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Democrat Group Was Behind Ads Aimed At Suppressing Voter Turnout, Potentially Swinging Senate Control
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A dark-money operation tied to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer funded ads which tried to suppress Republican voter turnout by attacking swing-state senators from the right, potentially putting control of the Senate in Schumer’s hands.

Back in 2018, the “Coalition for a Safe and Secure America” (CSSA) seemed like a hard-right group that attacked now-Sens. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana), and then-Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-Montana), as squishes.

It ran ads claiming Heller allowed foreign workers to take American jobs, and that Hawley “sides with Washington liberals.” They said Braun supported “tax-hikes.”

But when the ads ran, the Republican primary had already passed. The true purpose was to trick Republicans in competitive states into staying home, figuring there wasn’t much difference between the Republican nominee and the Democratic one.

And CSSA got most of its funding from Majority Forward, a nonprofit affiliated with the Senate Majority PAC, which backs the interest of Senate Democrats, Axios reported Wednesday, citing new tax disclosures.

Heller ultimately narrowly lost his election to Democrat Jacky Rosen, making him the only Republican senator to lose a re-election bid that year. If Heller had retained his seat, Republicans might have been in control of the Senate now. Instead, it is tied 50-50, with ties broken by Democratic vice president Kamala Harris.

Hawley won his seat nonetheless, displacing Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

The Senate Majority PAC spent a whopping $160 million in the 2018 election cycle and nearly $400 million in 2020, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Majority Forward, a 501(c)4 group, raised nearly $28 million in 2017 and $76 million in 2018, its tax filings show.

The filings say that its president, JB Poersch, was paid $700,000 for 15 hours of work per week in 2018, plus nearly $553,000 from related organizations.

CSSA raised $4 million in 2018, of which $2.7 million came from Majority Forward, Axios reported.

The Federal Election Commission separately said last week that CSSA “failed to include the required disclaimers on mailers that were critical of then-candidate Mike Brain and distributed a week before the 2018 U.S. Senate election.”

It said that CSSA admitted it was behind the mailers but said it had disbanded, so “in an effort to direct its constrained resources to more significant matters, the Commission exercises its prosecutorial discretion and dismisses these matters.”

Though the ads were undoubtedly designed to convince Republicans to stay home from the polls by deceiving them, Democrats have since decried more mild conduct as “voter suppression.”

Related: ‘Tell Me Again, Why Is Showing A Voter I.D. Voter Suppression’: Burgess Owens Slams Critics Of Voter I.D. Laws

In 2020, Republican tricksters Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman were criminally charged for allegedly placing calls in Democratic areas with false information about voting.

Majority Forward used “dark-money” loopholes often decried by Democrats to hide the source of its funding until years after the election. Democrats raised more “dark money” than Republicans in 2020, despite frequently calling it a nefarious tool of Republicans.

Majority Forward did not respond to Axios’s request for comment.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Democrat Group Was Behind Ads Aimed At Suppressing Voter Turnout, Potentially Swinging Senate Control