Pritzker’s PAC previously advocated for legislation to defund the police
By Megan Barth, The Nevada Globe, September 23, 2022 2:48 pm
The States Project, formerly known as Future Now Fund, will spend $60 million in the coming weeks to help Democrats win state legislative races, according to a New York Times report published today. One of the five battlegrounds the States Project will send their money to is Nevada.
According to the report:
The large infusion of cash from the States Project amounts to a recognition of the critical role that state legislatures play in American politics, orchestrating policy on abortion access, what can be taught in schools and other issues that animate voters.
Next year, the Supreme Court could give the legislative bodies yet more power if it endorses a theory, often called independent state legislature doctrine, that would give state legislatures nearly unchecked authority over elections. Left-leaning groups like the States Project argue that state legislative contests this year in several key battlegrounds could have an outsize impact on future elections.
“The alarm bells are ringing in our state legislatures,” said Adam Pritzker, a founder of the States Project and a Democratic donor. “With the rise of the Tea Party and the balance of power dramatically shifting toward the right, the rest of us have been asleep at the wheel for too long at the state level. And now, this threat is truly off the charts.”
Adam Pritzker is an entrepreneur and heir to the Hyatt hotel chain. He is the son of John Pritzker, worth $2.4 billion according to Forbes. Pritzker and his wife, Sophie, recently paid $15.8 million for a 4.5-acre estate in Montecito, CA, according to TheRealDeal.com.
His cofounders of the States Project are Jeffrey Sachs, whose poverty eradication efforts have reportedly created more poverty, and Daniel Squadron, a former member of the New York State Senate.
Squadron said that while some of the money would be spent on television and digital ads, the vast majority would be sent directly to candidates and Democratic legislative caucuses. They could then coordinate their spending based on their state’s campaign finance laws.
“The top issue in state legislative races is a local issue in each district,” Mr. Squadron said. “So we started giving directly to the candidates and caucuses working in districts themselves. One thing that does is that gets them off the phones, out of the darkened rooms and into the districts to go meet their constituents.”
Knowing that the States Project/Future Now has previously advocated for legislation to defund the police in the past, the Nevada Legislature is now a target in order to prevent, in their words, “The radical rightwing’s plans to steal the presidency run directly through state legislatures, and the only places they can gain new power are in the chambers we control.” The States Project also notes that: “This year, the entire Nevada Assembly and half of the Senate are up for election. To maintain chamber control the majority can only afford to lose one seat in the Senate and four in the Assembly.”
Nevada Democratic Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Steve Yeager appears on the States Project website and claims: “Our majority has expanded protections for pregnant workers, paid sick leave, and access to safe abortions, but we can’t take our governing power for granted in the mid-terms. We’ve got to fight to protect it and the people we serve.”
It is likely that Yaeger (AD-9) will reap some of the millions from the States Project for his reelection campaign, and his vulnerable Democratic colleagues like Marilyn Dondero-Loop (SD-8), Melanie Scheible (SD-9) and Julie Pazina (SD-12) could need the financial support from wealthy out-of-state donors who advocate for radical policies like defunding the police. A little digging by The Globe shows that Scheible is already featured on a slate created by the State Project and is actively soliciting donations.
“As Nevadans continue to be increasingly concerned about rising crime, Democrats should be standing with law enforcement and making sure they have the necessary resources to keep Nevada communities safe,” said RSLC Deputy Communications Director Mason Di Palma.“If Marilyn Dondero-Loop, Melanie Scheible and Julie Pazina accept the support from this pro-defund the police group then they will be making it clear their allegiance is to radical special interests instead of Nevada families.”