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Clarification on Public Citizen Comment in Politico Article

On October 24, 2022, Public Citizen was quoted in a Politico story involving the voting rights organization Fair Fight Action. Upon gathering the full facts, we are retracting that statement.

It is Public Citizen’s organizational position that the contractual arrangement described in the story is normal and non-objectionable. It raises no legal or ethical concerns.

The story quotes a Public Citizen staff member suggesting that a contractual arrangement between Fair Fight and outside counsel poses a conflict of interest.

However, we have now reviewed the full story presented in the Politico article. Based on the information in the story, our organizational conclusion is that there is no conflict of interest or any problem at all.

More specifically:

  • There is nothing unusual or troubling about organizational leaders hiring qualified friends or acquaintances to serve as legal counsel.
  • There is no conflict or ethical concern with Allegra Lawrence-Hardy litigating on behalf of Fair Fight Action, an organization founded by Stacey Abrams, while serving as the Abrams campaign chair in a volunteer capacity.
  • The litigation arrangement does not give Lawrence-Hardy any improper influence with Abrams.
  • We regret that our quote cast any doubt on the ethical propriety of Fair Fight, Lawrence-Hardy or Abrams entering into what is a normal legal representation agreement.

Fair Fight Action has done heroic work protecting and advancing the freedom to vote in Georgia and across the country. We are proud to partner with them. That said, we have a record of criticizing allies for improper conflicts of interest. We would not retract a public statement about an ally that we believe to be true. We are retracting the quote regarding Fair Fight Action solely because it does not reflect our organizational viewpoint and conclusion.