by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In April, the Democratic Party announced it would no longer use its longtime lawyer Marc Elias, and now we know why. The Democrats got tired of losing, or as Axios put it, Elias’ approach often “backfired.”
Elias himself does not tire of losing, and here’s why. His lawsuits — parading as a fight for “democracy” by tearing down voter ID, secure drop boxes, and signature matching — have nothing to do with our nation’s interests. Instead, as Elias’ allies admitted to Axios, his work is nothing more than “a political strategy that is actually a business strategy,” one that lined his pockets with roughly $20 million in revenue from just two clients during the 2020 election, all while generating crazed headlines about Republicans.
His cynical ploy to snatch headlines and dollars hasn’t slowed. Emboldened by an openly partisan Wisconsin Supreme Court, Elias’ firm is now suing to dismantle Wisconsin’s mail-in voting protections, like laws requiring that able-bodied voters mail or hand in their own ballot, arguing those laws violate the Wisconsin Constitution. It is a frivolous claim, but a well-funded one, by “one of the most secretive dark-money groups” of the recent past.
So the left’s leading “defender of democracy” is no superhero. He’s a businessman first and a politician second, nothing more.
Unfortunately, the left’s never-ending onslaught of activist litigation is far more harmful to our country than most get-rich-quick schemes. These lawsuits undermine the strength of our democratic institutions. They leave our elections exposed to manipulation and mistake. They cause people to believe a false tale about our states being run by racist politicians and election administrators. And they deprive citizens of the very popular electoral safeguards they themselves say provide the assurances needed to trust our elections.