WASHINGTON, DC – New reporting from Politico revealed that Leonard Leo’s Concord Fund has engaged a far-right lobbyist to influence government oversight and reform issues on Capitol Hill. The Concord Fund, formerly known as the Judicial Crisis Network, is best known for spending tens of millions of dollars to stack the court with right-wing judges, but appears to be expanding its mission as Leo’s network comes under increasing scrutiny.
It’s ironic that Leonard Leo’s network is registering to lobby on ‘ethics’ as he continues to rebuff a Congressional inquiry and a probe into his misuse of charitable dollars for self-enrichment. This is just another effort to expand his influence over power players in Washington and use the hundreds of millions of dollars in untraceable contributions he controls to impose a radical agenda,” said Caroline Ciccone, President of Accountable.US.
While the Concord Fund lobbied during Justice Neil Gorsuch’s nomination, both the subject of this lobbying engagement and the firm involved raise new questions. According to Politico, the campaign arm of the lobbying firm OnMessage Inc. worked for a conservative group boosting former Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Daniel Kelly, who also received a maximum contribution from Leo himself. But while OnMessage Inc. has been active in Republican campaigns and causes, Leo’s Concord Fund is only its second lobbying client.
The lobbyist advocating for the Concord Fund on oversight issues will be Thomas Binion, a former staffer for Rep. Steve King (R-IA). King, who was once called “the U.S. Congressman most openly affiliated with white nationalism.” King was removed from his committee and blacklisted from the Republican Party after questioning the negative connotation of the term “white supremacist.”
Politico also notes that the registration comes as the Judicial Crisis Network “has been agitating against Democrats’ efforts to install a code of conduct for the Supreme Court, even as some conservative justices have indicated their support for an ethics code.” Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined growing calls for a code of ethics.
Learn more about Leonard Leo’s extremist agenda and his dark influence network at LeonardLeo.org.