This time around, however, the trio turns negative, hoping to torpedo the endorsements of Vanita Gupta, Biden’s nominee for assistant attorney general, and Xavier Becerra, California Democratic attorney general and candidate for secretary for health and human services.
The groups also run a third ad highlighting the role of “dark money” in the election of Biden, as well as in shaping his cabinet and politics.
“Liberals spent a record amount of dark money voting for Biden,” an ad says. “Now they’re making money,” it continues, referring to Biden’s previous role as Chief of Staff Ron Klain on the board of directors the democratic think tank, the Center for American Progress Action Fund. The ad also claims that Biden did not order schools to reopen amid the Covid crisis due to pressure from teachers’ unions calling the groups “dark money”.
Two other ads attack Becerra and Gupta’s progressive policies. An 800,000 dollar ad posted by the Judicial Crisis Network entitled “Dangerous agentShows images of violence this summer in cities across America and in states where homicide rates are rising. “Biden appoints Vanita Gupta for a top job in the Justice Department,” said the ad. “She supports the defunding of the police and heads a group that wants to reduce the sentences for white supremacists, even terrorists. When our cities burned down, Gupta could have stood for law and order, for sacrifice. Instead, she has spoken out in favor of letting convicts out of prison. “
The article the ad cites to support the allegation that Gupta is in favor of defusing the police does not say that she is in favor of defusing the police.
Another Advertisement from Heritage Action for America Becerra “supports government-run health care,” “sued Catholic nuns” as attorney general in California, and would “decriminalize illegal immigration”. The ad said Becerra was “not a doctor” – former HHS secretary Alex Azar was also not a doctor – and the “wrong agent” in the middle of a pandemic.
“Mr. Biden made a pledge of unity, but his high-ranking candidates and political regulations reveal an extremely liberal agenda on which these dark money groups are trying to make money,” said Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust.
In addition to the ad purchases, the groups have an additional campaign planned with texts, emails, calls, and member activism. Other conservative groups that support the campaign include Catholic Vote, which has contacted 350,000 of its activists to urge them to call their senators. Susan B. Anthony List; and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. CatholicVote and Susan B. Anthony List particularly focus on the anti-abortion records of Becerra and Gupta.
“This is a highly coordinated effort to raise awareness of Biden’s pay-to-play approach to the liberal dark money groups who spent money on the election of him and the Senate Democrats and to oppose two of Biden’s extremist candidates Those who carry the agendas of this Dark will be money groups to their administrative posts if this is confirmed, ”said a Republican strategist who was involved in the coalition.
A “dark money” organization is a political non-profit organization that does not have to disclose its donors. Judicial Crisis Network and Heritage Action for America are, in fact, dark money groups themselves. As a 501 (c) (4) group, you do not need to disclose your donors. According to BloombergDark money groups spent $ 145 million to vote for Biden in 2020, far more than the $ 28.4 million spent on Trump.
Conservative group attacks are not only characterized by the news that propel them, but also the timing. Biden has lagged behind in Senate confirmations for his candidates. But four weeks later there were relatively few setbacks from Conservatives. The campaign is trying to change that, but starting in mid-February may be too late.
The White House has not returned a request for comment.
Prior to her appointment, Gupta led the Justice Department’s civil rights division during the Obama administration and is currently president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She began her career with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and, if confirmed, became the first black woman to serve as Associate Attorney General.
“At every step, in every case, she fought for more justice and the right to correct the flaws of a judicial system in which they existed,” said Biden when announcing Gupta’s nomination.
As California attorney general, Becerra was a thorn in the side of the Trump administration, filing dozens of health, environmental, and immigration lawsuits. Becerra led a group of attorneys general last year to defend the right to abortion and to challenge a Mississippi law that bans abortions for the past 15 weeks. He is a supporter of the Affordable Care Act and would be HHS ‘first Latino leader if confirmed.
Despite Republicans criticizing Becerra’s nomination, the Biden team are confident that both Becerra and Gupta will clarify the Senate.
Becerra’s nomination hearings begin on February 23 before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Gupta’s hearing before the judicial committee remains unscheduled.