House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an outspoken opponent of partisan gerrymandering, funnelled hundreds of thousands of dollars to former attorney general Eric Holder's effort to redraw electoral maps in favour of the Democratic party, reports the Washington Free Beacon.
According to the Beacon’s findings, which are based on public filings, Pelosi’s leadership PAC, PAC to the Future, gave $300,000 to Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee in late 2020. Her efforts are in contrast to her comments in 2019, when she said gerrymandering efforts “compromise the integrity of our democracy.”
The Beacon reports that Holder’s organization is girding itself for a once in a decade political battle to reshape electoral districts, which significantly influences the control of Congress. The process of redrawing electoral maps occurs every ten years, after the U.S. Census completes its decennial count of the national population.
Because the number of U.S. House of Representatives seats allocated to each state is driven largely by population, some states whose population declined will likely lose seats to others that have seen growth. This year, Texas and Florida are among the states expected to gain seats, while New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania are among those that will likely lose seats.
Each state uses the census data to draw congressional districts, as well as new state legislative districts.
In most states, the legislature produces the maps, with the governor often having veto power. Lawmakers often try to draw lines in a manner most favorable to their party, a process known as gerrymandering.
According to Politico, Holder’s group serves as a data and legal hub, and a go-between for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and state legislatures. The Free Beacon reports that Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, oversees finances for her PAC, which is the only political action committee personally linked to a politician that has donated to Holder’s group in the past two years.
Pelosi’s quiet support for Holder’s group runs contrary to her remarks opposing gerrymandering.
"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," Pelosi said in 2019. "We will continue to fight partisan gerrymandering, ensure every citizen's vote counts and oppose any attempt to compromise the integrity of our democracy."
In addition to support from Pelosi’s PAC, Holder also received a six-figure contribution from George Soros’ Democracy PAC, which is funded by Soros’ non-profit network. Other supporters of Holder’s group include union PACs like the American Federation of Teachers.
The Free Beacon reports that Holder’s group is led by a variety of high profile Democrats, like Ali Lapp, a founder of the Pelosi-linked House Majority PAC, and Noam Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. The group has also received support from top Dem lawyer Marc Elias, best known for his efforts to shut down Trump’s attempts to contest the 2020 presidential election results.
The Free Beacon reports:
The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was born out of a quiet strategy session between former president Barack Obama, Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe before Obama left the White House. The group identified breaking up Republican-controlled legislatures as a top priority. Holder has said the group's mission is "personal" to Obama, who resented Republicans for disrupting his agenda in the House of Representatives.