by Judy Kent
Washington, DC - A new report from the National Center for Public Policy Research finds the Brennan Center for Justice - one of the country's loudest opponents of voter integrity measures - to have a history of bias-driven research.
The report also discloses that the Brennan Center has received millions in funding from George Soros.
The report is the latest entry in the National Center's GroupSnoop.org series.
"The Brennan Center is on a mission to undermine support for voter integrity measures, claiming that state-level voter ID provisions will disfranchise millions of voters and that voter fraud rarely occurs. However, some of its major reports concerning voter ID measures and voter fraud are wrought with bias and have been refuted by election scholars," said National Center General Counsel Justin Danhof.
GroupSnoop.org is an educational website launched by the National Center in 2011 to provide candid, documented analysis of influential public policy-oriented non-profits. In the national debate over voter integrity measures, the Brennan Center is a prominent opponent of efforts to curb voter fraud and protect voters against identity theft. This new GroupSnoop.org profile shines some much-needed light onto the inner workings, funding and motivations of the Brennan Center.
The profile shows that the Brennan Center has a history of cherry-picking data that aligns with pre-determined conclusions that voter integrity measures, such as requiring a photo ID to vote, are actually efforts to disfranchise specific voting blocs. The Brennan Center appears to ignore or severely downplay data that are inconvenient for its theses.
For example, in November 2006, the Brennan Center published a widely cited report, "Citizens Without Proof," in which it claimed that 21 million adult Americans lack a photo ID, including 25 percent of black Americans. Election scholars with the Heritage Foundation evaluated the report and concluded that "[b]y eschewing many of the traditional scientific methods of data collection and analysis, the authors of the Brennan Center study appear to have pursued results that advance a particular political agenda rather than the truth about voter identification."
The Brennan Center profile on GroupSnoop.org also exposes the advocacy group's close ties to George Soros, known for his prolific funding of explicitly left-wing organizations. Soros has a history of making contributions intended to influence American policymaking and elections. Soros reportedly spent an estimated $27.5 million during the 2004 election cycle in a failed effort to oust then-President George W. Bush.
"Further clouding the Brennan Center's reputation is that convicted felon George Soros' Open Society Foundations have funneled over seven million dollars to the Brennan Center since 2000," said Danhof. "It is no wonder the Brennan Center works so hard on a daily basis to provide intellectual ammunition to those fighting voter integrity measures."
Despite the Brennan Center's best effort to paint voter integrity measures as racially-charged barriers to voting, the American public strongly supports democratically-enacted voter ID laws at the state level to protect the value of their vote. In a recent Rasmussen poll, 73 percent of Americans supported voter ID laws.
As the Brennan Center continues its campaign against voter ID, a simple and effective way to protect against stolen votes, it is troubling that the media - which increasingly seeks to "fact-check" political speech - is not reporting that the Brennan Center is an advocacy organization. This need for scrutiny is increasingly important given that the Brennan Center is willing to say that lawmakers supporting ballot protection legislation do so out of racial animosity and political maneuvering.
This new GroupSnoop.org profile should change that narrative.
"Brennan Center work should be presented as opinion - if it is considered at all," said Danhof. "The Brennan Center is a George Soros-funded extreme advocacy group that appears willing to fight all meaningful efforts to combat voter fraud. It should be regarded as such."