Former President Barack Obama alluded to his post-presidency plans to focus on affecting general assembly races and redistricting after the 2020 census before he even left the White House. Those plans are beginning to come into focus as word that a Democratic "supergroup" has formed to affect state-level races and end gerrymandering in an effort to halt “Trump-ism.”
The goals of the group are threefold, according to a report from Fox News citing Jared Leopold, spokesman for the Democratic National Redistricting Committee, which is the tax-exempt group leading the charge:
- Help Democrats win more races in the next few election cycles to “put them in a better situation before redistricting in 2020"
- Embark on legal efforts to “undo some of the more egregious redistricting” after the 2010 census
- Push ballot initiatives that will lead to “fair maps.”
Leopold's group will focus on ending gerrymandering, defined as redrawing of voting districts through a process heavily influenced by politics. Leopold told Fox News that the DNRC is a “super group” that combines the efforts of the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and House Majority PAC. The group's chairman is a familiar name: former Attorney General Eric Holder.
"We heard a lot in this past election about rigged systems,” Holder said last month when he announced the creation of the group. “But I want to say the biggest rigged system in America is gerrymandering.”
Holder, an attorney with a prominent Washington law firm, has recently been hired by the State of California to stop Trump by obstructing some of his administration's planned policies using the legal system.
The creation of the DNRC seems to be formalizing those efforts using a tax-exempt legal structure.
They have their work cut out for them. As Fox News notes, the Republican wins in the 2010 election gave the GOP the House majority and control of 20 additional state House and Senate chambers. They were therefore granted a fairly broad authority in redrawing district maps after the census that year.
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee spokeswoman Carolyn Fiddler told Fox News the refocusing of Democrats’ efforts are a smart move more than a reckoning, and that "related fundraising has been 'astronomical.'"