A liberal dark money group bankrolled by a Swiss foreign national is spending big on lobbying in favor of Democrats’ election overhauls, including H.R. 1, filings show.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund, a fiscal sponsor and clearinghouse for dozens of left-wing groups and projects, has poured nearly $2 million into the efforts to sway senators on issues ranging from H.R.1 to D.C. statehood to the Voting Rights Act Amendment.
H.R. 1 is the largest overhaul of the U.S. election law in at least a generation and covers many aspects of the voting process, including requiring states to automatically register eligible voters and offer same-day voter registration. The bill also requires states to offer 15 days of early voting and allows no-excuse absentee balloting, which 14 states would have to implement and the states that already allow it would have to conform to H.R. 1’s standards.
As part of the efforts, the Sixteen Thirty Fund has spent $1.3 million on internal lobbyists to push the reforms while dishing out $480,000 to outside firm Keefe Singiser Partners between 2019 and 2020, according to disclosures. Maura Keefe, the former chief of staff for Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, heads up the shop. Over the past year, the Sixteen Thirty Fund also paid $100,000 to Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid to advocate on democracy reform and election integrity, including H.R.1.
One of the lobbyists listed on the disclosure forms for Kountoupes Denham Carr & Reid is MJ Kenny, who worked for Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., between 2010 and 2019 in multiple roles, including legislative correspondent and deputy floor director, according to his LinkedIn profile.