A left-wing political group supporting Democrats has spent millions of dollars to defend the party’s majority in the Virginia state legislature against Republicans during their legislative campaign led by Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, according to Politico.
The States Project is a nonprofit organization that is committed, among other things, to protecting abortion access and supporting workers’ unions by electing Democratic governors and state legislative majorities, according to their website. The group announced that it would spend $4.5 million on advertisements and donations to ensure Democratic majorities in both houses of the state legislature, according to Politico.
“Virginia has a right-wing governor and a right-wing-leaning Court. Losing both state legislative chambers in November would be a disaster — with all the levers of government politically aligned, there would be no checks or balances in the state to protect the voices of voters in elections,” wrote the group on its website.
The group’s website also refers to the Youngkin administration’s efforts to reform Virginia’s voting laws, such as prohibiting persons with felony convictions from voting, and to pass legislation that limits abortions to the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, as reasons for their investment. They also accused him of threatening environmental regulations in the state after attempting to appoint Andrew Wheeler, a former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, to be the Secretary of Natural and Historic Resources in the state — the nomination being blocked by state Senate Democrats.
“Our side needs to stop treating state legislatures like the minor leagues and start investing in them like the vital races that they are,” said Adam Pritzker, the group’s co-founder who is a billionaire scion and member of the Pritzker family, which owns the Hyatt Hotels Corporation and includes Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker of Illinois, to Politico.
Expenditures by The States Project are part of a series of high-value investments by partisan groups in Virginia’s legislative election, which will occur on Nov. 7. Republican groups, such as the Spirit of Virginia political action committee backed by Youngkin, have made large advertising purchases to defeat state Senate Democrats, who currently hold a two-seat majority in their chamber.
Whereas Democrats have sought to make abortion their top issue during the campaign, Republicans have focused on education policy. Should the latter gain a majority in both houses, Republicans are likely to push for a “school choice” reform bill, which would create “education savings accounts” and allow parents to enroll their children in different public schools rather than be limited to the school of their locality, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
The Spirit of Virginia PAC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Arjun Singh on October 9, 2023