Senate Democrats are currently working to pass the For The People Act, a landmark voting rights bill recently passed by the House of Representatives designed to push back against Republican efforts across state legislatures to limit access to the ballot box.
The For the People Act, also known as House Resolution 1 or Senate Bill 1, would require states to offer same-day voter registration for national elections, limit partisan gerrymandering, and require super PACs to disclose their donors.
Republicans insist it's a partisan effort from Democrats to ensure Republicans can't win, but a recently leaked conference call between an advisor to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and leaders of prominent conservative groups show the party grappling with how to effectively oppose the campaign finance reform provisions in the bill.
The January 8 call was first reported by Jane Mayer of the New Yorker.
Koch Operatives' Phone Call on HR 1 Leaked to Jane Mayer at 'The New Yorker' https://t.co/KAnNs6Xy5o— Jane Mayer (@Jane Mayer)1617047440.0
Among the leaders on the call was Kyle McKenzie, the research director for Stand Together—an advocacy group run by billionaire conservative donors, the Koch brothers.
McKenzie admitted that a neutral description of the bill was met with support even from conservatives, especially in regards to stemming the influence of billionaires like the Kochs on American elections.
McKenzie said in the call:
"[T]he most worrisome part . . . is that conservatives were actually as supportive as the general public was when they read the neutral description ... There's a large, very large, chunk of conservatives who are supportive of these types of efforts."
He went on to lament that none of the messaging strategies pursued by Stand Together to sway conservative opinions on the bill had been effective—not even ones invoking "cancel culture" or favorite enemy of the right, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). McKenzie said that as a result, they would have to turn to legislative tactics like the filibuster to stop the bill, rather than changing public opinion.
For many who read the report, it revealed the extent to which high-profile Republicans will go to shield dark money donors and limit access to the vote—even if it doesn't align with the general opinions of conservative voters.
#boycott @KochIndustries They’re a cancerous tumor on our democracy. https://t.co/5TBxOxgb9U— Simi R. Optimist. (@Simi R. Optimist.)1617204720.0
While conservatives and democrats bicker, billionaires plot against all. #KochNetwork… https://t.co/cVs8qm12Oa— 𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕒𝕝𝕗𝕝𝕦𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣 (@𝕗𝕖𝕣𝕒𝕝𝕗𝕝𝕦𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣)1617201489.0
Great info! Rich folks trying to buy a policy they like find that EVERYBODY doesn’t like them doing that! Read/list… https://t.co/CWV8ctZEBR— Sharon Hayes (@Sharon Hayes)1617166340.0
They literally own Republicans. https://t.co/QKSjvhw6dB— Dr. Brandon E.M. Savage (@Dr. Brandon E.M. Savage)1617114642.0
Koch brothers and their ilk have had their claws more deeply than can be imagined into democracy-killing policy the… https://t.co/56RSXkHGKP— Melissa Maher (@Melissa Maher)1617112541.0
The aims of the For the People Act have never been more necessary.
We cannot afford to go backward, and that means we have to go bold with legislation like the John Lewis… https://t.co/c6UslNAb4E— Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (@Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock)1617481685.0
There are now 361 voter suppression bills introduced in 47 states that make it harder to vote. If we ignore it, the… https://t.co/FrANZDBwmt— Amy Klobuchar (@Amy Klobuchar)1617494909.0
67% of Americans support the For the People Act, a bill that would expose dark money in politics. Billionaires wil… https://t.co/Rnu7mrLknv— Public Citizen (@Public Citizen)1617054838.0
It's unclear whether the bill has a chance of passing in the Senate without some level of filibuster reform first.