Political Party/527

The Strategic Victory Fund

Website:

democracyalliance.org/organization/state-victory-fund/

Formation:

2020

Type:

State issues PAC

Executive Director:

Scott Anderson

The Strategic Victory Fund is a political action committee started by the left-of-center Democracy Alliance in 2020 in an effort to defeat President Donald Trump. [1] The fund was created to support Democrat causes on state-level issues in battleground states. [2] The Strategic Victory Fund does not disclose its donors and has been labeled a “dark money” organization. [3]

Background

The Democracy Alliance launched the Strategic Victory Fund in March 2020 in an effort to pump $275 million into the 2020 election and defeat then-President Donald Trump. The non-profit arm of the Strategic Victory Fund made the initial $500,000 deposit to start it up. The Strategic Victory Fund focused its strategies on “supporting state-based organizing” in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada, and Virginia. The strategy focused on “at least” 25 rural communities to build progressive infrastructure and leadership. [4]

For the 2021 off-year and 2022 midterm elections, Scott Anderson wrote a Oct. 29, 2021 column in Politico describing the Strategic Victory Fund and its goal to influence state-level elections, stating that control of state houses “may matter more” than control of the U.S. Congress. [5]

Anderson highlighted five governor’s races in 2022 in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nevada that he said if lost by Democrats would be a “significant risk to American democracy.” All five of those states had Democratic governors. Anderson wrote that “who wields the veto pen in those states” could influence the Electoral College and “unfairly deny the rightly elected president the White House in 2024.” Anderson wrote that if Republicans win those five states and knock out the Democratic governors “MAGA followers” would “control the levers” of running the actual elections and the allocations of Electoral College electors. Anderson said that the state would be set “for another insurrection” where supporters of Donald Trump would refuse to certify “actual winners” of elections and put Trump back into office “regardless of whether he actually won.” [6]

People

Scott Anderson is the executive director of the Strategic Victory Fund. He was previously the executive director of the Committee on States from September 2013 to June 2019. Anderson was the executive director from January 2009 to September 2013 of the North Carolina Association of Educators, which is the North Carolina arm of the National Education Association teachers’ union. He was a political organizer for the National Education Association from April 2005 to January 2009. [7]

Stephanie Schriock is a senior advisor for the Strategic Victory Fund. [8] Shriock is the former president of EMILY’s List, which works to get Democratic women elected to public office. [9] [10] EMILY’s List trained Schriock to be a campaign fundraiser at age 23. She was the finance director for the South Carolina Democratic Party and spent four years working for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as a fundraiser and campaign advisor. [11] She was national finance director for the 2004 presidential campaign of Governor Howard Dean (D-VT) and then managed the campaign of U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN) in 2008. [12]

Kristina Wilfore is a senior advisor of disinformation strategies at the Strategic Victory Fund. [13] Wilfore is a Democratic activist who has worked in 25 countries and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University and serves on the advisory board of George Washington’s Gender Equality Initiative in International Affairs. [14]

Wilfore was the first executive director of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, [15] which provides research and support to progressive groups. She co-founded the #ShePersisted organization, which defends women in politics over claims they face “horrific levels of gendered disinformation and online abuse.” [16]

Michael Weisel is an attorney from North Carolina who incorporated the Strategic Victory Fund and the non-profit arm. [17]

Funders

Philanthropist Amy Goldman Fowler gave the Strategic Victory Fund $1 million; Democracy PAC, founded by billionaire George Soros, gave $600,000; and Andrew Beck gave $100,000, according to filings from April 2020. [18]

The National Education Association gave $1.85 million to the Strategic Victory Fund in 2021, according to an analysis by the non-profit Americans For Fair Treatment. [19] The National Institute for Labor Relations Research reported that the NEA gave $17 million to the Strategic Victory Fund in 2020. [20]

Other labor unions, including the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have also reported making seven-figure contributions to Strategic Victory Fund. [21]

Organizing Together 2020

Organizing Together 2020 was a battleground state initiative focused on defeating then-President Trump in the 2020 election in Florida, Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin that was funded by the Strategic Victory Fund. [22] The coalition involved 14 liberal groups and was co-chaired in 2020 by then-Gov. Gina Raimondo (D-RI), Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA). It was expected to spend up to $60 million. [23] The effort was assembled by Paul Tewes, a Democratic political strategist who was Barack Obama’s 2008 Iowa campaign director. [24]

Organizing Together 2020 was supported by 14 groups including many labor unions, including the National Education Association, Service Employees International Union, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the left-progressive groups Indivisible and Color of Change. [25]

M.J. Hegar

The Strategic Victory Fund along with major donors the Senate Majority PAC, Way to Win and Mind the Gap, gave $28 million to support the campaign of M.J. Hegar, a Democrat who was challenging U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). Hegar was criticized by Texas Republicans for accepting “dark money” financial support. [26] Hegar lost the election. [27]

State Initiatives

Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 5

The Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 5 allowed new or expanding manufacturing companies to make payments to the taxing authority instead of paying property taxes. [28]

The Strategic Victory Fund donated $200,000 to defeat the measure. [29] It was defeated by 25 percentage points or 493,882 votes. [30]

Missouri Amendment 3

The state of Missouri has its legislative maps for the House and Senate redrawn after every census. In 2018, voters passed “Clean Missouri,” which created a nonpartisan state demographer. The Republican Party in Missouri sponsored Amendment 3, which transferred responsibility for drawing state legislative districts to a governor-appointed bipartisan commissions. [31]

The Strategic Victory Fund donated $500,000 in 2020 to the “Clean Missouri” campaign working to defeated Amendment 3. Amendment 3 passed by 2 percentage points. [32]

Colorado Prop CC

In 2019, Colorado ballot initiative Proposition CC would have allowed allow the state to keep revenue above a spending cap to distribute to transportation and education initiatives. [33] It was defeated. The Strategic Victory Fund gave $500,000 to the campaign to help pass the initiative. [34]

Colorado Prop 116

Colorado Proposition 116 proposed to reduce the income tax rate from 4.63 percent to 4.55 percent. [35] The reduction was projected to cost the state of Colorado $154 million in revenue. [36] The Strategic Victory Fund gave $500,000 to the campaign to defeat the proposal. The ballot initiative passed. [37]

Illinois Graduated Income Tax Amendment

The Democratic Party of Illinois as well as several labor unions proposed a ballot initiative to repeal the state constitutional requirement of a flat rate for the personal income tax and instead allow a graduated income tax. [38] If passed, the state legislature would be able to pass legislation that would levy higher tax rates on higher-earning individuals or businesses. [39] The Strategic Victory Fund contributed $500,000 to support the ballot initiative. It did not pass. [40]

References

  1. Joe Schoffstall. “Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities.” Washington Free Beacon. May 19, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/soros-donor-network-quietly-launched-new-big-money-entities/ ^
  2. Scott Anderson. “Opinion: It’s Not Just Virginia: 5 Other Governors’ Races Could Determine The Fate Of American Democracy.” Politico. Oct. 29, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/29/democracy-alliance-states-governor-races-517705 ^
  3. Tatyana Monnay. “After Amendment 3: It Passed In 2020, But The Coalitions That Fought It Remain Strong.” KBIA. Jan. 15, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.kbia.org/news/2021-01-15/after-amendment-3-it-passed-in-2020-but-the-coalitions-that-fought-it-remain-strong ^
  4. [1] Joe Schoffstall. “Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities.” Washington Free Beacon. May 19, 2020. Accessed April 23, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/soros-donor-network-quietly-launched-new-big-money-entities/ ^
  5. Scott Anderson. “Opinion: It’s Not Just Virginia: 5 Other Governors’ Races Could Determine The Fate Of American Democracy.” Politico. Oct. 29, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/29/democracy-alliance-states-governor-races-517705 ^
  6. Scott Anderson. “Opinion: It’s Not Just Virginia: 5 Other Governors’ Races Could Determine The Fate Of American Democracy.” Politico. Oct. 29, 2021. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/10/29/democracy-alliance-states-governor-races-517705 ^
  7. Scott Anderson. LinkedIn. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-anderson-707973191/ ^
  8. Steve Barnes. “Ex-EMILY’s List President Moves To Precision.” O’Dwyers PR. Feb. 16, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/17516/2022-02-16/ex-emilys-list-president-moves-precision.html ^
  9. Steve Barnes. “Ex-EMILY’s List President Moves To Precision.” O’Dwyers PR. Feb. 16, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.odwyerpr.com/story/public/17516/2022-02-16/ex-emilys-list-president-moves-precision.html ^
  10. Allison Norlian. “Lessons In Leadership: How The President of EMILY’s List Changed And Diversified America’s Political Landscape.” Forbes. Feb. 25, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allisonnorlian/2021/02/25/lessons-in-leadership-how-the-president-of-emilys-list-changed-and-diversified-americas-political-landscape/?sh=6731e2d67afb ^
  11. Allison Norlian. “Lessons In Leadership: How The President of EMILY’s List Changed And Diversified America’s Political Landscape.” Forbes. Feb. 25, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allisonnorlian/2021/02/25/lessons-in-leadership-how-the-president-of-emilys-list-changed-and-diversified-americas-political-landscape/?sh=6731e2d67afb ^
  12. Allison Norlian. “Lessons In Leadership: How The President of EMILY’s List Changed And Diversified America’s Political Landscape.” Forbes. Feb. 25, 2021. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allisonnorlian/2021/02/25/lessons-in-leadership-how-the-president-of-emilys-list-changed-and-diversified-americas-political-landscape/?sh=6731e2d67afb ^
  13. Brookings Institution. “Kristina Wilfore.” Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.brookings.edu/author/kristina-wilfore/ ^
  14. “Our Story.” #ShePersisted. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://she-persisted.org/who-we-are/ ^
  15. [1] “Kristina Karakoyun Wilfore.” George Washington University Elliott School Of Internal Affairs. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://elliott.gwu.edu/kristina-karakoyun-wilfore ^
  16. “Our Story.” #ShePersisted. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://she-persisted.org/who-we-are/ ^
  17. [1] Joe Schoffstall. “Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities.” Washington Free Beacon. May 19, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/soros-donor-network-quietly-launched-new-big-money-entities/ ^
  18. Joe Schoffstall. “Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities.” Washington Free Beacon. May 19, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/soros-donor-network-quietly-launched-new-big-money-entities/ ^
  19. [1] Americans For Fair Treatment. “Where Do Your Union Dues Go?” March 2022. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://americansforfairtreatment.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/NEA-Where-Do-Your-Union-Dues-Go-Infographic-2020-2021.pdf ^
  20. Audrey Conklin. “US Organized Labor Spent Over $1.8 Billion On Politics, Lobbying During 2020 Election: Report.” Fox Business. July 23, 2021. https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/organized-labor-political-spending-2020-election ^
  21. Data compiled from the Department of Labor Office of Labor-Management Standards query tool from forms filed by labor unions. Queries conducted May 10, 2022. ^
  22. Marc Caputo. “Democrats Launch Major Florida Organizing Effort.” Politico. March 9, 2020. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/09/democrats-florida-organizing-effort-124319 ^
  23. Joe Schoffstall. “Soros Donor Network Quietly Launched New Big-Money Entities.” Washington Free Beacon. May 19, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://freebeacon.com/democrats/soros-donor-network-quietly-launched-new-big-money-entities/ ^
  24. Paul Tewes. “Obama Iowa Campaign Director: In Assessing The Caucuses, Remember The Beautiful Things.” Des Moines Register. Feb. 7, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/caucus/2020/02/07/paul-tewes-iowa-caucuses-remember-beautiful-obama-campaign/4690020002/ ^
  25. [1] Marc Caputo. Christopher Cadelago. “Democrats Launch Massive Battleground Plan Led By Obama General.” Politico. Jan. 31, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/01/31/obamas-field-guru-leading-massive-organizing-effort-109805 ^
  26. Patrick Svitek. “John Cornyn Confronts Late Spending Spree By MJ Hegar, Democratic Allies In Reelection Campaign.” Texas Tribune. Oct. 21, 2020. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/21/john-cornyn-mj-hegar-texas-2020-spending/ ^
  27. John Cornyn. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/John_Cornyn ^
  28. Louisiana Amendment 5, Payment In Lieu Of Property Taxes Option. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Louisiana_Amendment_5,_Payments_in_Lieu_of_Property_Taxes_Option_Amendment_(2020) ^
  29. Sam Karlin. “Louisiana Voters Reject New Tax Break In A Landslide, After Opponents Put On Full-Court Press.” The Advocate. Nov. 4, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2020. https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/elections/article_e00623c6-1ece-11eb-a2f4-7fe3a8062ddd.html ^
  30. Louisiana Amendment 5, Payment In Lieu Of Property Taxes Option. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Louisiana_Amendment_5,_Payments_in_Lieu_of_Property_Taxes_Option_Amendment_(2020) ^
  31. [1] Kelsi Anderson. “Understanding Missouri Amendment 3.” KSDK. Oct. 14, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/politics/missouri-amendment-3-voters-guide/63-52348406-e769-40ad-8d6b-60427e555da2 ^
  32. Missouri Amendment 3. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Missouri_Amendment_3,_Redistricting_Process_and_Criteria,_Lobbying,_and_Campaign_Finance_Amendment_(2020) ^
  33. [1] Colorado Proposition CC, Retain Revenue For Transportation And Education TABOR Measure. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Proposition_CC,_Retain_Revenue_for_Transportation_and_Education_TABOR_Measure_(2019) ^
  34. Sandra Fish. “Dark Money And Big Donors Fuel The Ballot Battle Over Proposition CC In Colorado.” Colorado Sun. Oct. 17, 2019. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://coloradosun.com/2019/10/17/dark-money-donors-proposition-cc-colorado/ ^
  35. Colorado Proposition 116, Decrease Income Tax Rate From 4.63% To 4.55% Initiative. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Proposition_116,_Decrease_Income_Tax_Rate_from_4.63%25_to_4.55%25_Initiative_(2020) ^
  36. Blair Miller. “Colorado Voters Pass Proposition 116, Which Cuts The State Income Tax Rate.” KMGH. Nov. 3, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/election-2020/colorado-voters-pass-proposition-116-which-cuts-the-state-income-tax-rate ^
  37. Colorado Proposition 116, Decrease Income Tax Rate From 4.63% To 4.55% Initiative. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Colorado_Proposition_116,_Decrease_Income_Tax_Rate_from_4.63%25_to_4.55%25_Initiative_(2020) ^
  38. [1] Illinois Allow For Graduated Income Tax Amendment. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24. 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois_Allow_for_Graduated_Income_Tax_Amendment_(2020) ^
  39. Shelby Bremer. “What You Need To Know About The Graduated Income Tax Proposal On our Ballot This Election.” WMAQ. Sept. 28, 2020. Accessed April 24, 2022. https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-politics/illinois-fair-tax-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-graduated-income-tax-proposal-on-your-ballot-this-election/2344874/ ^
  40.  [1] Illinois Allow For Graduated Income Tax Amendment. Ballotpedia. Accessed April 24. 2022. https://ballotpedia.org/Illinois_Allow_for_Graduated_Income_Tax_Amendment_(2020) ^
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