of California, Berkeley statistics professor Philip Stark wrote that the group was “providing cover for inherently untrustworthy voting systems” by billing its “risk-limiting audits” – which he called “misleading” – as a sufficient measure against ballot fraud. Stark accused the group of “helping election officials who purchased poorly designed … systems justify their purchases.” 21

Political Views

Morris Pearl has identified himself as a “liberal,” a “progressive,” and a “leftist.” He has attacked ostensibly cross-party efforts such as No Labels for including lawmakers with right-of-center views. 22


Morris Pearl supports removing restrictions on and expanding access to abortion and contraception. He frames these issues as a matter of “access to healthcare” and “decisions about parenthood.” He also claims that this will help women become more “productive members of society.” 23 Following the June 2022 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson which ruled against a constitutional right to abortion, Pearl issued a statement equating pro-life policies with the apartheid system of racial segregation in South Africa. He further claimed that unrestricted access to abortion was necessary to ensure “happy, healthy, and prosperous lives.” According to Pearl, limiting the availability of abortion keeps “millions of Americans” from pursuing higher education and securing a “fulfilling career.” 24


Morris Pearl supports increased taxation, though he claims that he primarily means taxes on wealthy Americans. He also supports the use of taxpayer funds to try to provide universal health coverage and higher education. 25 In November 2017, Pearl attacked the Trump administration for its proposed tax policies in an article for Time magazine, claiming that they would add more than $1 trillion to the national debt. 26 In September 2023, however, with the Biden administration now in power, Pearl wrote an op-ed for The Hill in which he dismissed concerns about the national debt a “tired refrain from conservative politicians” and a case of “media hysterics.” 27

In the aftermath of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse in early 2023, Morris Pearl wrote an article calling for greater government oversight of the financial sector, citing his experience collaborating with the Federal Reserve and Department of the Treasury while at BlackRock. He also endorsed the proposed Secure Viable Banking Act introduced by Democrats in Congress. 28


Under Morris Pearl’s leadership, The Patriotic Millionaires has promoted granting legal status to illegal immigrants present in the United States. In May 2020, the organization published an article citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason not to enforce immigration laws and arguing that illegal aliens should receive work visas, as well as taxpayer-funded healthcare and education. 29 The group also condemned the Trump administration for restricting immigration from certain Muslim-majority countries and for attempting to tighten border security, claiming that the United States should instead offer citizenship to illegal immigrants and increase immigration levels. 30 Pearl has also personally advocated against deporting illegal immigrants. 31

Campaign Spending

Starting with the 2016 election cycle, Pearl has contributed more than $32,000 to various congressional and other political campaigns, overwhelmingly favoring Democratic candidates with his donations. Starting in 2016, he has given just over $12,000 to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). Throughout 2018, he gave at least $1,500 to Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI). In 2019, he gave more than $5,600 to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), as well as $1,000 each to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and failed Texas Democratic congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros. In 2020, he gave a total of nearly $1,400 to then-Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), as well as $500 to failed Democratic Senate candidate James Mackler. Since then, he has given more than $1,900 to Senator Ron Wyden (D-CA) and just under $3,200 to Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL), as well as $2,000 to Senator Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA). Pearl has also made small contributions to former Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-GA), Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Florida Democratic Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and failed Democratic Texas congressional candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni. 32


  1. “Morris Pearl.” Insider. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  2. [1]“Individual Contributions – Morris Pearl, New York, Patriotic Millionaires.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  3. Eric Ting. “What we know about Bay Area Rep. Eric Swalwell and the suspected Chinese spy.” SFGate. December 9, 2020. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  4. Morris Pearl. “Label Me, Please.” Patriotic Millionaires. April 11, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  5. “Morris Pearl.” Insider. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  6. Morris Pearl. LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  7. James Chen. “Salomon Brothers: History of the Investment Bank.” Investopedia. March 31, 2021. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  8. Morris Pearl. LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  9. Sylvia Nasar. “Kidder Scandal Tied to Failure Of Supervision.” The New York Times. August 5, 1994. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  10. Anita Raghavan. “Kidder Peabody Name To Vanish – Venerable Presence Fades After 129 Years.” The Seattle Times. January 18, 1995. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  11. Morris Pearl. LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  12. Anita Raghavan. “Kidder Peabody Name To Vanish – Venerable Presence Fades After 129 Years.” The Seattle Times. January 18, 1995. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  13. Morris Pearl. LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  14. Morris Pearl. LinkedIn. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  15. “About Us.” Patriotic Millionaires. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  16. “Patriotic Millionaires on the Elevation of Election Denier Mike Johnson (R-LA) to Speaker of the House.” Common Dreams. October 25, 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  17. “The OLIGARCH Act, Explained.” Patriotic Millionaires. Accessed October 26, 2023.

  18. Levi Sumagaysay. “Here’s what the Oligarch Act, the Democrats’ latest wealth-tax bill, is trying to do.” MarketWatch. August 3, 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  19. “Who We Are.” Patriotic Millionaires. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  20. “Morris Pearl.” Insider. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  21. [1]“Update on Efforts to Ensure Accurate, Verifiable Elections.” Society of Women Engineers – All Together. January 23, 2020. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  22. Morris Pearl. “Label Me, Please.” Patriotic Millionaires. April 11, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  23. Morris Pearl. “Label Me, Please.” Patriotic Millionaires. April 11, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  24. “SCOTUS Dobbs Decision Will Create a ‘Reproductive and Economic Apartheid.’” Patriotic Millionaires. June 30, 2022. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  25. Morris Pearl. “Label Me, Please.” Patriotic Millionaires. April 11, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  26. Morris Pearl. “I’m a Multi-Millionaire So Trump’s Tax Plan Is Great for Me. It’s a Disaster for Everyone Else.” Time. November 28, 2017. Accessed October 26, 2023.

  27. Morris Pearl, Bob Lord. “Media hysterics aside, the sky isn’t falling on the national debt.” The Hill. September 21, 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  28. Morris Pearl. “Banks big and small need better oversight.” Litchfield Independent Review. April 5, 2023. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  29. Undocumented Workers Are Essential. Let’s Treat Them Like It.” Patriotic Millionaires. May 22, 2020. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  30. [1]“Blaming Our Woes on Immigrants is Fake News.” Patriotic Millionaires. July 25, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  31. Morris Pearl. “Label Me, Please.” Patriotic Millionaires. April 11, 2018. Accessed October 26, 2023.
  32. [1]“Individual Contributions – Morris Pearl, New York, Patriotic Millionaires.” Federal Election Commission. Accessed October 26, 2023.
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