A taxpayer-funded organization is facing criticism for retaining Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as a board member despite her voting to overturn the election results hours after January 6th insurrection.
Politico reported Thursday that Stefanik's position on the National Endowment for Democracy's board has "rankled" not only foreign policy scholars and some former NED board members, but some fellow Republicans as well.
"After the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, some staffers at NED circulated a letter internally raising concerns about her position on the board, according to four people familiar with the matter," the publication reported.
Former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO), also a former NED board member, worried Stefanik's role was undermining the organization's mission.
"How is it consistent for someone like her to be on the board of NED given its mission for promoting democracy all over the world and in America with the view that she and many Republicans have for changing our election processes to make it harder for people to participate in our democracy?" Gephardt wondered.
Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and Washington Post columnist, blasted the organization.
"It's kind of like the Catholic Church appointing a self-described atheist as a cardinal," Boot explained. "Elise Stefanik is part of the threat to American democracy. It's a travesty that she's on the board of an institution whose goal is to promote democracy."
National Endowment for Democracy chairman Kenneth Wollack defended Stefanik's role despite her anti-democracy activism.
"The Endowment is a congressionally funded and authorized organization and, as such, has relied on, and benefitted from broad bipartisan support," Wollack said in a statement. "This support is even more remarkable given our country's polarized political environment. We do not have litmus tests on views expressed by individual Board members."
The National Endowment for Democracy has a budget of $300 million a year.