Blue Notes & News, May 16, 2021

When the news broke this week that a dark money group associated with the Koch Brothers’ Heritage Foundation was dictating legislation to our Georgia GOP lawmakers, I wasn’t surprised, but I sure was angry.
Mother Jones obtained video of the executive director of Heritage Action bragging to a closed meeting of high dollar donors that the dark money group wrote the laws to suppress votes and disenfranchise voters for Republican state legislators across the country. The law that the GOP in Georgia passed a couple of months ago was crafted by the advocacy arm of the Heritage Foundation as part of a nationwide effort to allow the GOP to control elections they might lose if all eligible voters were allowed to vote without obstacles.
According to Mother Jones:
“The Georgia law had ‘eight key provisions that Heritage recommended,’ Jessica Anderson, the executive director of Heritage Action for America, a sister organization of the Heritage Foundation, told the foundation’s donors at an April 22 gathering in Tucson.”
 “In some cases, we actually draft them for them,” she said, “or we have a sentinel on our behalf give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from-the-bottom-up type of vibe.”
This isn’t the first time right-wing conservatives have gifted state legislators with pre-written bills. The anti-abortion folks also saved the GOP in the states from having to think, do research or even write up provisions. Never mind what the people of the state want, Mr. & Ms. Anonymous Donor will make sure you get what they want.
I thought it was unusual when Governor Kemp rushed to sign the voting bill within an hour of its passing, but this video explains why.
“Days before the Georgia legislature would pass its sweeping bill rolling back access to the ballot, Anderson said she met with Gov. Brian Kemp and urged him to quickly sign the bill when it reached his desk. ‘I had one message for him,’ said Anderson, a former Trump administration official in the Office of Management and Budget. ‘Do not wait to sign that bill. If you wait even an hour, you will look weak. This bill needs to be signed immediately.’ Kemp followed Anderson’s advice, signing the bill right after its passage.” [Emphasis mine.]
Remember how Democratic member of the Georgia House, Park Canon, was arrested for knocking on the door, behind which Kemp & a half dozen white GOP guys grinned and posed under the painting of a plantation house? That whole performance apparently was put on for the anonymous donors to Heritage Action. And what a coincidence: Kemp has just signed a bill throwing out all limits on campaign spending for statewide offices in Georgia. He wants to make sure limitless dark money donations keep flowing, especially into his campaign fund.
Kemp is obviously scared and eager to ensure his funds don’t dry up after he refused to act to overturn the valid election results in Georgia in favor of the Former Guy. Make no mistake, even Republicans who don’t broadcast the big lie and who don’t spout QAnon conspiracy theories are still eager to fatten their campaign coffers. So following the orders of the Heritage folks is money in the bank to Kemp, and perhaps his only chance to hang on to statewide office.
Kemp is up for re-election next year. He faces primary challenges from those in his party who are manipulating gullible Georgia voters with egregious lies in hopes of getting an endorsement from Trump. Kemp may not have Trump’s support, but he’s doing all he can to keep on the (far) right side of the extreme conservative groups like Heritage.
I wonder which Georgia lawmakers worked with the Heritage “sentinel” to be sure the bills reflected the interests of those anonymous donors? All the GA House seats and the GA Senate seat are on the ballot in 2022.
Let’s make sure we all work hard between now and then to throw all the bums out and elect Dems to every statewide office!