The New Yorker got a copy of a conference call between a policy adviser to Senator Mitch McConnell and the leaders of several prominent conservative groups, including one run by the Koch brothers’ network. The gist of the call was that many conservative voters like HR1, the voting rights bill, and there’s not much messaging that works against it. The article has the audio.
The participants conceded that the bill, which would stem the flow of dark money from such political donors as the billionaire oil magnate Charles Koch, was so popular that it wasn’t worth trying to mount a public-advocacy campaign to shift opinion. Instead, a senior Koch operative said that opponents would be better off ignoring the will of American voters and trying to kill the bill in Congress.
They describe an AOC-related message that seemed to move voters a bit, but I can’t figure out what it means. They admit it doesn’t make sense. They also think lying might work, claiming that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood oppose the bill when they have criticized parts of it.
Of most concern in the bill is the limitation of dark money and identification of donors. Why, that might open them to harassment! Republicans get more dark money than Democrats do.
And here is some information to help illuminate a particularly West Virginian mystery.
With so little public support, the bill’s opponents have already begun pressuring individual senators. On March 20th, several major conservative groups, including Heritage Action, Tea Party Patriots Action, Freedom Works, and the local and national branches of the Family Research Council, organized a rally in West Virginia to get Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat, to come out against the legislation. They also pushed Manchin to oppose any efforts by Democrats to abolish the Senate’s filibuster rule, a tactical step that the Party would probably need to take in order to pass the bill. “The filibuster is really the only thing standing in the way of progressive far-left policies like H.R. 1, which is Pelosi’s campaign to take over America’s elections,” Noah Weinrich, the press secretary at Heritage Action, declared during a West Virginia radio interview. On Thursday, Manchin issued a statement warning Democrats that forcing the measure through the Senate would “only exacerbate the distrust that millions of Americans harbor against the U.S. government.”