BY: Follow @lachlan
Taxpayers are funding a website where federal employees can find work electing Democratic candidates and organizing advocacy campaigns in support of left-wing legislation, a review of the website reveals.
Employers currently listing jobs on the site include a Democratic campaign vendor, groups that have financed the cycle’s largest pro-Hillary Clinton Super PAC, activist organizations lobbying Congress for environmental regulations, and an arm of the Clinton family’s network of charitable groups.
The site is hosted, maintained, and promoted by the Peace Corps, and offers job opportunities for volunteers returning from postings overseas. Its guidelines explicitly prohibit political job listings, but that rule does not appear to have been enforced with much vigor.
“Run a Campaign Office for the 2016 Elections!” bills the headline of one job listing on the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (RPCV) Career Link website.
“Canvass directors will help us elect candidates who will fight to reverse global warming, get big money out of politics and help young people deal with the rising cost of college and student debt,” the job listing says.
The group plans on working on races in “in critical states like New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, or Colorado. We are looking for canvass directors to manage these operations.”
Work for Progress employees have faced allegations of voter registration fraud in past elections. While working to reelect then-senator Mark Udall (D., Colo.) in 2014, the group’s canvassing director was caught on camera apparently endorsing the filing of fraudulent voter registration forms.
The year before, two Work for Progress canvassers in Colorado were charged with voter registration fraud, though the charges were eventually dropped.
“For the 2016 election, Work For Progress will partner with Fair Share Action and Environment America Voter Action to help elect candidates who want to make a difference on issues like global warming and getting big money out of politics,” the listing adds.
Fair Share Action and Environment America Voter Action have both employed Work for Progress’s services in past elections. According to Federal Election Commission records, they have paid the firm more than $9.5 million since 2008.
The two groups, which both spend exclusively in support of Democrats or in opposition to Republicans, are the political arms of an array of organizations affiliated with the Public Interest Network, which is also using the RPCV job bank to recruit employees.
Public Interest GRFX, described on its website as “the in-house communications team for the Public Interest Network,” is looking for a Team Leader “to build support for such groups within The Public Interest Network as Environment America and U.S. PIRG,” the listing says.
Arms of the Public Interest Network have funneled large sums to Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC backing Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
According to the FEC, Environment America, Inc., and Fair Share, Inc., the nonprofit sister organizations of their similarly named “Action” arms, donated a combined $1.1 million to Fair Share Action last year. Fair Share Action then passed on $1 million to Priorities.
Another listing on the RPCV website promotes a position at Arabella Advisors, a group that advises foundations and philanthropists on how to invest and give out their funds.
Arabella manages the New Venture Fund, an umbrella group of left-wing organizations, some of which have been active in state and federal political contests. One has recently run ads attacking a vulnerable Republican Senator in New Hampshire.
Those terms explicitly prohibit “job postings that are of a politically partisan nature.”
In an emailed statement, the Peace Corps denied that listings for jobs explicitly involved in electioneering activities violated that policy.
“Partisan political activity is defined by the Hatch Act as activity directed toward the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group,” a spokesperson for the agency said.
“The job listings in reference, to the best of the agency’s knowledge, do not directly support the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office or partisan political group.”
In addition to jobs directly involved in political efforts, the website also advertises positions geared towards policy advocacy activities.
A posting for a position called “climate defender organizer” with the group PennEnvironment, a state-based affiliate of Environment America, says the job entails lobbying Congress to support Environmental Protection Agency regulations.
“Nationally, [Senate] Majority Leader McConnell along with major coal companies are leading the charge to rollback these climate pollution limits. And we’ll need Senator [Bob] Casey [D., Penn.] to stand with us to stop these attacks,” the listing says.
The RPCV website is also promoting five positions at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, a nonprofit chaired by former President Bill Clinton that split off from the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation in 2010.
CHAI came under scrutiny last year when news reports revealed that it had not been disclosing its donors. Subsequent disclosures, which omitted more than $20 million in government financing, revealed that donations to the group from foreign governments increased dramatically after Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009.
Clinton has been accused of using her network of charitable groups to advance her political endeavors, and of providing access and favors for high-dollar donors to the groups.