The States Project, a pro-defund police group that rebranded themselves from Future Now after coming under scrutiny in the fall of 2021, announced they would spend $60 million to support Democrats in state legislative races across the country.
The group plans to spend the $60 million to support Democrats in the state legislative races in Arizona, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.
The New York Times reported on Friday:
The group, the States Project, said it was focusing on flipping a single seat in the Arizona State Senate that could swing it to Democratic control and on winning back both chambers of the Michigan and Pennsylvania Legislatures. The group also aims to defend Democratic majorities in Maine and Nevada.
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. In every state except Minnesota, Virginia and Alaska, a single party controls both chambers.
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,” Adam Pritzker, the founder of States Project, told the Times. “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.”
However, in response, Republican State Leadership Committee communications director Andrew Romeo told Breitbart News, “Any Democrat accepting the States Project’s support is embracing the radical defund the police movement that put a target on law enforcement’s backs and created the biggest violent crime surge in 50 years.”
During the 2o21 election cycle in Virginia, Future Now Fund’s PAC for America’s Future endorsed and donated $710,000 to help Democrat candidates for Virginia’s House of Delegates.
The donations eventually prompted the RSLC to run television ads against many of the Democrat candidates, saying they were endorsed by a group calling to defund the police. The Democrat-aligned pro-defund police group also attempted to get the RSLC ads booted from running, but they eventually failed, and the ads stayed on the air.
Virginia Scope wrote about the television ads against the Democrats at the time:
A political group in Virginia filed a cease-and-desist last month over an ad being paid for by the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) that targeted Democratic candidates in the House of Delegates. The RSLC followed up the next day with their own letter to the station explaining why they believe the ad accusing a state delegate of wanting to defund the police should remain on the air.
In the television ad, the RSLC cites text that was on Future Now’s website in January of 2021 indicating they support legislation that would “establish a Commission to examine police funding in state and provide evidence-based ways to generate savings and increase public safety by reallocating funds toward proven methods to support communities, and report annually with proposed action for the Executive and Legislative branches.”
The RSLC said in their response letter that “defunding the police has been defined, at its core, as the reallocation of money from policing to other agencies funded by local municipalities.”
Ultimately, following the incident, Virginia Scope also reported in September 2021 that Future Now was “currently going through a rebranding process and is transitioning to The States Project.” The report added, “Their social media content is being transferred as well. They deleted their Future Now Twitter profile where all the endorsements were originally announced…”