Biden Transition Includes Staffer With Anti-Police Ties

Rhonda Carter manages a nonprofit patron of 'Defund the Police' orgs

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December 16, 2020

A Biden transition team member has a senior role at a nonprofit organization that funds groups working to defund the police and abolish ICE.

President-elect Joe Biden's transition team for the Department of Energy includes Rhonda Carter, the vice president of culture and operations for the Marguerite Casey Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization devoted to racial and social justice. In May, the foundation sent $600,000 to Color of Change and Mijente, racial justice organizations focused on "decarceration" and other law enforcement reforms. Color of Change advocates for eliminating cash bail and ending mass incarceration. One petition sponsored by Color of Change explicitly called to defund the police in Minneapolis by demanding the passage of a measure that would "change the city charter and dismantle the Minneapolis Police."  

Mijente takes aim at immigration practices. On its website, the organization offers a media kit, talking points, and a policy platform focused on "reimagining" American immigration practices, specifically advocating for the abolition of ICE. The group also advocates for the defunding of border control, in addition to decriminalizing all forms of migration to the United States. The pro-immigration group also touts a political arm. Mijente PAC currently operates training sessions for activists to mobilize Latino voters for the Georgia Senate runoffs, and spent more than $1 million in the 2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

During the presidential campaign, Biden distanced himself from the "defund the police" movement in an attempt to woo moderate voters. In a leaked audio recording, the president-elect said that the stance enabled the GOP to "beat the living hell" out of down-ballot far-left candidates across the country. His transition team did not return a request for comment about Carter's association with anti-police activists.

Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez panned Carter's association with such projects.

"The Marguerite Casey Foundation is a donor of far-left causes and organizations that seek to transform America into something the Founders never intended," Gonzalez told the Washington Free Beacon

The foundation serves to elevate figures who "shift the balance of power in their communities toward people who are excluded from sharing in the resources and benefits of society, and who have the vision and capacity to build a truly representative economy," according to its website. It scrubbed the full list of its grantees from its website in August 2020.

The foundation did not respond to a request for comment.

Carter previously served in the Department of Transportation and Department of Energy, in addition to serving as a White House aide under President Barack Obama. Carter also is an alumna of the Clinton-associated think tank Center for American Progress.