"The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees" - Jane Mayer, New Yorker
"The American Accountability Foundation (A.A.F.), which is run by conservative white men, has particularly focussed on blocking women and people of color. As of last month, more than a third of the twenty-nine candidates it had publicly attacked were people of color, and nearly sixty per cent were women."
Who are the people running the 'slime machine'? Who funds them? How is the AAF treated as a nonprofit? Follow the dark money behind the smear campaign with this network map.
Racist, misogynist attacks
"When Ketanji Jackson Brown defended herself on this point during the hearings, the A.A.F. said, on Twitter, that she was “lying.” The group’s allegation—reminiscent of the QAnon conspiracy, which claims that liberal élites are abusing and trafficking children—rippled through conservative circles. Tucker Carlson repeated the accusation on his Fox News program while a chyron declared “jackson lenient in child sex cases.” Marjorie Taylor Greene, the extremist representative from Georgia, called Jackson “pro-pedophile.” - New Yorker
Desperately pursuing dirt
"The A.A.F. has taken the practice to extremes, repeatedly spinning negligible tidbits or dubious hearsay into damning narratives. The group recently deployed its unorthodox methods, Politico has reported, while “desperately pursuing dirt” on Lisa Cook, the nominee for the Federal Reserve. Cook, who has been a tenured professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University since 2013, has attracted bipartisan support. Glenn Hubbard, the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers during the George W. Bush Administration, has said, “Cook’s talents as an economic researcher and teacher make her a good nominee for the Fed, adding to diversity of perspectives about policy.”
In college, Cook won a Marshall Scholarship. She subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and served as a staff economist on President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers. She also held appointments at the National Bureau of Economic Research and at various regional Federal Reserve banks. The A.A.F., though, has portrayed her as unqualified, and suggested that her tenure at Michigan State is undeserved." - New Yorker
Politically active, tax-exempt nonprofit charity
"An explicit purpose of the A.A.F.—a politically active, tax-exempt nonprofit charity that doesn’t disclose its backers—is to prevent the approval of all Biden Administration nominees. When Ketanji Jackson Brown defended herself on this point during the hearings, the A.A.F. said, on Twitter, that she was “lying.” The group’s allegation—reminiscent of the QAnon conspiracy, which claims that liberal élites are abusing and trafficking children—rippled through conservative circles. Tucker Carlson repeated the accusation on his Fox News program while a chyron declared “jackson lenient in child sex cases.” Marjorie Taylor Greene, the extremist representative from Georgia, called Jackson “pro-pedophile.” - New Yorker
Follow the dark money - Relationship map
All in the family
"Meadows’s son, Blake, an associate attorney at the Georgia law firm Foster, Foster, & Smith, appears to be involved with C.P.I., too: his name appears in a lawsuit filed last month on behalf of the A.A.F. against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Matthew Buckham, the A.A.F. co-founder, also has a Trump connection: he worked at the White House during his Administration, in the personnel office. (His father, Ed Buckham, is chief of staff to Marjorie Taylor Greene.) New Yorker
"Ed Buckham, the recently appointed chief of staff for Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Today, Buckham handles a congresswoman who proudly attends “white supremacist, antisemitic, pro-Putin” rallies, as Congresswoman Liz Cheney characterized them, and has become renowned for touting conspiracy theories about how the California wildfires were started by Jewish space lasers. On Thursday, when the House of Representatives voted to suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus, Greene, not surprisingly, was one of eight Republicans who voted against it.
Buckham’s ties to Russian interests date back 25 years to 1997—before Putin came to power—when he served as an aide to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. This was the heyday of “Casino Jack” Abramoff, the lobbyist-conman who took on pay-for-play clients ranging from the Choctaw Indian tribe of Mississippi to the Kremlin with a panache made for Hollywood. At the time, Buckham, in addition to his job with DeLay, oversaw a lobbying outfit called the U.S. Family Network, which presented itself as a public advocacy group but was really a vehicle funded largely by clients of Jack Abramoff." - New Republic
TakeAway: Follow the dark money funding Republican smears on highly qualified Biden nominees based on their race and gender. Does such a group deserve nonprofit exempt status?
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