Former Trump official takes credit for suppressing democracy

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Jessica Anderson, one of many Heritage Foundation / Heritage Action executives directly involved with the former Trump administration, tells a room of donors that the organization is the mastermind of voter suppression legislation in states across the nation.

Over 60 former Heritage employees received positions in the Trump administration, and the organization was deeply involved in influencing the outcome of the 2020 election. Anderson herself worked in Trump’s Office of Management and Budget and attended the White House’s 2019 gathering of pro-Trump media personalities and internet influencers.

In an April 22 recording obtained by Documented, Anderson tells donors that Heritage Action — the Heritage Foundation’s fundraising arm — is responsible for Georgia’s new voter suppression law and similar bills in other states. In some states, the organization drafts measures for the legislation and either delivers them to state officials on their own or uses a local group “so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”

We are going to take the fierce fire that is in every single one of our bellies to right the wrongs of November.

Jessica Anderson

Fabricating grassroots efforts is a well-documented strategy by members of the Council for National Policy, a pro-corporate, anti-democracy group of extremist billionaires and policy influencers that includes various Heritage officials.

Heritage Action’s measures in Georgia severely restrict access to absentee ballots, limit drop boxes for ballots, make it harder for election administrators to accept help from local nonprofits, and make it easier for partisan voters to monitor polling places. The law also makes it illegal to provide food or water to voters standing in line, in a state with some of the longest voting wait times in the nation.

All of these recommendations came straight from Heritage’s list of “best practices” drafted in February. With Heritage’s help, Anderson said, Georgia became “the example for the rest of the country.”

…Republican legislators claim they’re tightening up election procedures to address (unfounded) concerns about fraud in the 2020 election. But what’s really behind this effort is a group of conservative Washington insiders who have been pushing these same kinds of voting restrictions for decades, with the explicit aim of helping Republicans win elections. The difference now is that Trump’s baseless claims about 2020 have given them the ammunition to get the bills passed, and the conservative movement, led by Heritage, is making an unprecedented investment to get them over the finish line. 

Mother Jones

In some states, Anderson’s team is helping state legislators write the legislation and hiring lobbyists “to make sure that, in these targeted states, we’re meeting with the right people.” The organization plans to spend $24 million to pass and defend the legislation in Arizona, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin. Their efforts are aided by other CNP groups, including the Susan B. Anthony List, Tea Party Patriots, and FreedomWorks.

Days before Gov. Brian Kemp signed the Georgia bill into law, Anderson met with the governor and urged him to sign the bill the moment it hit his desk, promising he would “look weak” if he waits even an hour. As Kemp signed the bill on March 25, Georgia State Rep. Park Cannon was arrested and charged with two felonies for knocking on his door.

I am not the first Georgian to be arrested for fighting voter suppression. I’d love to say I’m the last, but we know that isn’t true. But someday soon that last person will step out of jail for the last time and breathe a first breath knowing that no one will be jailed again for fighting for the right to vote.

Georgia Rep. Park Cannon

Heritage called the legislation a “historic voting security bill.”

External Sources

Mother Jones (Archived)

Truthout (Archived)

Newsweek (Archived)

CBS Atlanta (Archived)

Photo: Unknown

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