This woman is bragging about how easy it is to destroy democracy from the inside out.

Tell your senators to work harder on getting “S.1” passed and the filibuster eliminated.

The woman’s boss and Heritage Foundation co-founder Paul Weyrich bluntly articulated his radical views on voting rights. “I don’t want everybody to vote. Elections are not won by a majority of the 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.”

Democratic groups should be emulating Matt Sinovic, executive director of progressive lobbying group Progress Iowa, who plans to submit open records requests to determine if Iowa’s legislative leaders worked with Heritage.

“The governor and Republicans in the Legislature must release every bit of communication they’ve had with the Heritage Foundation, so we can know the truth about their work with this shadowy group.” (See their members here. Hi, Betsy!)

(From Indivisible San Francisco)
Short Phone Version: I’m calling from [zip code] and I’m want Sen. [___] to convince your more moderate colleagues to support our democracy by ending or reforming the filibuster and passing S.1, For The People Act.

  • Please ask them if they have watched the leaked video from dark money group Heritage Action, and if they can see the straight line to the introduction of more than 361 voter suppressive bills in 47 states, and which are being passed “quickly and quietly,”with this organization’s influence.
  • Ask they if they really know who their constituents are. In March, Heritage Action bussed in out-of-state conservatives to pose as Sen. Manchin’s constituents, demanding that he stand up for WV values by opposing HR. 1 and H.R. 5. This summer, they plan to run ads pressuring Democratic senators in West Virginia, Arizona, Montana, and New Hampshire to preserve the filibuster in order to block HR 1, all courtesy of a $24 million slush fund to influence the 2022 elections.

We’re witnessing the anti-democratic “Big Lie” radicalization of the GOP and its base. It’s not hidden. It’s out in the open. We urgently need S.1 For The People Act. The longer we delay, the more time Republicans have to enact more extreme anti-democracy laws to override the will of the voters and enshrine minority party rule. 

Contacts

  • Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
  • and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
  • Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Longer Email version: I’m calling from [zip code] and I’m want Sen. [___] to convince your more moderate colleagues to support our democracy by ending or reforming the filibuster and passing S.1, For The People Act.

We’ve been watching Republican legislatures racing to enact a wave of radical election laws with voter suppression measures like reducing mail ballot drop boxes, cutting back on voting hours, making it easier for partisan “poll watching,” and more, including empowering state legislatures to refuse to certify state election tallies. Last week we heard Heritage Action (on tape) discussing that strategy. Please pressure your more moderate colleagues to admit what we’re witnessing: the anti-democratic radicalization of the GOP and its base. It’s not hidden. It’s out in the open. We  urgently need S.1 For The People Act. The longer we delay, the more time Republicans have to enact more extreme anti-democracy laws to override the will of the voters and enshrine minority party rule. 

The Heritage Foundation’s lobbying arm has drafted laws enabling Republican state legislatures to restrict the ability of people of color, young people, and the poor to vote, and even to overrule the will of the voters after their votes have been tallied. Heritage Action has encouraged Republican state legislators to pretend they are addressing sincere grassroots concerns about election integrity. Yet those “concerns” are being driven by The Big Lie that President Biden did not win the 2020 election– the same lie that incited the deadly insurrection on January 6, 2021. The same lie that over 179 sitting Members of Congress voted to support. The same Deadly Lie that is still driving Republican legislatures to conduct sham audits of elections that were checked and re-checked before state certification in December 2020. Unfortunately, the fervor behind the lie that is driving these state laws is not lessening; it is gaining momentum. 

Democratic, Republican, and Independent voters favor protecting the vote and making it accessible, fair and secure. It is highly-partisan Republican office-holders who seek to maintain their power by undermining democracy. The US faces the most entrenched internal political threat since the Civil War and wishful thinking about bipartisan days of yore will not fix it.  It’s time to pressure your more moderate Senate colleagues to face the facts and pass S.1 For The People Act, even if it means eliminating the filibuster.

Contacts


Background

Last week we heard Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, explaining (on tape) the way they had been drafting the voter suppression laws  Republican legislatures have been enacting nationwide with great speed.²  361 bills with restrictive provisions had been introduced in 47 states, as of March 24, 2021, and some have begun to be enacted. These laws affect voters of color, young voters and poor voters. They are not done. Heritage Action has announced plans to spend upwards of $24 million pushing voter suppression legislation in key swing states before the 2022 elections.

S.1, For The People Act, could stop the new wave of voter suppression bills in its tracks. It is also in keeping with the Election Clause in our Constitution which gives Congress the power to set a national standard for the ‘times, places and manner” of federal elections.⁵

What stands in the way of passing S.1 right away? Wishful thinking among a few moderate Democrats who harken back to the days of “bipartisanship,” despite the wave of radical voter suppression bills rolling out nationwide, built on a radical deadly lie that Donald Trump did not lose the 2020 election. Some moderate Democratic Senators still utter dreamy words about bipartisanship even after Mitch McConnell has spent over a decade obstructing Democratic presidents and legislation. A key offender, Senator Manchin, even wrote in an April 2021 op-ed that  “The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”⁶ His colleagues need to prevail upon him, and every other Democrat,  to wake up and admit that the January 6th sedition included sitting Republican Members of Congress, that the same Big Lie is driving Republican legislatures nationwide to make it harder for people of color, young people and the poor to vote. It’s time to eliminate the filibuster to pass S.1 For The People Act.

The filibuster is inherently undemocratic and enables the minority party to block the will of the voters and the American people. The filibuster is not in the Constitution, and the Founding Fathers designed the Senate to be majoritarian. Even after the filibuster was created, it’s use was rare until the second half of the 20th Century. And then it was used for years to block landmark Civil Rights legislation.⁷

Opponents of eliminating the filibuster often talk about how important debate is to Senate traditions and eliminating it would damage that treasured tradition. Well, actually, McConnell has already done that. In 2019 when he was impatient to seat as many Federalist Society nominees as possible on our federal bench, he shortened the debate time on those nominees from the traditional 30 hours down to 2. He reportedly told his Republican colleagues at the time “I don’t think anybody ought to be seized with guilt over any institutional damage being done to the United States Senate.”⁸

References

  1. The Big Lie Is a Pillar of the State 
  2. Leaked Video; Dark Money Group Brags About Writing Voter Suppression Bills 
  3. Manchin to support measured voting reform in lieu of sweeping Democratic proposal
  4. State Voting Bills Tracker 2021, The Brennan Center
  5. The For the People Act Would Stop Voter Suppression in Its Tracks
  6. Joe Manchin’s filibuster argument makes no sense
  7. Indivisible: Congress 101: The Filibuster
  8. Mitch McConnell undid 213 years of Senate history in 33 minutes

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