The Conservative Heritage Foundation Is Working Feverishly Alongside Republicans to Suppress Americans’ Voting Rights
At one time The Heritage Foundation was simply known as a prominent D.C.-based conservative think tank that worked to support the infrastructure of the Republican Party. As the right has shifted their focus toward more activism and moved away from policymaking, however, the foundation has created an entire separate entity to do important advocacy work.
Heritage Action for America is that entity and it is having a monumental impact on the political landscape.
In a Mother Jones report, Ari Berman and Nick Surgery wrote:
In a private meeting last month with big-money donors, the head of a top conservative group 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. “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “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.”
The watchdog group Documented obtained and shared a video that reportedly shows Heritage Action’s executive director, Jessica Anderson, addressing donors at an April 22 meeting in Tucson.
Anderson shared a story with the group’s financial backers that celebrated a wave of voter-suppression measures approved by Republican officials in states across the country.
According to the article:
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. It’s no coincidence that so many GOP-controlled states are rushing to pass similar pieces of legislation in such a short period of time.
Anderson said in the video, “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.’”
The conservative group didn’t take long to use that “easy” success and apply it in other states.
Reports like these are heart-wrenching for voting-rights advocates.
Although a bill from Democrats, known as the “For the People Act,” could help protect Americans’ voting rights efforts like this, it is looking at extremely long odds.