Accountable.US: “The Trump administration, including former officials like Azar and Chao, spent four years undermining our democracy and shattering norms. Any organization willing to welcome them with open arms must answer to their customers, employees, and stakeholders as to how that decision aligns with their values.”
Washington, D.C. — Following reports that the University of Miami and Kroger, the national grocery store chain, made poor judgment calls by hiring former Trump administration officials — Alex Azar, former Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, and Elaine Chao, former Department of Transportation (DOT) secretary, respectively — Accountable.US launched billboards taking these organizations to task for their decisions and called on them to drop the disgraced former officials from their teams.
“The Trump administration, including former officials like Azar and Chao, spent four years undermining our democracy and shattering norms. Any organization willing to welcome them with open arms must answer to their customers, employees, and stakeholders as to how that decision aligns with their values,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Empty rhetoric just won’t cut it. These companies’ decisions to elevate former Trump officials complicit in the former president’s anti-democratic and cruel agenda says everything you need to know about their actual values.”
The mobile billboards running Tuesday-Friday from 9am-6pm are targeting Kroger and the University of Miami for contradicting their stated values by legitimizing former officials who stood by twice-impeached former president Trump and rewarding them with cushy jobs. Kroger, which recently tapped scandal-plagued Chao for its board of directors, claims to promote honesty, integrity, respect, diversity, safety, and inclusion on its website. University of Miami touts its purported core values of “diversity, integrity, responsibility, excellence, compassion, creativity, and teamwork,” yet hired Azar to teach despite his well-documented role in Trump’s policy that tore families apart.
The billboards received attention from several outlets, including Forbes, and local outlets in Florida, Ohio, and Kentucky:
- Forbes: The Revolving Door: Watchdog Criticizes Hiring Of Trump Cabinet Alumni [PDF]
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar joined the University of Miami’s business school as a teacher this month, and Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger gave a board seat to Elaine Chao, the former secretary of transportation (and wife of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). This week, Accountable.US, which describes itself as a nonpartisan watchdog focused on exposing corruption and holding government and corporations accountable, is having mobile billboards criticizing the hirings circle each group’s headquarters.
- Louisville Courier: “Drop Elaine Chao,” D.C. group tells Kroger with Cincinnati mobile billboard (Picked up by Cincinnati Enquirer)
A Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group is paying for a mobile billboard this week in Cincinnati that urges the Kroger Co. to drop former U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao from its board of directors. The billboard, arranged by Accountable.US, declares: “Kroger: Fresh for everyone? There’s nothing fresh about complicity. Drop Elaine Chao.” It is displayed on the side of a truck that will be driving around the national supermarket’s corporate headquarters on Vine Street in Cincinnati from Tuesday through Saturday, according to a spokesperson for Accountable.US.
- Miami New Times: Mobile Billboard Driving Around UM Calls for Alex Azar’s Firing
One week after New Times reported on UM’s contentious hire of former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as an adjunct professor, the not-for-profit organization Accountable.US launched its campaign calling for Azar’s ouster, citing to his ties to the Trump administration’s family separation policy. Starting today, a truck carrying the anti-Azar message will drive around the university’s Coral Gables campus.
- Florida Politics: University of Miami, Alex Azar targets of new Miami billboard
A government watchdog group will unveil a billboard in South Florida Tuesday, blasting the University of Miami for hiring Alex Azar, the former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. Accountable.US accuses the University of Miami of violating its “core values” such as diversity, compassion, and responsibility with the hire.
- Florida Playbook: Azar’s New Job Draws Flak
But one group is ripping the university for hiring the former Trump administration official. Accountable.US says it is putting up a billboard in Miami that criticizes UM for hiring Azar. The billboard — splashed in UM’s colors of orange and green — says “Live your lives and drop Alex Azar.” “Azar’s hiring goes against the University of Miami’s proclaimed values, and runs afoul of its own immigration advocacy,” said Accountable.US president Kyle Herrig. “The university’s administration owes their students, teachers, alumni, and communities a serious explanation for why they think this enabler of cruelty is worth compromising those values for now.”
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