Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for WIRED25; Chet Strange/Getty Images
Billionaire LinkedIn founder and prolific political donor Reid Hoffman is sounding the alarm about what he says are the schemes Republicans have planned for 2024 should former Republican President Donald Trump lose his expected second presidential run.
Hoffman announced the plans on a Zoom call he organized with more than a dozen other liberal-minded billionaires in which he shared a slide presentation detailing how Republicans plan to use the 2022 midterms to "install Trump in 2024."
The presentation laid out a hypothetical scenario in which the GOP uses its expected 2022 midterm Congressional gains to pass legislation in 2023 that would allow the 2024 vote of Trump-unfriendly areas of the country to be invalidated.
In response, Hoffman is calling upon the ultra-wealthy to donate millions to counteract these expected moves with a slate of combative initiatives, many of which divert political focus from federal midterm races to state and local level races instead.
\u201cThe strategy has diverted some of the focus away from federal races toward governor and secretary of state races, election-administrator contests and measures aimed at protecting ballot access and tabulation.\nhttps://t.co/XynnSzkK06\u201d
— The Washington Post (@The Washington Post)
The sobering headline of one of Hoffman's slides obtained by the Washington Post says it all:
“MAGA leaders intend to use 2022 midterm wins to install Trump in 2024 regardless of the vote."
In subsequent slides, Hoffman detailed just how they plan to do it.
First, Republicans plan to win 2022 midterm seats in key battleground states, and then use that power to change state laws in 2023 to give state legislators control over presidential electors in the Electoral College.
Then, after the 2024 presidential election these states will declare votes from urban centers, which lean heavily towards Democratic candidates even in the reddest states, "tainted" and will send their own alternate Trump-friendly slate of electors to Washington for the Electoral College vote instead.
Trumpworld attempted a similar ploy in 2020, but it was impossible to implement legally. Republicans in key swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania have also attempted to change election laws, but have been stymied by Democratic governors.
The scheme Hoffman details would of course eliminate these guardrails.
In response, Hoffman and his ultra-wealthy donors are pouring money into organizations that aim to increase Democratic turnout and persuade swing voters to the Democratic side.
And they're even supporting groups that try to "dissuade" Republicans from going to the polls at all, as Republicans have done with Democratic voters in recent elections.
Hoffman's "fight fire with fire" approach is unique for a midterm election effort because its goal of preventing Republican election deniers from gaining office in 2022 means it necessarily focuses on state and local races more than House and Senate races.
Hoffman's effort targets governorships, secretaries of state, election administrators and even local ballot measures aimed at protecting the voting process.
And while donating to candidates is a focus of Hoffman and his compatriots, their biggest funding targets read like a fire-with-fire list as well--everything from digital ads and creating new online media outlets to opposition research and Facebook groups.
On Twitter, the Republican efforts Hoffman underlined definitely gave people pause, and they were glad to hear that people on the left were willing to fight fire with fire.
\u201c@michaelscherer Thank god liberal big money is finally mobilizing.\u201d
\u201cThis just in from the Maddow show. It seems some billionaires are concerned about losing our democracy. A group of them, headed by Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, are going to start spending massive amounts of money supporting DEMOCRATS in state races to save democracy...Great news!\u201d
\u201c@michaelscherer Trump election deniers have been answering Steve Bannon's call to get involved in every level of government to make sure Trump returns to the presidency. We have to recognize this! The best question to ask these people is "do you believe Trump won in 2020"? It will be obvious.\u201d
\u201cWhat I'd tell @reidhoffman is that Ds outspent Rs downballot in 2020 in most of the races they lost. Organizing some billionaires to go up against their billionaires is part 1. It gives us a fighting chance. Part 2, the strategy, is what really matters.\u201d
\u201cThis guy just may save our country. Reid Hoffman founder of LinkedIn . @michaelscherer wrote about the Doomsday coming. Can\u2019t link it but so encouraging to know the guys who can fund campaigns can be our saviors.\u201d
— moi stands with the Ukraine people (@moi stands with the Ukraine people)
Hoffman's slide presentation also contained two key reminders that seem to have eluded all too many on the left--the Democrats' retaining their Congressional majority is "a long shot," and the popular vote-focused way states administer elections is "reversible."
Both suggest it's high time to follow Hoffman's lead and stop relying on long-held convention to keep our democracy afloat.