Democrats

Pelosi, Who Claims to Oppose Gerrymandering, Funnels $300,000 to Democratic Gerrymandering Group

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) / Getty Images

After calling for an end to partisan gerrymandering, House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) quietly funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to former attorney general Eric Holder's effort to redraw electoral maps in favor of Democrats, filings show.

Pelosi's leadership PAC, PAC to the Future, pushed $300,000 to Holder's National Democratic Redistricting Committee late last year. In 2019, Pelosi said partisan gerrymandering efforts "compromise the integrity of our democracy."

Holder’s group is gearing up for a once-a-decade redistricting process that significantly influences which party controls Congress. It will serve as a data and legal hub and as a go-between for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and state legislatures, according to Politico.

Paul Pelosi, the speaker's husband, oversees the finances for her PAC, the only political committee linked to a politician that has donated to Holder's group in the past two years. The group is at the forefront of left-wing gerrymandering efforts, the likes of which Pelosi once opposed.

"This year, the Democratic Majority passed H.R. 1, the For The People Act, which works to end to partisan gerrymandering by requiring all states to establish independent, nonpartisan redistricting commissions to draw open and transparent statewide district maps after each Census," Pelosi said in 2019. "We will continue to fight partisan gerrymandering, ensure every citizen's vote counts and oppose any attempt to compromise the integrity of our democracy."

Holder's group has also received a six-figure contribution from George Soros's Democracy PAC, which is primarily funded by the billionaire's nonprofit network. A number of union PACs, including Service Employees International Union, Transport Workers Union, and the American Federation of Teachers, have also poured cash into Holder's group.

The group's board is composed of individuals from a host of left-wing groups, including Ali Lapp, executive director of the Pelosi-linked House Majority PAC, and Noam Lee, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association. It has also been aided by top Democratic lawyer Marc Elias, a partner out of the D.C. office of the Perkins Coie law firm who has led challenges against Republican-drawn electoral maps in recent years.

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee was born out of a quiet strategy session between former president Barack Obama, Pelosi, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), and former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe before Obama left the White House. The group identified breaking up Republican-controlled legislatures as a top priority. Holder has said the group's mission is "personal" to Obama, who resented Republicans for disrupting his agenda in the House of Representatives.

The coronavirus pandemic has made redistricting efforts more complicated than usual. The Census Bureau has pushed back the release of its population count—which is used to allocate House seats—from March to September. The delay will leave states scrambling and time crunched to redraw their congressional maps ahead of the 2022 elections.

An inquiry sent to Perkins Coie, which is listed as the contact for Pelosi's leadership PAC in FEC records, was not returned.