Accountable.US is calling out special interest-backed Republican attorneys general who are committed to blocking progress in their states and on the national level
Visit www.EnemiesofProgress.org to learn more
Washington, D.C. — Today, government watchdog Accountable.US announced the launch of “Enemies of Progress,” an effort to hold conservative attorneys general across the country accountable for preventing progress on some of the country’s toughest challenges, including protecting democracy and voting rights, expanding access to health care, rebuilding the economy in the wake of COVID-19, and cleaning up the mess made by the previous administration.
In addition to identifying 13 initial “Enemies of Progress,” Accountable.US also released a report outlining the ties these attorneys general have to the special interests that fund their political campaigns. It is clear they are working against the public interest to protect giveaways for the rich and powerful at the expense of the American people.
“Across the country, a group of attorneys general are using frivolous lawsuits, lobbying, and conservative media to undermine critical policies — including efforts to expand voting rights, combat climate change, provide access to health care, and more,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The American people deserve the opportunity to better their lives, and any obstructionist who would abuse their power to protect profits of greedy special interests is an enemy of progress.”
“Enemies of Progress” exposes attorneys general who are actively trying to block progress in favor of their special interest donors over the American people. The initial 13 “Enemies of Progress” include the attorneys general from Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia. In the coming days, the effort will be amplified with paid ads in key states, including on social media and traditional media websites.
Among the top Enemies of Progress are:
- Steve Marshall, AL
- Served As Head of Organization That Incited the January 6th Capitol Insurrection: Marshall was the chairman of RAGA’s Rule of Law Defense Fund, which helped organize and promote the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally that led to a violent and deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
- Leslie Rutledge, AR
- Fought Against Voter Access While Herself Being Registered to Vote in AR and DC: Rutledge’s office defended a voter identification law in 2018 that could have led to as many 1,200 voters’ ballots not being counted. In 2014, Rutledge herself had her voting registration in Arkansas cancelled because she had been registered to vote in both Washington, D.C. and Arkansas.
- Mark Brnovich, AZ
- Defended Racially Discriminatory Voting Laws: Brnovich appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s ruling that decided that two Arizona voting laws were racially discriminatory. The lower court found that the laws, which banned third party ballot returns, had “discriminatory intent” and the state’s out-of-precinct ballot rejection law impacted minority populations disproportionately. Brnovich claimed the laws’ challengers were “playing the race card.”
- Ashley Moody, FL
- Served on the Board of Directors for Organization That Incited the January 6th Capitol Insurrection: Moody sat on the board of directors for RAGA’s Rule of Law Defense Fund, which helped organize and promote the January 6th “Stop the Steal” rally that led to a violent mob of insurrectionists infiltrating the U.S. Capitol. She scrubbed her official profile of her connection just after the deadly insurrection.
- Chris Carr, GA
- Put Lives at Risk: Carr sued the City of Atlanta to block it from enforcing a mask mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as Georgia set a single-day record for COVID cases, Carr called the mandate “unenforceable and void” as the state’s infection rate and deaths continued to mount.
- Todd Rokita, IN
- Suppressed the Right to Vote: Rokita instituted one of the nation’s first voter identification laws, which inspired voter suppression efforts across the country. His defense of the measure made it all the way to the Supreme Court and has led to the suppression of tens of thousands of voters across the country because of the passage of similar laws in various states.
- Daniel Cameron, KY
- Threatened Public Health: As COVID-19 raged out of control in the summer of 2020, Cameron filed a lawsuit against Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear in an attempt to block COVID-19 executive orders that were intended to save lives.
- Jeff Landry, LA
- Argued for Discrimination Against the LGBTQ Community in the Workplace: Landry challenged and overturned a state executive order protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination by state contractors. Landry also signed on to an amicus brief advocating for LGBTQ discrimination in a case before the Supreme Court, which ultimately ruled in favor of workplace protections for LGBTQ under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
- Eric Schmitt, MO
- Led Opposition to Proposal to Factor in Climate Change and Human Health When Determining Costs of New Gas Pipelines After Receiving Over $120,000 in Contributions from the Oil and Gas Industry: After receiving over $120,000 in contributions from the oil and gas industry, Schmitt led a 22 state comment letter to oppose use of a “social cost of carbon” analysis — or the impacts on the environment and human health — by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in decision making regarding interstate natural gas pipeline construction.
- Jason Ravnsborg, SD
- Pushed for COVID Liability Shields Backed by His Top Donors: Ravnsborg urged passage of the “Safe To Work Act,” a COVID liability protection bill backed by the agriculture industry, members of which are notable donors of his.
- Alan Wilson, SC (RAGA Chairman)
- Undermined Corruption Probe of Friendly Political Operative: In 2018, a South Carolina grand jury investigation found Alan Wilson undermined a statehouse corruption probe involving a political operative with whom Wilson had a personal relationship. The probe targeted “pay-for-influence” schemes by a family of Republican operatives and Wilson’s interference occurred while he was still working with one of the targets.
- Ken Paxton, TX
- Led The Charge to Undermine The 2020 Election: Paxton led the case in 2020 seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, and Wisconsin. He even spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally on January 6 that led to the deadly insurrection and later tried to claim the left was behind the dangerous attempt to overthrow the democratically-elected government.
- Patrick Morrisey, WV
- Lobbied For Opioid Manufacturers and Then as Attorney General Misled the Public About His Involvement in a State Investigation Involving His Former Clients: Morrisey used to lobby for opioid manufacturers and others in the pharmaceutical industry. Less than two years later, he was elected attorney general and West Virginia was pursuing legal action against his former clients for fueling and profiting off of the opioid crisis. Morrisey claimed for months he was not involved in the case, but public reporting showed he met with senior representatives from the pharmaceutical company—forcing Morrisey to formally recuse himself following public pressure.
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