On October 25, 2018, CfA asked Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the appointment of Suzanne Israel Tufts, the Assistant Secretary for Administration at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, to replace Department of Interior Acting Inspector General Mary Kendall amid ongoing investigations into Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s unethical behavior.
Watchdog Again Calls on Nevada Attorney General to Investigate Vivint Solar for Preying on Consumers
On October 23, 2018, CfA renewed its request to Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt to investigate rooftop solar companies – specifically Vivint Solar – after a local media outlet uncovered evidence that Vivint is continuing to victimize Nevada consumers.
On October 18, 2018, CfA called on officials at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services to investigate whether Scott Lloyd, Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, used his government position to help secure a government contract for his former employer, the Catholic fraternal service organization, the Knights of Columbus.
New Report Details How BlackRock Built its Mexican Infrastructure Business Through Cronyism, Corruption and Conflicts of Interest
On September 26, 2018, CfA released a new report, "The New Corporate Colonialism," which comprehensively documents BlackRock’s efforts to expand its infrastructure business in Mexico through aggressive courtship of Mexican political leaders and organizations mired in corruption and conflict of interest scandals.
On September 4, 2018, CfA released a report documenting how CfA bought politically divisive ads on Google using Russian rubles and a Russian IP address. CfA posed as the infamous Russian troll farm, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), and bought ads using similar language and the same images that the IRA deployed during its 2016 influence campaign. The ads ran on major U.S. media websites and their YouTube channels.
On August 30, 2018, CfA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking communications between Sec. Alex Azar, and any representative or lobbyist for Eli Lilly and Company. Sec. Azar worked at Eli Lilly for a decade, and he has supported a proposed rule change at HHS that would greatly benefit the pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Watchdog Calls for Investigation into HHS Secretary Azar’s Relationship with Former Employer Eli Lilly Following Proposed Rule Change
On August 28, 2018, CfA called on ethics officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to open an investigation into HHS Secretary Alex Azar and his relationship with his former employer, the pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly and Company. HHS recently proposed a new rule that would greatly benefit Eli Lilly, and Sec. Azar has championed the issue while at the helm of HHS.
New Report Adds to Conflict of Interest Concerns Surrounding BlackRock’s Advisory Role in Trudeau’s Canada Infrastructure Bank
On August 27, 2018, CfA released a new report detailing how BlackRock – the world’s largest asset manager – appears to have been intimately involved not only in advising the Trudeau government about the creation of its Canada Infrastructure Bank, a government-backed financial institution championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, but also in the government’s appointment of key Bank personnel and staff. The new revelations add to the growing conflict of interest concerns surrounding the Bank’s creation and provide new evidence for those calling for a full investigation of BlackRock’s advisory role with the Trudeau government.
Knight Institute and Campaign for Accountability Urge Proactive Disclosure of “Secret Law” Governing Executive Branch
On August 15, 2018, the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University and Campaign for Accountability filed an amicus brief urging a federal appeals court to rule that the Office of Legal Counsel must proactively process its formal written opinions for public release under the Freedom of Information Act.
On August 14, 2018, CfA released a new report, “Partisan Programming,” detailing how political campaigns utilize embedded staffers from Facebook and Google to help run their campaigns – an arrangement that provides companies with unique access to top politicians. CfA also called on the leaders of the House and Senate Rules Committees to investigate the arrangement and determine whether new laws or regulations are needed to prevent tech companies from abusing their relationships with politicians.