Republicans are nothing if not unified in their efforts to keep the bad things that they do under wraps. That seems like a simplistic statement, like an accusation of cops covering for each other when one of them kills a POC, or “locker room conduct” being covered up by players and coaches, but really it’s something more in the case of the GOP because most generally what they’re doing bad is cheating.
They deliberately implement voter identification measures that would have little to no effect on actual election security — real voter fraud is nearly nonexistent and when found, almost always has been perpetrated by a Republican voter — knowing full well that the true effect of those measures will be to disenfranchise voters of color, college students, and seniors, all of whom are less likely to be able to fulfill strict requirements or obtain the necessary documents without extreme effort and personal financial cost.
In states where a Democratic governor was about to take office, Republicans still in control of state legislatures have rushed to pass bills limiting the incoming executive’s power. In states with lots of districts but very powerful Democratically-held urban areas, the GOP has redrawn districting maps to carve sections of those “blue” strongholds into pieces that could be joined with Republican areas, thus diluting the power of liberal voters into an area where their votes will mean little if anything, surrounded by a sea of conservative rural voters.
It’s this last dirty trick that Republicans really don’t want you to know about, because it’s their easiest path to victory, and it’s so mathematically confounding to the average observer that unless you’re looking for it, you’d hardly understand you’d been effectively erased from an electoral map for the upcoming election.
A protracted court fight in North Carolina to expose such a scheme made its way through federal courts, with losses for Republicans seeking to keep their district maps at every turn. Then the Supreme Court declined to rule on a pair of cases, one of which was North Carolina’s, back in June, which looked for all intents and purposes like a loss for those trying to fight NC’s gerrymandering system.
Another trip to the original federal panel that invalidated NC’s maps to begin with ended with the same ruling, however, and the state’s GOP was forced to throw out the maps and begin anew in advance of the 2020 election.
What they did retain was the work of one Thomas Hofeller, a Republican strategist who had helped to draw those maps, and whose methods were highly sought after. He seemed to have a grasp of how to cheat best.
His daughter Stephanie, however, was not a fan of her father’s work against the rule of democracy and publicly disagreed with him all the way up until she one day found out that her father had died more than a month prior to her looking up his name on the internet to hash things out.
According to an NPR report, Stephanie then “visited her parents’ apartment in North Carolina, where she found four external hard drives and a clear plastic bag containing 18 USB thumb drives in her father’s room.”
That plot thickened in no time.
Republicans fought hard to keep the digital evidence of their crimes under wraps and seemed to be mostly succeeding until Stephanie Hofeller set up a website — The Hofeller Files — that contains links to everything she found. It was the one way, she says, that she could ensure that “we the people have found everything…[and] had a look at it in its entirety.”
That evidence, prior to going live on Hofeller’s website, was used in the North Carolina case, as well as in hearings about the Trump administration’s plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, something her father Thomas had studied extensively, concluding that it would be advantageous to Republicans across the country to add such a query.
Hofeller may not have gotten every piece of her father’s insidious work on behalf of the Republican Party, but she has vowed to release anything further she does find or gain access to, and in the meantime, you’re welcome to browse The Hofeller Files.
Featured image via screen capture
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