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 31, 2018, CfA requested access to communications to, from, or between any Ravalli County Commissioner(s) regarding Wilderness Study Areas, the Our Land Our Legacy (OLOL) coalition, and commissioners’ efforts to cajole state officials into investigating Montana conservation organizations.
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.
Ethics Complaint Calling for Investigation of HHS Secretary Azar’s Relationship with Former Employer Eli Lilly
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.
On August 21, 2018, 45 organizations, including CfA, endorsed the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act, legislation introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that seeks to eliminate the influence of money in our federal government and to ensure that Washington works for working families.
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.
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.
Request for Investigation of Acting EPA Chief Andrew Wheeler for Multiple Lobbying Disclosure Violations
On August 10, 2018, CfA called on House and Senate officials to investigate whether Andrew Wheeler, the Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and his former lobbying firm, Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, committed multiple violations of the Lobbying Disclosure Act in connection with their successful effort to change the boundaries of the Bears Ears National Monument for the commercial benefit of their client, Energy Fuels Resources, Inc.
On August 8, 2018, CfA joined a nonpartisan coalition of government openness, accountability, and human rights groups in calling for comprehensive disclosure of documents relating to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.