ACLU to Spend $25 Million on Ballot Measures, State Races, Wisconsin Senate Contest

Group spending ‘with a laser focus on protecting and expanding abortion and voting rights up and down the ballot.’

The American Civil Liberties Union will spend more than $25 million on the 2024 election, the group announced. Funding for the ACLU’s federal political spending financing comes primarily from Democratic donors.

On June 5, the ACLU said in a release it will spend more than $25 million “with a laser focus on protecting and expanding abortion and voting rights up and down the ballot.”

The release said its electoral program will include direct mail, digital ads, paid media, on-the-ground organizing, and support for ballot measure campaigns.

“Funds will also underwrite litigation and advocacy to ensure ballot access, fair election practices, and voting rights,” the release said. “Additionally, the ACLU—which has affiliates in every state in the country—will deploy hundreds of volunteers in key states to support voter turnout efforts.”

Voter Education Fund Backers

The ACLU said it will use what it calls a non-partisan federal political action committee, ACLU Voter Education Fund, to “educate voters in key states about the differences in candidates’ positions on important civil liberties and civil rights issues.”

According to Federal Election Commission records, the Voter Education Fund has raised about $5.2 million since its founding in March 2024. At the end of April, it retained about $5.1 million in cash on hand.

The fund’s largest donors are Deborah Simon, Pierre Omidyar, Lisa Norton-Motulsky, and a fund tied to progressive megadonor George Soros. All gave the fund $1 million each.

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Ms. Simon, an heir to the Simon family fortune, is a Democratic Party megadonor. According to donor records maintained by watchdog group OpenSecrets, Ms. Simon is a regular, seven-figure donor to progressive groups like Senate Majority PAC and American Bridge 21st Century.

According to FEC records, Democracy PAC, the group linked to the Open Society Foundation founder, is a major backer of progressive groups like Senate Majority PAC, House Majority PAC, and Planned Parenthood Votes.

Democracy PAC has received money directly from Mr. Soros, but most of its funding comes from the Fund for Policy Reform Inc., a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. According to its tax records, the Fund lists George Soros’s son Alexander Soros as a director.

Mr. Omidyar, the founder of eBay Inc. and head of the Omidyar Group, is a limited donor to Democratic Party causes. According to donor records maintained by OpenSecrets, he has given to the Democratic National Committee in the past.

The Omidyar Group includes the Democracy Fund, which is spending $23 million on the 2024 election too.

Spending Targets

According to its release, the ACLU will focus on ballot measures, state supreme court and state house races, and the Wisconsin Senate race.

In Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is seeking her third term in the upper chamber. The Republican Party hasn’t picked its candidate yet—the primary election is scheduled for Aug. 13—but businessman Eric Hovde is considered the frontrunner for the GOP nomination.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) speaks at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Dec. 8, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) speaks at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Dec. 8, 2022. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

The ACLU said it would “educate voters on the key issue positions” of both candidates in that race.

As for ballot measures, the ACLU said it would “champion” ballot measures on abortion access in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, and New York. The measures would add right-to-abortion access to each state’s constitution.

Moreover, it will back a redistricting measure in Ohio it says promotes “transparency and fair representation” by giving the citizenry the power to draw new electoral districts.

Finally, the ACLU will take its efforts to state elections.

In state house races, it will “support long-term change through securing pro-civil liberty majorities” in Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

“By electing leaders committed to defending fundamental freedoms such as access to gender-affirming care, protecting and expanding voting access, and other key issues, we can help fully realize a democracy that works for all of us,” the ACLU said in a release.

The group will also look into state supreme court races in Michigan, Montana, and Ohio. It said it would support candidates that back up its position on civil liberties, including abortion access.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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