Political Party/527

43 Alumni for Joe Biden

43 Alumni for Joe Biden is a Super PAC founded by former George W. Bush administration and campaign officials in 2020 to support the election of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. [1]

Background

The 43 Alumni for Joe Biden super PAC was launched on July 1, 2020, with the support of “officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush.” [2] The group’s director and co-founder, Karen Kirksey, worked on Bush’s 2000 campaign and in the Department of Labor from 2001 to 2003, the Department of Agriculture from 2003 to 2007, and the General Services Administration from 2007 to 2009. [3] Kristopher Purcell, who worked at the White House and State Department between 2001 and 2009 and has most recently worked for Facebook and Google, has also been identified as a co-founder of the group. [4] [5]

Upon launch, the group declined to “name all its members or its donors.” [6] However, by late July, it was reported that the group included “more than 200 alumni of George W. Bush’s Administration.” [7]

The 43 Alumni group discloses 241 former George W. Bush administration and campaign officials, and links to similar other organizations purporting to organize Republicans supporting Vice President Biden’s campaign, including Former Republican National Security Officials for Biden and The Lincoln Project. [8]

Because the organization was created on July 1, 2020, it will be able to avoid disclosing its donors until the third-quarter report, which must be filed by October 15, 2020. [9] Had the group filed a day earlier, they would have been required to disclose their donors on the second-quarter report, which would have been filed by July 15, 2020. [10]

Former President George W. Bush is not involved in the group.  A spokesman for Bush said that he was retired and “won’t be wading into this election.” [11] When pressed in August about whether Bush could make an endorsement, his spokesman said, “It is not in the cards,” and added that “President Bush is retired from presidential politics and will not be weighing in.” [12]

The organization has campaigned using a mix of social media, videos, op-eds, and media outreach. [13] On September 30, 2020, 43 Alumni for Joe Biden and the Lincoln Project partnered up to release a digital ad targeted at the Latino community. The ad was released ahead of a Lincoln Project “Latino Town Hall.” [14]

On August 26, 2020, 43 Alumni for Joe Biden released a letter from its members, expressing the group’s view that Joe Biden would “restore character, integrity and decency to the White House.” [15]

While 43 Alumni for Joe Biden initially claimed to focus solely on positive messages and avoid negativity, co-founder Kristopher Purcells gave an interview in which he claimed that, “Donald Trump is a threat to our nation,” and a 43 Alumni for Joe Biden digital ad said, “Donald Trump is a failure as a leader, and an existential threat to Latinos.” [16]

Prominent Members

Among the more prominent members of 43 Alumni for Joe Biden are:

  • James K. Glassman – Under Secretary of State; Founding Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute
  • Paul McHale – Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, U.S. Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • John Negroponte – Director of National Intelligence, Deputy Secretary of State, Ambassador to Iraq, Ambassador to the United Nations
  • Richard Painter – Associate Counsel to the President (Ethics)
  • Ann Veneman – Secretary of Agriculture
  • Christine Todd Whitman – EPA Administrator
  • Mary Peters – Secretary of Transportation

References

  1. Duster, Chandelis, “Ex-George W. Bush officials launch new group supporting Joe Biden,” CNN, July 02, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/01/politics/george-w-bush-43-alumni-super-pac-joe-biden/index.html ^
  2. [1] Reid, Tim, “Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials to back Biden, group says,” Reuters, July 01, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-biden-republicans-exclus/exclusive-hundreds-of-george-w-bush-administration-officials-to-back-biden-group-says-idUSKBN24253R ^
  3. [1] LinkedIn, Karen Kirksey profile. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenkirksey/ ^
  4. [1] LinkedIn, Kristopher Purcell profile. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristopher-purcell-3568863/ ^
  5. [1] Purcell, Kristopher, “9/11 anniversary highlights Trump’s failures as America faces a new crisis — from within,” NBC News, September 11, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/9-11-anniversary-highlights-trump-s-failures-america-faces-new-ncna1239795 ^
  6. [1] Reid, Tim, “Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials to back Biden, group says,” Reuters, July 01, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-biden-republicans-exclus/exclusive-hundreds-of-george-w-bush-administration-officials-to-back-biden-group-says-idUSKBN24253R ^
  7. [1] Tessa Berenson and Alana Abramson, “Revenge of the Never Trumpers: Meet the Republican Dissidents Fighting to Push Donald Trump Out of Office,” Time, July 23, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://time.com/5870475/never-trumpers-2020-election/ ^
  8. [1] 43 Alumni for Joe Biden, 43 Alumni Endorsing Joe Biden. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://43alumniforjoebiden.com/43-alumni-endorsing-joe-biden/ ^
  9. [1] Federal Election Commission, Quarterly Reports. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.fec.gov/help-candidates-and-committees/filing-reports/quarterly-reports/ ^
  10. [1] Neely, Brett, “Hundreds Of Former Bush Officials Unite To Endorse Joe Biden,” NPR, July 01, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://www.npr.org/2020/07/01/886346437/hundreds-of-former-bush-officials-unite-to-endorse-joe-biden ^
  11. [1] Reid, Tim, “Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials to back Biden, group says,” Reuters, July 01, 2020. Accessed October 07, 2020.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-biden-republicans-exclus/exclusive-hundreds-of-george-w-bush-administration-officials-to-back-biden-group-says-idUSKBN24253R ^
  12. [1] Parnes, Amie, “Bush endorsing Biden? Don’t hold your breath,” The Hill, August 25, 2020. Accessed September 07, 2020. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/513456-bush-endorsing-biden-dont-hold-your-breath ^
  13. [1] 43 Alumni for Joe Biden, News. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://43alumniforjoebiden.com/news/ ^
  14. [1] 32 Alumni for Joe Biden, 43 Alumni for Biden Announces Latino Voter Outreach Campaign. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://43alumniforjoebiden.com/43-alumni-for-biden-announces-latino-voter-outreach-campaign/ ^
  15. [1] 43 Alumni for Joe Biden, Open Letter: Why Joe? Accessed October 07, 2020. https://43alumniforjoebiden.com/open-letter-why-joe/ ^
  16. [1] Axelrod, Tal, “Alumni of George W. Bush administration launch pro-Biden super PAC,” The Hill, 07/01/2020. Accessed October 07, 2020. https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/505425-alumni-of-george-w-bush-administration-form-super-pac-to-back-biden ^
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