RELEASE: WEDNESDAY, January 5, 2021
The tool has over 1400 records, including more than 220 insurrectionists currently serving or running for public office
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, Public Wise, a voting rights organization which works to secure a government that reflects the will and protects the rights of the people, is launching the Insurrection Index, an online, public database documenting all individuals and organizations in a position of public trust, such as elected officials, who were involved in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The Insurrection Index, which is launching ahead of the 2022 election cycle, is designed to empower voters, political parties, organizations and media to identify insurrectionists in positions of public trust, including, holding, or seeking public office. The Index will serve as a critical tool to track if and how a political candidate, official, person or organization in a position funded by taxpayers contributed to the attempted coup. The database is searchable by location, name, affiliation and social media handles. The database currently has 1404 records of individuals and organizations in positions of public trust who played a role in the insurrection, including 1011 individuals and 393 organizations. The database includes 221 individuals currently in or seeking public office, 59 individuals identified as former military, 31 members of law enforcement, and seven school board members.
Public Wise and its partners built the Index using social media, the dark web, press, court dockets, campaign finance information, FEC information, tracking the Donald.Win and Patriot.Win networks, FOIA requests and public statements. Those partners include Accountable.US, Advance Democracy Inc, American Oversight, Campaign for Accountability, Media Matters Action Network, and the Tech Transparency Project. The Elias Law Group provided legal advice and support.
“We cannot forget the events of January 6, 2021 and the toxic forces of disinformation and hate that fueled the ‘Big Lie’,” said Christina Baal-Owens, Executive Director of Public Wise. “Public Wise created the Insurrection Index to ensure that those who sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election cannot be elected to political office and handed the tools to destroy democracy from the inside out. We must remain vigilant in this fight to not only protect the rights and freedoms granted to all citizens in the Constitution, but to expand those rights and freedoms equitably to disenfranchised groups.”
“The same misinformation and conspiracy theories that encouraged January 6 are now being used to suppress voters nationwide. We are living that history. We haven’t seen yet how January 6th ends. We must ensure the end, not a continuation. Public Wise’s Insurrection Index will help make this a reality,” said Marc Elias, founding partner of the Elias Law Group and founder of the Democracy Docket.
“January 6th, 2021 was a dress rehearsal in overthrowing our democracy, and the threat has only become more real since. Insurrectionists are trying to dismantle our system from the inside. The Insurrection Index provides the public with a much needed tool to hold public officials and those seeking office accountable for their assault on our country,” said Julie Millican, Vice President of Media Matters Action Network.
“Ever since the insurrection, the perpetrators and their supporters have been working overtime to rewrite history. American Oversight is proud to have participated in creating this index, a powerful tool to ensure government officials involved in the unprecedented attack on the Capitol are held accountable,” said Melanie Sloan, Senior Advisor at American Oversight.
“Facebook served as a critical organizing tool for would-be insurrectionists to rile up and enlist supporters for months leading up to the Capitol attack. One year on, there is no indication that Facebook has made the type of structural changes to its moderation practices that would stop such an attack from being organized on the platform again,” said Michelle Kuppersmith, Executive Director of Campaign for Accountability, which runs the Tech Transparency Project.
In addition to their work around the Insurrection Index, Public Wise is funding local groups and grassroots efforts in key swing states such as Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin in an effort to keep insurrectionists and individuals perpetuating the “big lie” about 2020 election fraud out of office. This work is partially in response to former President Trump’s recent support and endorsements of candidates running for state level electoral administration positions.
The Insurrection Index press kit can be accessed here.
About Public Wise
Persistent and unyielding in our commitment to a just multiracial democracy, Public Wise fights to secure a government that reflects the will and protects the rights of the people.
We accomplish this through education, research, organizing, funding, and partnerships that support more voting and more equitable representation.