Emily Tanner 0

Remove Tom Cotton from the IRI Board of Directors

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The International Republican Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization committed to advancing democracy and freedom. IRI's staff around the globe are committed to encouraging democracy in places where it is absent, help democracy become more effective where it is in danger and share best practices where democracy is flourishing.

In a recent TV interview in response to ongoing protest movements, IRI Board Member Senator Tom Cotton stated, "if necessary the president should use the Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military forces to these cities to support our local law enforcement and ensure that this violence ends tonight, not one more night.... If local law enforcement is overwhelmed ... lets see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street. And, if necessary, the 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, 1st Cav, 3rd Infantry—whatever it takes to restore order. No quarter for insurrectionists, anarchists, rioters, and looters."

As IRI staff, we recognize and respect the right of Senator Cotton to express his opinions as a private citizen, and we recognize that Senator Cotton's remarks are not formally associated with IRI or made in his capacity as a board member.

However, we as IRI staff wish to express grave concern with retaining Senator Cotton on the Board of Directors. His remarks do not represent the Institute's core values and his association with IRI is damaging to our credibility across the global. As IRI staff, we demand the IRI Board of Directors remove of Senator Cotton from the board. IRI's leadership MUST exemplify the Institute's core values: excellent, freedom, respect, teamwork, transparency, and accountability.

IRI is a wonderful place to work and we are proud to be a part of the IRI family. We cannot tolerate divisive, anti-democratic, and hateful rhetoric from members of our Board. IRI must be on the right side of history.

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