Over the past few years, it has been increasingly clear that Republicans are not the party of big businesses. In November 2020, the Chamber of Commerce made joint statements with AFL-CIO. Many Chamber members have pursued ESG policies since the election and promoted diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), in workplace culture. It appears that the Chamber is now willing to sponsor events for far Left organizations and activist groups, in order to create a veneer of bipartisanship.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform served as a Legacy Sponsor for this year’s meeting of the Attorney General Alliance in Sun Valley, Idaho. Amazon, CVS Health and JUUL, Pfizer were also Legacy Sponsors. AGA represents the AGs of 45 states, including Texas and Florida. According to the Chamber’s sponsorship level, it donated $50,000.
The meeting was sponsored by at least one far-left non-profit, nearly 200 of America’s most woke corporations, lobbying organizations, and trade associations. The Idaho event was sponsored by the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, a far-left non-profit. Arabella Advisors finances the CSME. The New York Times acknowledges that Arabella is a major vehicle for dark money on the Left. Sam Oliker Friedland and Neal Ubriani, both from CSME, were present at the meeting. Friedland, along with two election directors from other states, was part of the Modernizing Government Practices Panel.
The CSME is part of the Alliance for Election Excellence, which also includes the Center for Technology and Civic Life. The CTCL received over $400 million from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife in 2020 and used it to turn election offices in large cities in swing states into turn-out-the-Biden-vote machines. This was possible through a series of conditional grants.
The Alliance includes groups that support voting from home, automatic registration, and altered ballot designs. They also offer “assistance” to local elections offices to share their “best practices” in order to prevent Republicans from being elected to public office. Their goal is to make it difficult to get elected and to make it ridiculously easy to vote.
AGA is not like the National Association of Attorneys General. Axios reports that the AGA is funded by corporations, trade associations, lobbying firms, and other organizations. The organizations receive access to AGA meetings, where they can meet with the attorneys general and discuss important policies. CMSE was able to get an audience with all the Republican AGs who attended. Every GOP AG in the nation is represented by the AGA.
Chris Toth, the former executive director of NAAG, stated that the AGA exists “for no other reason than for attorneys general to have access to such actors” in his June 2022 farewell note. Republican attorneys general have criticized NAAG for its leftward leanings and inability to award grants transparently. It is difficult to see why the AGA is less left-leaning. Its key initiatives include facilitating the legalization of cannabis in states and encouraging dialogue between the AGs and the private sectors to discuss social justice and equity.
Three AGs withdrew from NAAG, but they appear to be still a part of AGA. A panel discussion was moderated by Attorney General Ken Paxton (R.Texas), at the AGA meeting. Other Republican AGs were also scheduled to participate in panel discussions: Lynn Fitch from Mississippi, Lawrence Wasden of Idaho, Treg Taylor of Alaska, Treg Taylor of Utah; Sean Reyes (UT); Bridget Hill in Wyoming; Treg Tyler of Alaska; Todd Rokita (Indiana); Doug Peterson (Nebraska); and Jason Miyares in Virginia.
Participation of Republican AGs, in essence, is helping distinctly left-wing corporations, trade associations, and not-for-profits claim bipartisan involvement. Jason Snead is the executive director at Honest Elections. He says that these organizations engage in credibility laundering. They promote Republican allies and engage with bipartisan groups. Their fundraising and agendas, however, are clearly left-leaning.
The AGA insists that they are a bipartisan organization. The Chamber of Commerce and Koch Industries is the only major sponsors of the AGA event. Many on the right saw that these groups were interested in low taxes, cheap labor, and free trade. The Republican Party that embraces America First will not allow unrestricted immigration. It will also continue to hollow out America’s middle by handing over our manufacturing sector, intellectual properties, and farmland to China.
Axios reported that AGA sources claim the organization has a reputation within AG offices for being a flashier organization and known to dine and wine with state officials and staff. Toth wrote that the AGA is heavily dependent on lobbyists and corporate money to fund its activities. This means that when you travel on a delegation, some lobbyists or corporations are paying for it.” Republican AGs should avoid such a pay-to-play event as the potential for conflicts. AG Paxton, for example, filed a lawsuit against Meta back in February. Meta was the Premiere Sponsor at the AGA meeting.
Nearly everyone at the AGA meeting hates the Republican base and its principles. Their executives also donate to Democrats, left-wing groups, and other Democrats. Will Republicans ever stop granting these groups bipartisan credibility?