Stacey Abrams and the Fair Fight Network
Lefty wonks like Demos and Brennan could never fire up the Democrat base the way twice-defeated Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has after she became the evangelist of voter suppression after never accepting her 2018 defeat. She launched her sore loser status into success and fortune with her Fair Fight network.
She didn’t coin the term, but she did popularize the “Jim Crow 2.0” phrase.
Fair Fight Action was founded in 2014, initially known as the Voter Access Institute, but changed the name after Abrams’s 2018 loss. With the name change, the organization also changed its bylaws that prohibited it from getting directly or indirectly involved in elections. It was more political now.
Separate from Abrams’s Fair Fight Action, a 501(c)(4) group that advocates for policy, she established Fair Fight PAC, which is engaged directly in campaigns.
In 2019, Fair Fight Action sued the state of Georgia, claiming minorities were denied the right to vote during the election she ran in because of “discriminatory voting barriers reminiscent of the Jim Crow era.”
The lawsuit didn’t try to reverse the outcome of the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial election but did call for the state to stop updating voter rolls and to ban touchscreen voting machines. The lawsuit accused the 2018 winner, Gov. Brian Kemp, of using his former position as secretary of state, with oversight of state elections to try to prevent minority voters from casting ballots.
Her organization made entirely unfounded claims in court, as she insisted without evidence the election was stolen. Most major legacy media outlets held Abrams up as a hero, while ripping Donald Trump when he claimed the 2020 election was stolen.
One major parallel for the Abrams and Trump post-election is gripes about Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine firm that scored a $700 million settlement in a defamation lawsuit from Fox News.
Fair Fight Action supported the Coalition for Good Governance that pushed conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems. “Yes, @fairfightaction has been a generous contributor to our litigation. They have been the largest single contributor to date,” CGG Executive Director Marilyn Marks wrote in a tweet on January 27, 2019. “We are proud that Stacey Abrams’s Fair Fight Action organization has been a generous donor to advance our efforts that benefits voters and Fair Fight’s far-reaching voting rights lawsuit as well,” Marks wrote in the report released on February 8, 2019.
Later that year on November 14, Marks thanked Fair Fight Action for their “support” in a tweet. The lawsuit claimed Georgia allowed the use of an unsecure voter registration database. Fair Fight Action called for supporters to “pack the courthouse” for the CCG group in a July 2019 event. The event’s flyer called Dominion voting equipment “unauditable and unconstitutional.”
After Biden formally won the Electoral College vote in December 2020, he said the election process “should be celebrated, not attacked” and denounced “baseless claims about the legitimacy of the results.” The bizarre irony was that the Biden transition team included Jose Morales, the deputy director for voter protection at Fair Fight Action. In January 2022, two years into his presidency, Biden appointed Abrams confidante Dara Lindenbaum to the Federal Election Commission.
Lindenbaum represented Fair Fight Action in a late 2018 federal lawsuit against the state of Georgia, where she signed onto a complaint filled with unproven allegations, including a claim that “one troubling problem—encountered by several voters—is that voting machines switched their votes from Leader Stacey Abrams to Secretary Kemp.”
Donors to the Fair Fight PAC include former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $5 million in October 2019, clearly a time when he wanted to curry favor for his late entry into the Democratic presidential primary field for 2020. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)—who has verbally bought into the Abrams Big Lie about the 2018 election and also ran in 2020—gave the group $10,000.
Big Labor also did its part to back Fair Fight PAC. The United Auto Workers, Communications Workers of America, the National Education Association, and AFSCME each contributed $1 million during the 2020 election cycle. The AFL-CIO contributed $500,000 to Fair Fight PAC.
Stacy Schusterman, former Samson Energy CEO, and head of another group called the Freedom to Vote Alliance that popped up in 2022, gave $495,000 to Fair Fight PAC in 2020.
Among the largest donors to the Fair Fight PAC is California progressive activist Karla Jurvetson, who gave about $1 million. During the 2022 election cycle, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt donated $395,000 to Fair Fight PAC, Democrat donor Deboraha Simon contributed $245,000 to the Abrams group, and Jeffrey Katzenberg of DreamWorks contributed $95,000 among other key donors, according to OpenSecrets.
Fair Fight Action’s biggest donor by far is Fair Fight PAC, which has given $16.3 million. The group Defeat by Tweet contributed $192,381 to Fair Fight Action. The Tides Foundation gave at least $50,000 to Fair Fight Action.
Notably, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation gave $40,000 to Fair Fight Action. Created in 2006 and based in Mountain View, California, the foundation has more than $11 billion in assets and spends mostly on progressive groups. It has funded the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which played a pivotal role in the 2020 election by funneling money from the Mark Zuckerberg to get-out-the-vote efforts in 2020.
In the next installment, Arabella Advisors “dark money” empire raised $1.7 billion in 2020 alone to defeat President Trump.