CfA Asks FTC to Reject Chamber of Commerce’s Transparent Attack on Chair Khan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct 25, 2023
Contact: Michael Clauw, email@example.com, 202.780.5750
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a nonprofit watchdog group that runs the Tech Transparency Project, submitted a comment to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the Commission to reject a bad faith effort by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) to disqualify Chair Lina Khan from participation in certain cases based on her anti-monopolistic positions.
CfA Executive Director Michelle Kuppersmith wrote, in part: “My organization, which oversees the Tech Transparency Project, recently published a report noting that the Antitrust Education Project—an Amazon-funded nonprofit fronted by Robert Bork Jr.— tweeted about Chair Khan more than 300 times and published over 30 blogs and op-eds attacking her work. These messages claim she is “reckless,” “radical,” and “ideology-driven.” The American Edge Project—which received at least $38 million from Meta—published an op-ed that similarly described the FTC under Khan as “driven by ideology.” Likewise, tech lobbying group NetChoice—which cashes checks from dozens of the largest domestic tech companies—highlights her “ideological agenda.” These are just a few examples.
Yet, unlike all these groups, Chair Khan is not being paid by interested corporations to advance certain viewpoints. In fact, it is rare for someone in her position to not have professional conflicts.
Ultimately, a subject expert expressing an opinion derived from their expertise does not amount to a “conflict of interest.” Importantly, Chair Khan’s views were fully known before she was confirmed by the Senate, and she also stated prior to that confirmation that she had no plans to recuse herself. Knowing this, the democratically elected Senate chose to confirm her. The Chamber might not like this outcome, but it should not be allowed to circumvent the process.
We welcome a good faith discussion around how ethics rules at any federal agency can be improved. But this proposal, tailormade to protect corporate profits—not people—misses the mark.”
Read CfA’s full comment here.
Campaign for Accountability is a nonpartisan, nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.