America First Policies

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America First Policies
America First Policies Logo horizontal.svg
Founded January 27, 2017; 18 months ago (2017-01-27)
Legal status 501(c)(4)
Headquarters 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, #190-612,
Washington, D.C. 20004,
U.S.
Website www.americafirstpolicies.org

America First Policies is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, incorporated on January 27, 2017,[1] to promote the policy agenda of the Donald Trump presidential campaign.[2][3] On March 30, 2017, Katie Walsh, formerly White House Deputy Chief of Staff, left that position to join America First Policies.[4] The organization has courted controversy, as one of its directors was forced resign due to racist and inflammatory comments and another adviser was caught on video proclaiming support for the Nazis.

History[edit]

America First Policies was founded by several people, including Nick Ayers, a Republican consultant who is regarded as Mike Pence's top political adviser,[5], Rick Gates and Brad Parscale.[6]

Trump Presidential Campaign donor Rebekah Mercer disagreed with Parscale about the direction of America First Policies. Mercer wanted America First Policies' data engine to be Cambridge Analytica, which would have effectively given her organizational control and potentially influence over the Republican Party. If Mercer had control over the organization's database and the money, Mercer could have led the organization to sway President's supporters against the President.[7]

Donors[edit]

It was reported in May 2018 that CVS Health, Dow Chemical, and Southern Company had donated a combined $1.6 million to America First Policies.[8][9]

Expenditure[edit]

Acting as a "dark money" Super PAC, as of May 2018, America First Policies had spent $2 million on electioneering in 2018 campaigns.[6]

Targeted campaigns[edit]

On June 23, 2017, Republican Senator Dean Heller was targeted with an advertising campaign over his opposition to the Obamacare repeal bill. Heller is considered vulnerable in the 2018 election.[10]

Racism, anti-Semitism and bigotry[edit]

America First Policies' Director for Advocacy, Carl Higbie was forced to resign as head of Corporation for National and Community Service (an organization which runs AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, and other national service initiatives) to which he had been appointed by Donald Trump, after making racist and inflammatory comments on a radio talk show about black Americans, Muslims, women, LGBT people, veterans suffering from PTSD and immigrants, which included advocating violence. Higbie also pushed the false Birther conspiracy about Barack Obama.[11][12] In a 2018 tweet, Higbie apologized for his comments.[13]

On May 10, 2018, it became public that the group's policy advisor, Juan Pablo Andrade, was a Nazi sympathizer, who was recorded on snapchat saying that "the only thing the Nazis didn't get right was that they didn't keep fucking going."[14] Andrade has been on Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, Trump’s National Diversity Coalition and the Trump campaign as a surrogate.[15] He also wrote for The Hill, but the outlet dropped him when it learned of the video and its contents.[16]

Later that month, it was reported that John Loudon, a policy advisor for the group, used inflammatory and derogatory language against women, Muslims and Democrats.[17] He suggested that Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim.[17]

In May 2018, CVS Health and Dow Chemical announced that they would not contribute more money to America First Policies, citing racist and bigoted comments by the staff at America First Policies.[9] This announcement followed a report stating that three Fortune 500 companies, including CVS Health and Dow Chemical, had contributed to America First Policies.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "America First Policies - Initial File Number: N00005573092"Free registration required. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved January 4, 2018. 
  2. ^ Zarroli, Jim (January 31, 2017). "Trump Political Advisers Now Raising Money For His 'America First' Agenda". NPR. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ Bykowicz, Julie (January 30, 2017). "Trump advisers start 'America First Policies' nonprofit". Associated Press News. Associated Press. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ Miller, Zeke J.; Elliott, Philip (March 30, 2017). "White House Deputy Chief of Staff Leaves for Pro-Trump Group". Time. Retrieved March 30, 2017. 
  5. ^ Thrush, Glenn; Martin, Jonathan (June 27, 2017). "On Senate Health Bill, Trump Falters in the Closer's Role". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Nowlin, Sanford. "After Ushering the Trump Circus Into The White House, Brad Parscale Is Turning His Megaphone on San Antonio". 
  7. ^ Ward, Vicky (March 17, 2017). "The Blow-It-All-Up Billionaires". HuffPost. Retrieved May 22, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Southern Co., CVS, Dow Chemical Funding Trump Dark Money Group Tied to Racist, Anti-Semitic Views". maplight.org. Retrieved 2018-06-02. 
  9. ^ a b CNN, Andrew Kaczynski, Chris Massie and Nathan McDermott,. "CVS Health and Dow Chemical will no longer donate to pro-Trump advocacy group". CNN. Retrieved 2018-06-02. 
  10. ^ Nussbaum, Matthew; Isenstadt, Alex (June 23, 2017). "Pro-Trump group to target GOP Sen. Heller over health care bill". Politico. Retrieved December 23, 2017. 
  11. ^ Kaczynski, Andrew (January 19, 2018). "Trump appointee resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio". CNN. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  12. ^ Rosenberg, Eli (January 18, 2018). "'I just don't like Muslim people': Trump appointee resigns after racist, sexist and anti-gay remarks". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  13. ^ CNN, Andrew Kaczynski,. "Trump appointee resigns as public face of agency that runs AmeriCorps after KFile review of racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments on the radio". CNN. Retrieved 2018-08-02. 
  14. ^ Ecarma, Caleb (May 10, 2018). "Policy Advisor For Trump-Tied 'America First' Group Praises Nazis: They Should've Kept 'Going'". Mediaite. Retrieved May 10, 2018. 
  15. ^ Blest, Paul (May 10, 2018). "Advisor For Trump-Linked Nonprofit Thinks the Nazis Were Great". Splinter News. Gizmodo Media Group. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  16. ^ Levine, Jon (May 10, 2018). "The Hill Drops Pro-Trump Contributor After Remarks About Nazis". TheWrap. Retrieved May 11, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b McDermott, Nathan; Kaczynski, Andrew; Massie, Chris (May 21, 2018). "Policy adviser for Trump-linked group called Obama 'Islamchurian candidate,' joked about 'crack whore Dem voter'". CNN. Retrieved May 21, 2018. 
  18. ^ Perez, Andrew (June 3, 2018). "Southern Co. Joins Dow, CVS in Cutting Off Support for Pro-Trump Dark Money Organization". MapLight. Retrieved July 5, 2018. 

External links[edit]