Tony Perkins / January 13, 2022

The View From the Cheat Seats

If Democrats can change the rules, if they can ram through their federal takeover of elections, then they’re one step closer to a one-party system.

For Joe Biden, the Atlanta speech checked all the boxes: a handful of out-of-context Bible verses (check), wild historical inaccuracies (check), gratuitous references to January 6th (check), the abandonment of another decades-long political view (check), and a general shaming of any American who thinks consensus and honesty ought to be part of our governing structure. Twelve months into this White House, the president’s rambling attack on democracy was the move of a desperate man at the head of a desperate party. It was also, as Rich Lowry put it succinctly, garbage.

Let’s set aside for a minute that the Democrats’ idea of subverting the Senate — and later, our entire election process — is a long shot. As Politico points out, it’s not just Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) who are worried about letting a simple majority make all of the decisions anymore, but also a handful of other Democrats who wonder if blowing up their own institution just might come back to haunt them. A lot of them, it turns out, still have regrets about lowering the vote threshold to 51 for nominations — including the same man pushing for this unpopular overhaul, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has since said he “wish[ed] it hadn’t happened.”

But Biden, like everyone else on his sinking ship, is out of options. His presidency is a disaster, the American public are starting to turn on the Democratic Party, and the only chance they have to hang onto to power is to abuse the power they have now. “It’s all about taking advantage of a temporary moment where Democrats control the House, they control the Senate, they control the White House,” Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) explained on “Washington Watch.” “And in all cases, they’ve tried to act like… they have a mandate to move forward with dramatic changes in the country, [and yet]… the Senate’s 50/50, House Democrats have the closest margin they’ve had in 170 years, and there is no mandate.”

It’s shortsighted, and Democrats know it. But if they can change the rules, if they can ram through their federal takeover of elections, then they’re one step closer to a one-party system that controls the states and every lever of government. That’s the end game: permanent Democratic rule. If that means calling good Americans racists and lying about the state of election laws, so be it.

Biden wasn’t above any of those deplorable tactics Tuesday when he repeated the whoppers about Georgia’s election law that earned him four Washington Post Pinocchios — and topped it with a heaping spoonful of loaded civil rights rhetoric. To Republicans in Georgia, he claimed, “too many people voting in a democracy is a problem. So they’re putting up obstacles… Jim Crow 2.0 is about two insidious things: voter suppression and election subversion… So I ask every elected official in America: How do you want to be remembered? Do you want to be on the side of Dr. [Martin Luther] King or George Wallace?… Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

It’s a false choice, and, to many Americans, an offensive one. “The president suggested that anyone opposing the Democrats’ [election takeover bill] was not only a bigot but a seditious ‘domestic’ enemy of the United States,” David Harsanyi points out, “a designation that now probably includes six Democratic senators, if not more.” To prominent African-American leaders, including Dr. King’s own niece, it was also “disgusting, dangerous, and an affront to all of the sacrifices and great successes this country’s brace Civil Rights pioneers made.” It’s a “publicity stunt,” Alveda King and FRC’s Ken Blackwell fired back in a statement, and it “seeks to divide this nation on racial lines when what we need is leadership that respects the human dignity of all.”

It’s incredible, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on the Senate floor. The president and Chuck Schumer are pretending it’s “a civil rights crisis that Georgia has enshrined more early voting and more absentee balloting than his state of New York has ever allowed… Ten days of early voting and excuse-only absentees in Delaware is just fine, but 17 days of early voting and no-excuse absentees in Georgia is racist Jim Crow?” he fumed. “This is misinformation. A big lie… to justify a top-down election takeover and to justify smashing the Senate itself.”

Democrats want to rig a system, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton agrees, “where it’s impossible for [Republican to win]… And that’s what they want to do — maximize voter fraud.” It’s not about giving people greater accessibility to vote. If it were, the Left would be on board with Georgia and Texas’s laws. “We give you two weeks to vote, two weeks — two weeks!” Paxton exclaimed. “We added time to it. So it’s not about people not voting. If you can’t vote in two weeks, you probably don’t want to vote. But this idea that we want to loosen it up so we don’t know who’s voting, that’s a different issue.”

For now, Biden is content to stake the midterm elections on this last-gasp effort to end bipartisanship and nationwide election integrity. It’s a risky gamble. But I suppose from where he sits, it’s still preferable to running on his real record of international, economic, health, crime, and border failures.

Originally published here.

Shining Light on the Left’s Dark Money

The Left isn’t just trying to cheat at elections — they’re also playing dirty in how to finance them. In an explosive story that’s been brewing for months, investigative researchers have traced millions of dollars in extremist organizations to a dark-money “nonprofit” that’s bypassing the IRS rules. If you thought the 2020 Zuckerbucks scheme was bad, hang on to your hats. The Democrats have more money secrets than anyone saw coming.

It started back in 2018 when Politico’s reporters started sniffing around a group called the Sixteen Thirty Fund. During that November’s midterms, more than a few eyebrows were raised at the “green wave,” an “unprecedented gusher of secret money” from a “little-known” D.C. nonprofit. The Sixteen Thirty Fund’s tax filings, Politico discovered, showed that the group was a major player that year, dropping a whopping $141 million on more than 100 extreme causes — everything from stopping Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to changing laws on voting and redistricting.

The spending was massive by normal standards and also anonymous (including one mystery donation that dropped everyone’s jaws at $51.7 million). It was the kind of gift, Robert Maguire said, that’s “unheard of on the liberal side.” But now, almost three years later, groups like Hayden Ludwig’s Capital Research Center wonder if it’s really as rare as people thought — or an operation that has simply become more sophisticated as time has worn on.

Raising even more suspicions, the Sixteen Thirty Fund operated under “four dozen different trade names in 2018,” making it impossible Ludwig explained, “to trace their donors.” One of its latest campaigns, Fix Our Senate (whose purpose is to destroy the legislative filibuster), is another “pop-up” organization that bursts onto the scene, runs its attack ads, and disappears before anyone can track it. “Because Fix Our Senate and other ‘pop-ups’ aren’t real nonprofits, they don’t file IRS Form 990 disclosures or publicly report their budgets, boards, or lobbying–making it impossible to trace their donors,” Ludwig explained. “Instead, all that money moves through the Sixteen Thirty Fund, itself created and managed by the for-profit company Arabella Advisors as a way for liberal mega-donors to quietly fund many of the Left’s most extreme causes.”

It’s the opposite, Ludwig argues, of grassroots activism. Instead it’s a front for a multi-billion dollar dark money network that can’t be held accountable. “That’s the most unfortunate thing about this,” he explained on “Washington Watch.” “There’s no law prohibiting them from doing this, because these websites are basically owned and operated by another nonprofit run by that consulting firm… Arabella Advisors. So Fix Our Senate, for example, if you go to a lot of these pop up campaign websites, they don’t disclose the relationship to Arabella or its nonprofit network. They don’t mention that if you donate to them, you’re not actually donating to this particular group…” In other words, there’s no transparency.

In the last three years of digging through data and following the money, Ludwig says that this is the new cutting edge of Democratic politics. “It’s also how the Left is increasingly shifting to pushing policy in Washington. They don’t want the people to see the real nonprofits and professional activists running these organizations, so they give them phony names and slick campaign websites to totally obfuscate the political debate.”

And all the while, at the helm, is this “swanky” for-profit consulting firm called Arabella Advisors, pulling the strings for a fleet of “nonprofits” who all share their address. “In fact, the boards of directors are all run by Arabella staff. Well, these nonprofits, in turn, accept huge contributions. We’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars… It’s like a Fortune 500 company. These nonprofits are hired by outside foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or George Soros’s Open Society Foundations or the Ford Foundation, to take money from these organizations and create these kinds of pop-up campaigns that cannot be traced to the original donors.”

It’s exactly the sort of pass-through money scheme that Democrats claimed to oppose. And, of course, these are supposedly 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) charitable dollars, meaning they have to abide by certain limits on lobbying or direct campaign activity — unless, like here, you can avoid filing the same kind of IRS nonprofit disclosures of other nonprofits. “It’s a brilliant way to move money from foundations, which are usually shy [about] being perceived as too political (they want to be seen as more highbrow and philanthropic… to abortion campaigns for instance.” They can do this electioneering and campaigning without admitting the kind of organization they are — and with the help of the IRS’s very generous tax exemptions and deductions. “It’s not done out in the open. It’s not done with most people’s knowledge. It’s very insidious,” Ludwig argues.

And yet, here’s the irony — no matter how much money these organizations spend, or how successfully they deceive America and take advantage of the system, they have very few victories to show for it. “I find it very striking that the Left seems afraid to bring these policy debates out front and center and actually have a real discussion about their merits with the American people. Instead, they rely on all of these underhanded tactics.”

Ludwig is right. The Left makes a lot of noise, but they don’t win. Why? Because in the face of a lying narrative, the truth will ultimately prevail. And as discouraging as things may seem right now, that’s the reality we need to hold onto. The Left and their media will eventually reap what they’ve sown. Until they do, Christians need to play the long game — knowing the truth and standing on it.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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