House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and other Democrats on Capitol Hill have continued to push for the passage of a voter reform bill known as the “For the People Act,” which is aimed at changing the landscape of U.S. elections in fundamental ways.
According to Fox News, new financial filings show the legislation has received a large amount of funding from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, described as a “liberal dark money group bankrolled by a Swiss foreign national.”
Influential figures behind the scenes
The term “dark money” refers to funds used to influence American voters and politicians by groups that do not disclose their donors.
For its part, the Sixteen Thirty Fund is managed by D.C.-based consulting firm Arabella Advisors, which is led by Eric Kesser, an ally of former President Bill Clinton who is reportedly paid an eight-figure salary for his services.
The New York Times revealed that Swiss-born Hansjorg Wyss is a major contributor to the dark money network, having reportedly poured in hundreds of millions of dollars as part of an effort to sway U.S. politicians on an array of progressive agenda items.
Investigative researcher Anna Massoglia of the Center for Responsive Politics said that his name does not “show up in FEC filings” but that would not necessarily mean that he has not been a major contributor to the fund.
Thus far, the fund has dropped at least $1.3 million on lobbyists working to push the massive voter reform bill and hundreds of thousands more in funding has gone to firms like Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid, and Keefe Singiser Partners to take advocacy positions on similar bills.
Democrats seem willing to call up all available resources, including those from dark money groups, to push their bold initiative, which GOP lawmakers say would benefit the Democratic Party in future elections.
Recent actions taken by a number of Republican-led states to secure their own election processes would largely be erased if the “For the People Act” is signed into law.
More controversial still is language included in the legislation that would require states to automatically register all eligible voters and allow no-excuse absentee ballots in future elections.
Among the other controversial proposals in the bill is an extension of up to 10 days after an election for ballots to be counted.
Democrats could stand to benefit from the passage of the legislation and they are unlikely to stop pushing for it until the bill ultimately finds a way to passage in Congress. Time appears to be of the essence in the near term, however, with Republicans poised to win back a majority in the House after next year’s midterm races.