Eric Holder’s gerrymandering machine lost heavily in 2020
Despite massive funding, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee could not achieve much.
Eric Holder must have a hard time convincing his donors that they got a lot of “bang” for their money in 2020. The ultra-partisan attorney general turned into the redistribution process is leading a series of three groups, a 501 (c) (3), (c) (4), and PAC, on a crusade over the supposedly gerrymandered maps of Congress and the to redraw state law to benefit Democrats. Overall, these groups had nearly $ 19 million in 2019 (2019-2020 for the PAC), enough to pay an army of lawyers and a legion of lawsuits against GOP-drawn cards in states the Democrats were hoping for to turn around in the 2020 elections.
The blueprint for near permanent democratic scrutiny that the Capital Research Center revealed in our report on “The Left’s Voting Machine” should be simple:
- Increase voter turnout in Democrat-controlled states like New York and California to minimize the number of Congressional seats lost to conservative states in the 2020 census;
- Increase voter turnout in 2020 in left-wing constituencies in major cities in battlefield states such as Pennsylvania and North Carolina to gain control of Congress and state legislatures;
- Control the redistribution process 2021-22 when all 435 US representative offices and 6,766 state legislatures are re-elected by the party that controls the state legislatures (and the governor’s veto power in many states), a process that only takes place every ten years after the census.
But things didn’t quite go according to plan. Despite the White House capture and historically small majorities in the House and Senate, Democrats and their activist allies underperformed in the local races they had to win to control the redistribution process from 2021-22: state legislatures . Rather than dominating North Carolina, Texas, and Florida – all of which will win a seat or two in the House of Representatives – the Democrats will play little to no role in redesigning the voting cards these states will use for the next decade.
Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) was supposed to prevent this from happening by pouring money into lawsuits and close races. The NDRC – which describes itself as the “strategic center for a comprehensive redistribution strategy” for Democrats – was founded shortly before the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January 2017 to give the 2018 and 2020 elections and the 2020 census a head start through targeted “trifectas” to procure ”means that the GOP controls the governor’s mansion and both houses of the legislature.
NDRC is as famous – and partisan – as any activist group can be. Its staff and leadership all come from upper-left groups, including the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the Democratic Governors Association, the House Majority PAC, the EMILY list, and the get-out-the-vote group America Votes . His own organizational papers filed with the IRS indicate that his goal is to “create a comprehensive plan to position Democrats favorably for the redistribution process by 2022”.
Most of the group’s celebrity comes from Holder himself, an icon of professional activism who briefly led a 2020 presidential election. He is also almost certainly the most partisan attorney general in US history, as well as the first to use both criminal and civil contempt in Congress.
(It’s also worth noting that Holder’s hypocrisy of scourging conservatives for pursuing a series of new electoral integrity laws under the guise of widespread electoral calamity in 2020 – what leftists call “the big lie” – as he tells tellUSA today, “I’m still convinced that Stacey Abrams” won her race for Georgia Governor in 2018.)
Holder first introduced the NDRC to a group of around 50 top liberal donors and influencers, including then-governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and reportedly even former President Barack Obama, who was his member of the group blessing in a donation email from 2019 for the turnout All on the Line.
Holder did his best to address both the alleged “extreme partisan gerrymandering” of the Republicans and his faction’s power to shape future elections for the left, and to convince the luminaries on the left that the NDRC was the accomplishments of the GOP since Tea Party Revolution of 2010, which was the majority in the Democratic House. They started pouring resources into Republican-held Virginia and turning the state over in 2019. Later, at a meeting with the get-out-the-vote group New Florida Majority, Holder announced that “Virginia was a target state for us in 2019, and Florida is a target state for us in 2020.”
In North Carolina, a 2019 lawsuit by Common Cause, another left-wing litigation group, obliterated the Republican-drawn maps of the state in what the Wall Street Journal referred to as the “redistribution coup”. Even the New York Times acknowledged that it was intended to “challenge Republican control over the next round of redistribution in 2021”. NDRC-affiliated 501 (c) (3), the National Redistricting Foundation, paid the group’s legal fees.
With so much blood in the water, it’s no wonder NDRC raised nearly $ 6 million in the 2020 election cycle – twice as much as in the 2018 cycle – from major unions, PAC litigation advocates, wealthy hedge fund managers like Donald Sussman, filmmakers like JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg and George Soros’ Democracy PAC. His 501 (c) (4) lobby arm, the National Redistricting Action Fund, received an additional $ 3 million from Swiss mega-donor Hansjörg Wyss between 2018 and 2020.
The groups eventually spent $ 5.2 million in 2019-2020, mainly as contributions to local Democratic PACs and state-run congressional campaigns that Holder announced in November 2018.
How has the NDRC developed? From state to state, not so good (note: this includes states that have been funded by NDRC but are not on the published target list):
In addition to the out-of-year elections in Virginia and Louisiana Democrats lost in every state Holder and Co. targeted in 2020– sometimes big. In Kentucky, for example, Republicans won a whopping 25 seats in the same legislative term that the NDRC was hoping for turn around.
All of this means that the Democrats will play a greatly reduced role in shaping the future of these states’ congressional and legislative maps between 2021 and 2031, when the maps now drawn are redistributed after the next census. This process is already in full swing and is expected to be completed in the next year.
No doubt NDRC is licking its wounds and preparing for the 2022 midterm elections. Eric Holder is expected to have a lot to explain from his donors.
Hayden Ludwig is Senior Investigative Researcher for the Capital Research Center.