The Secretary of State Project, the once influential group backed by billionaire philanthropist George Soros, has either gone into hiding or informally disbanded.
What happened? Did the group just disappear? Well, before we investigate the group’s possible demise, perhaps a quick history lesson is in order.
The Secretary of State Project was created for the sole purpose of stopping Republicans from “stealing elections” (the project’s founders were a little sore about that whole Kathleen Harris thing). So how did the group plan to accomplish this? Simple: financially back and “get out the vote” for like-minded (i.e. “left-leaning”) candidates running for secretary of state.
“In most states the secretary of state is the chief elections officer, so putting left-wingers in the often-overlooked but critically important office allows these political radicals to manipulate the electoral process,” writes Matthew Vadum for the American Spectator.
“This is what liberals call ‘election protection,’” he adds.
Add billionaire donor George Soros and the Democracy Alliance, “a billionaires’ club that funds left-wing political infrastructure,” to the mix and the Secretary of State Project quickly became an organization capable of making or breaking candidates running for state secretary.
It’s a brilliant idea, really: form a group capable of donating massive amounts of cash to a like-minded candidate running for an office that although commonly overlooked, and therefore relatively cheap to campaign for, is responsible for certifying elections.
After all, as Vadum notes, it was Joseph Stalin who once said: “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”
The idea of controlling who counts the votes is hardly original. In fact, Secretary of State Project co-founder Rebecca Bond once said:
Any serious commitment to wrestling control of the country from the Republican Party must include removing their political operatives from deciding who can vote and whose votes will count.
The group was initially successful.
“They helped to elect Saul Alinsky-inspired community organizer Mark Ritchie, the ACORN-loving Minnesota secretary of state who presided over Al Franken’s theft of incumbent Republican Norm Coleman’s U.S. Senate seat in the 2008 election cycle,” Vadum writes.
And everything was going smoothly for the organization until President Barack Obama decided to pound through his unpopular health care bill. When “Obamacare” passed, wealthy groups like the Secretary of State Project were powerless against the 2010 Republican “Red Wave.” That year, out of the seven secretary candidates backed by the Soros-funded project, only two won.
Apparently, it was all downhill from there.
Since the 2010 losses, the Secretary of State Project has gone eerily silent. As the American Spectator notes, the project’s website has been offline since July 2011. The group’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Twitter account have not been updated since 2010.
“The group hasn’t endorsed any candidates for the 2012 election cycle and its most recent IRS filings show almost no financial activity since the 2010 election cycle,” Vadum reports.
Did the “Republican electoral tsunami” destroy the Secretary of State Project’s standing? Perhaps, Vadum writes. Many signs would seem to point to it — but you’re not going to hear that from the group’s leaders.
When contacted by the American Spectator, Rebecca Bond, the group’s aforementioned co-founder, refused to offer a comment on the status of the group.
Rebecca Bond (photo source: CREDO Action)
And she wasn’t the only one keeping silent.
“Wayne State law professor and community organizer Jocelyn Benson, who was beaten decisively in blue state Michigan by Republican Ruth Johnson in 2010, failed to return telephone calls,” Vadum reports.
“Benson, who lost by five percentage points despite running in a blue state, being endorsed by the Secretary of State Project, and outspending her opponent by a quarter of a million dollars, failed to return telephone calls,” he adds.
Perhaps the project is defunct. Perhaps it’s just keeping a low profile. The group’s status is uncertain. However, what we do know is that several of the major players associated with once powerful Soros-funded project, including James Rucker of “Color of Change” fame, have set their sights on another major voting issue: voter ID laws.
This article has been updated.