A former campaign adviser to Sen. Joe Manchin is working to get the West Virginia senator on board with Democrats’ landmark voting rights and democracy reform legislation.
The “For the People Act” would effectively undo new Republican voter suppression laws around the country, institute independent redistricting, and force corporations to disclose their dark money political spending.
Manchin co-sponsored the legislation in 2019, but he announced on June 6 that he’ll oppose the bill because it “has garnered zero Republican support.” He warned that “partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy.”
Reform advocates are now working to change Manchin’s mind on the bill again — and one of his former advisers is helping lead the charge.
Mike Plante, who worked on one of Manchin’s gubernatorial campaigns, told The Daily Poster he is serving as a consultant to the West Virginia Freedom Alliance Action Fund. The West Virginia MetroNews has described Plante as “one of Manchin’s longtime political advisers.”
The West Virginia Freedom Alliance Action Fund has already run $220,000 worth of television ads, according to CNBC. The organization’s strategy appears to be to win Manchin over with flattery.
“As secretary of state, Joe Manchin protected our elections, made it easier for only legal voters to vote, and supported automatic voter registration for every eligible West Virginia citizen,” one of their ads says. “Only a great senator can break the gridlock in Washington, to lessen the power of big money, to protect our right to vote and stop politicians drawing election maps that benefit themselves. Great leaders do great things. Support the For the People Act.”
Another ad from the group says: “Only a great governor could bring West Virginia together to cut the grocery tax, save workers compensation, and stand up to Big Coal to make our mines safer.”Plante recently told the New York Times, “It’s a core belief with Joe that our politics has become too tribal and hyperpartisan, and he looks at his legacy as someone who has been able to get things done, to work with both sides.”
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