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The Lincoln Project's implosion: A perfect time for Democratic donors to rethink their spending

5 27 39
23.02.2021

For the past month, anti-Trump super PAC the Lincoln Project –– which promised to bridge America's divides by bringing dignity back to the Republican Party –– has been put through the wringer and hung out to dry. First, allegations of sexual harassment by more than twenty people, including two minors, against Lincoln Project co-founder John Weaver came to light in late January. According to various reports, several of the group's prominent Republican founders knew about the allegations as early as March of 2020, yet no subsequent investigations were ever launched. Two weeks later, it was revealed that over two-thirds of the $90 million raised by the Lincoln Project was paid to firms run by the group's founders, leaving only $27 million spent on the ad campaign in support of congressional Democrats and against Donald Trump it promised to run.

Additional allegations have since accused the Lincoln Project leaders of cultivating a toxic workplace rife with infighting, sexism, and homophobia. The Lincoln Project's co-founders, Steve Schmitt and Jennifer Horn, as well as its senior advisor, Kurt Bardella, have resigned amid the turmoil, throwing the group into a chaotic state of disunity.

It's easy to dismiss the organization's dissolution as a failure of workplace ethics or compliance, but let us not forget: the Lincoln Project was also a failure of political strategy.

Not only did highly-moneyed liberals rally behind a Republican-backed organization that now appears foundationally rotten; they did so because they erroneously believed its strategy to be new and bold. According to Federal Election Commission filings, here are some of the Lincoln Project's biggest donors:

Even with such support from big-moneyed liberals, however, it's not readily apparent that the Lincoln Project did much of anything to help Democrats. More Americans voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election than they did in 2016, after all. Democrats also overwhelmingly lost state legislatures throughout the country. Despite all of the Lincoln Project's sensationalized broadsides against key Trump's congressional allies, the group also failed to weed out any of the most corrosive figures within the GOP, such as........

© Salon


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