Government Accountability Institute

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Government Accountability Institute
Government Accountability Institute logo.png
Founded 2012[1]
Type 501(c)(3) organization
45-4681912
Location
Area served
United States
Key people
Peter Schweizer
Stephen Bannon
Wynton Hall
Revenue
$1.7 million (2014)[2]
Mission "To investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance."
Website www.g-a-i.org

The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) is a conservative nonprofit investigative research organization located in Tallahassee, Florida.[3][4] GAI was founded in 2012[5] by Peter Schweizer and Stephen Bannon with funding from Robert Mercer and family.[6] Schweizer serves as the group's president.[7] The group is known for its involvement with the publication of the investigative books Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich and Bush Bucks: How Public Service and Corporations Helped Make Jeb Rich.[1]

Overview[edit]

The stated mission of GAI is to "investigate and expose crony capitalism, misuse of taxpayer monies, and other governmental corruption or malfeasance."[8] According to Bloomberg Businessweek, GAI creates "rigorous, fact-based indictments against major politicians, then partners with mainstream media outlets to disseminate those findings to the broadest audience."[1] Members of GAI's board of directors include Stephen Bannon, Owen Smith, Ron Robinson, and Hunter Lewis.[9]

GAI's research methods include analyzing tax filings, flight logs, and foreign government documents as well as engaging in data-mining on the deep web, which includes the 97% of information on the World Wide Web that isn't indexed by traditional search engines.[1]

Between 2012 and 2014, GAI received donations of almost $4 million from the Mercer Family Foundation and the Koch brothers-affiliated Donors Trust.[10][11]

Activities[edit]

The organization has most notably been involved with the research and publication of investigative books including Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich and Bush Bucks: How Public Service and Corporations Helped Make Jeb Rich.[1]

Clinton Cash, published in May 2015, is an investigation of donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign entities, paid speeches made by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and the Clintons' personal enrichment since leaving the White House in 2001.[12]

Bush Bucks, an e-book published in October 2015, raises questions about the millions of dollars former Florida Governor Jeb Bush earned after leaving office from companies that benefited from Bush's policy while he was serving as Florida's Governor.[13][14]

In October 2012, GAI released a report which asserted that "campaigns that aggressively raise money online are soliciting donations from people around the world-whether they intend to or not," and asserted that the Obama campaign had lacked "rigorous screening for donors' citizenship" (it is illegal for non-U.S. citizens to contribute to U.S. campaigns).[15] The report provided no evidence that the Obama campaign had received any unlawful contributions.[16]

n December 2013, a GAI analysis found that from July 12, 2010, to November 30, 2013, President Obama's public schedule showed zero one-on-one meetings between Obama and then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.[17] In July 2014, GAI reported that $1 billion worth of school lunches is thrown away each year.[18]

Links to Breitbart News[edit]

A November 2016 investigation by The Washington Post detailed ties between the Government Accountability Institute and the conservative website Breitbart News. Three GAI employees received full-time compensation while simultaneously being employed elsewhere.[19] From 2012 to 2015, GAI co-founder and executive chair Steve Bannon received $376,000 for working 30 hours a week. He simultaneously served as executive chairman for Breitbart News.[10] GAI communications strategist Wynton Hall received $600,000 during the same time period. Hall worked as a writer for Breitbart News and was promoted to managing editor in 2013. GAI president and treasurer Peter Schweizer, also an at-large editor and writer for Breitbart News, was paid $778,000 by the GAI from 2012 to 2015.[10]

As a 501(c)(3) public charity, GAI's political advocacy has raised the question of whether the organization had been illegally intervening in political campaigns. The Washington Post report also found that, from 2013 to 2015, GAI purchased over $200,000 in advertising from Breitbart's website.[10] A spokesperson from GAI said that the non-profit had been in "total compliance with all 501(c)3 rules."[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Green, Joshua (October 8, 2015). "This Man Is the Most Dangerous Political Operative in America". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 8 October 2015. 
  2. ^ "2014 Form 990" (PDF). GuideStar. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Thiessen, Marc (September 10, 2012). "Marc Thiessen: Why is Obama skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings?". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Nader, Ralph (2014). Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State. Nation Books. 
  5. ^ Thiessen, Marc (September 10, 2012). "Why is Obama skipping more than half of his daily intelligence meetings?". Washington Post. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Zuckerman, Gregory, Keach Hagey, Scott Patterson and Rebecca Ballhaus, "Meet the Mercers: A Quiet Tycoon and His Daughter Become Power Brokers in Trump’s Washington" (subscription), Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  7. ^ "CNN Report on "Legalized Extortion": Politics, Money and Influence". Real Clear Politics. January 22, 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mission". Government Accountability Institute. Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "About". Government Accountability Institute. Retrieved 17 August 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d O'Harrow Jr., Robert (November 23, 2016). "Trump adviser received salary from charity while steering Breitbart News". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Schweers, Jeffrey (November 23, 2016). "Breitbart chief Bannon got nearly $400k from nonprofit he created". Tallahassee Democrat. 
  12. ^ Sullivan, Margaret (April 23, 2015). "An 'Exclusive' Arrangement on a Clinton Book, and Many Questions". New York Times. Retrieved 28 August 2015. 
  13. ^ Bender, Michael C. (October 20, 2015). "New Peter Schweizer E-Book Questions Jeb Bush's Earnings". Bloomberg Politics. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  14. ^ "Report Traces Jeb Bush's Ties to Companies That Had Business With Florida". New York Times. October 21, 2015. Retrieved 16 November 2015. 
  15. ^ Dwyer, Devin (October 9, 2012). "Group Warns of Foreign, Fraudulent Donors to Obama Campaign". ABC News. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  16. ^ Mike Burns, Fox Hypes Unsubstantiated Claim That Obama May Be Receiving Illegal Foreign Donations, Media Matters for America (October 9, 2012).
  17. ^ Schweizer, Peter (December 5, 2013). "When Barry Met Kathy". Politico. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  18. ^ Blad, Evie (July 21, 2014). "Are Healthier School Lunches Winning Over Students?". Education Week. Retrieved 24 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Wyland, Michael (November 28, 2016). "Trump Adviser Double-dipping from Breitbart and Nonprofit Foundation| Nonprofit Quarterly". Nonprofit Quarterly. 
  20. ^ Smilowitz, Elliot (November 23, 2016). "Fla. charity paid Bannon, other Breitbart employees: report". The Hill. 

External links[edit]