Not that long ago, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) voiced her opposition to the practice of gerrymandering, or the controversial manipulation of congressional district lines designed to favor one political party over another.
According to recent reports, however, Pelosi’s actual stance on the issue is being called into question based on the spending records of a political action committee with which she is aligned.
Opposition to gerrymandering
The Federal Elections Commission revealed that PAC to the Future shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars to a redistricting group tied to the Democratic Party.
That committee is firmly in the House speaker’s corner and reportedly doled out two payments — totaling $300,000 — in October and December to the National Democratic Redistricting Organization, which is led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The redistricting group has made few attempts to hide its true intentions, claiming on its website that its goal is to “fix” prior gerrymandering efforts by the GOP.
While generally frowned upon by critics on both sides of the aisle, gerrymandering is not in itself illegal. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2019 determined that federal courts are no longer allowed to rule on cases of potential partisan gerrymandering, which was convenient timing ahead of the 2020 census and subsequent redrawing of districts.
The Washington Free Beacon noted that Pelosi’s husband, Paul, oversees the committee’s finances.
As for the Holder-led group, it has received other sizable donations from Democratic-aligned groups, including powerful unions. Its board is made up of several prominent figures from the progressive political realm.
Pelosi’s apparent change of heart on the issue of gerrymandering flies in the face of remarks she has made as recently as 2019.
“This year, the Democratic Majority passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act, which works to end to partisan gerrymandering by requiring all states to establish independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions to draw open and transparent statewide district maps after each Census,” she said at the time.
Census Bureau numbers are typically released the March after a census year, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed those results until September.
When they are made public, however, evidence indicates that Holder’s group will work quickly to capitalize on the information in whatever way they can. It remains to be seen whether Pelosi will revive her prior outspoken stance on the issue.