The Audit the Pentagon Initiative is non-partisan and philosophically independent of the two major parties.
Rafael DeGennaro is director of the Audit the Pentagon Initiative. He is a policy entrepreneur with a track record of launching successful transpartisan ideas. He has appeared on national television and testified before Congress numerous times. He has been a registered political independent since 1995.
During 1987-89, he worked on military affairs for then-Rep. Charles E. Bennett (D-FL), a senior member of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. DeGennaro also helped staff the bipartisan Congressional Military Reform Caucus.
During 1995-2001, DeGennaro was co-founder and President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, which inducted him into its Taxpayer Hall of Fame in January 2007 “for his two decades of work in Washington, D.C. as congressional staff and public interest advocate” in fighting government waste.
During 2006-2008, he conceived, launched and ran ReadtheBill.org, which advocated that Congress post all bills online for 72 hours before floor debate. (ReadtheBill.org is now a project of the Sunlight Foundation). That initiative resulted in changes to House rules and a cultural change in House practice.
In June 1998, DeGennaro testified at a hearing of the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) on the Pentagon’s failure to pass an audit. At the event, the Pentagon representative approached DeGennaro and told him he needed to be patient.
During 2014, an attempt was made to assemble a coalition of organizations that would be called the Audit the Pentagon Coalition. Eight national nonprofit organizations and prominent individuals endorsed a set of “coalition principles” and there was one press event at the Capitol to endorse HR xxx, the best and most recent (as of March 2016) version of the Lee-Burgess bill. No meetings were ever held. No funds were solicited or contributed. No executive committee was formed. Rafael DeGennaro is grateful to those that participated in those limited actions in 2014.