Non-profit

Voter Protection Program (VPP)

Website:

voterprotectionprogram.org/

Location:

Seattle, WA

Tax-Exempt Status:

527

Type:

Left-of-center Political Action Committee

Project of:

Progressive State Leaders Committee

Formation:

2019

Executive Director:

Heather Greven

The Voter Protection Project is a left-of-center political action committee that donates to far-left candidates for office who support eliminating many U.S. election security laws, including prohibiting all voter identification requirements. [1]

Founding and History

The Voter Protection Project was founded in 2019 by Andrew Janz, a deputy district attorney in Fresno County, California and a former Democratic congressional candidate. [2] The PAC was very active in the 2020 election, spending over $8 million on left-of-center candidates aligned with the PAC’s vision of removing election security laws across the country. [3]

Finances

During the 2020 election cycle, the Voter Protection Project raised $8,883,510 and spent $8,355,632. As of the last day of 2020, the PAC had $527,879 cash on hand. [4]

The PAC received contributions from a number of large, left-of-center political action committees affiliated with the Democratic Party, including $865,595 from Bold PAC, $50,000 from the House Majority PAC, and $30,000 from the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. [5]

All of the Voter Protection Project’s expenditures, amounting to $494,000, were allocated to Democratic candidates. [6] The Voter Protection Project made the vast majority of its non-candidate expenditures in the form of media buys. Out of $5,204,802 spent on media, the Voter Protection Project allocated $4 million to web-based ads and $849,052 to broadcast ads. [7]

Priority Issues

The Voter Protection Project works to implement left-of-center voting laws around the country. The organization has supported calls for automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, pre-paid postage for absentee voting, and the complete elimination of voter ID requirements. [8]

“Most Wanted”

The Voter Protection Project maintains a “most wanted” list of Republican U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators that it is targeting to oust. As of May 2021, the list includes many high profile Republican officials, including U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Rand Paul (R-KY). The list also includes U.S. Representatives Jim Jordan (R-OH), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Madison Cawthorn (R-NC), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The “most wanted” list also contains U.S. Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA), who was shot by far-left activist James Hodgkinson in 2017. [9] [10]

“Treason Caucus”

In February 2021, the Voter Protection Project announced that it would spend $1 million in the 2022 midterm elections seeking to unseat members who voted to contest the 2020 presidential election results, which it has called the “Treason Caucus.” [11] The list of targets is limited to Republicans who won their most recent race by slim margins and includes U.S. Senators who will not be up for election in 2022. [12]

Leadership

Andrew Janz is the founder of the Voter Protection Project and is a deputy district attorney in Fresno County. Janz, a Democrat, unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) in 2018. [13] His campaign manager was Heather Greven, who is also the executive director of the Voter Protection Project. In 2020, he unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Fresno, California, losing to Republican Jerry Dyer in the nonpartisan race. [14]

Heather Greven is the executive director of the Voter Protection Project and has a long history of working with left-of-center candidates and institutions. This includes working as Janz’s campaign director in 2018. She has also worked on far-left U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)’s presidential campaign and at NextGen America in a communications role. [15] During the 2019-2020 election cycle, the Voter Protection Project paid $231,283 to the Greven Group. [16]

While he is not mentioned on the Voter Protection Project’s website, Jay Pettterson is listed in federal campaign filings as the treasurer and record keeper for the PAC. He is a partner at the left-of-center consulting firm Blue Wave Politics. [17] [18]

References

  1. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Profile.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/summary/2020. ^
  2. Voter Protection Project. “Our Team.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/our-team/. ^
  3. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Profile.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/summary/2020. ^
  4. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Profile.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/summary/2020. ^
  5. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Contributions.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/pac-to-pac/2020 ^
  6. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Candidate Recipients.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/candidate-recipients/2020 ^
  7. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/expenditures/2020 ^
  8. Voter Protection Project. “Who We Are.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/about/. ^
  9. Voter Protection Project. “Most Wanted.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/most-wanted/. ^
  10. Calamur, Krishnadev. “Who Is James T. Hodgkinson?” The Atlantic, June 14, 2017. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/who-is-james-t-hodgkinson/530295/. ^
  11. Otterbein, Holly. “Liberal Group Targets Republicans Who Voted to Overturn 2020 Election.” POLITICO. February 26, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/26/voter-protection-project-spending-471712. ^
  12. Voter Protection Project. “Treason Caucus.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/treason-caucus/. ^
  13. Voter Protection Project. “Our Team.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/our-team/. ^
  14. Ballotpedia. “Andrew Janz.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Andrew_Janz. ^
  15. Voter Protection Project. “Our Team.” Accessed April 26, 2021. https://protectvoting.org/our-team/. ^
  16. Center for Responsive Politics. “Voter Protection Project PAC Expenditures.” OpenSecrets.org, April 1, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/voter-protection-project/C00692319/expenditures/2020 ^
  17. FEC.gov. “Statement of Organization Amended 2/24/2021,” February 24, 2021. Accessed April 26, 2021. https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/309/202102249428821309/202102249428821309.pdf#navpanes=0. ^
  18. Blue Wave. “Our Team.” Accessed April 26, 2021. http://www.bluewavepolitics.com/our-team-1. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

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Voter Protection Program (VPP)


Seattle, WA