The U.S. has always been very open about their disdain for democracy. Specially the shameless Republican Party.
First some quick notes:
The Heritage Foundation was co-founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich, a well-connected conservative activist on a mission to create more aggressive conservative infrastructure to rival more liberal think tanks like the Brookings Institution. Weyrich, who was also Heritage’s first president, went on to co-found the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which pairs corporations with conservative state legislators to draft model legislation, and the Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell, which mobilized evangelical voters behind GOP causes and candidates. Heritage received major funding from leading right-wing donors such as Charles and David Koch, Richard Mellon Scaife, and Joseph Coors.
Speaking in 1980 at a meeting of evangelical leaders in Dallas, Weyrich bluntly articulated his views on voting:
Now, many of our Christians have what I call the ‘goo-goo syndrome.’ Good government. They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of people. They never have been from the beginning of our country, and they are not now. As a matter of fact our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.
In other words, if we stop them from voting, we win!
OK. Let’s now skip ahead to the present:
In a private meeting held April 22, 2021 in Tucson, AZ with big-money donors, the head of Heritage Action for America boasted that her outfit had crafted the new voter suppression law in Georgia and was doing the same with similar bills for Republican state legislators across the country.
Jessica Anderson is the executive director of Heritage Action for America which is the a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation. She told the foundation’s donors:
In some cases, we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.
Former Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint described the relationship between Heritage Foundation and Heritage Action as “the one-two punch.” The foundation writes the policy, and Heritage Action makes it happen.
The leaked video reveals the extent to which Heritage is leading a massive campaign to draft and pass model legislation restricting voting access, which has been swiftly adopted this year in the battleground states of Georgia, Florida, Arizona, and Iowa.
“We’re working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills,” Anderson told the Heritage Foundation donors. In addition to drafting the bills in some cases, “we’ve also hired state lobbyists to make sure that in these targeted states we’re meeting with the right people.”
Days before the Georgia legislature would pass its sweeping bill rolling back access to the ballot, Anderson said she met with Gov. Brian Kemp and urged him to quickly sign the bill when it reached his desk. “I had one message for him,” said Anderson, a former Trump administration official in the Office of Management and Budget. “Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak. This bill needs to be signed immediately.” Kemp followed Anderson’s advice, signing the bill right after its passage. Heritage called it a “historic voting security bill.”
Anderson said she delivered “the same message” to Republican governors in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.
Heritage Foundation fellow Hans von Spakovsky, a former George W. Bush administration official who for two decades has been the driving force behind policies that restrict access to the ballot, spoke alongside Anderson at the donor summit.
“Hans is briefing governors, secretaries of state, state attorney generals, state elected officials,” Anderson said. “Just what three weeks ago, we had a huge call with secretaries of state, right?”
“We’ve now for several years been having a private briefing of the best conservative secretaries of state in the country that has so annoyed the left that they have been doing everything they can to try to find out what happens at that meeting,” von Spakovsky replied.
“So far unsuccessfully,” Anderson said. “No leaks.”
Iowa is the first state that we got to work in, and we did it quickly and we did it quietly. We worked quietly with the Iowa state legislature. We got the best practices to them. We helped draft the bills. We made sure activists were calling the state legislators, getting support, showing up at their public hearings, giving testimony…Little fanfare. Honestly, nobody even noticed. My team looked at each other and we’re like, ‘It can’t be that easy.’
Forty years have passed since Weyrich publicly delivered his truth. No shame or secrecy required. It’s just a documented fact that democracy will not be tolerated in this country. Period!
Thanks for reading,