- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 18, 2021

Three conservative advocacy groups are leading a new $2 million effort targeting President Biden’s nominees.

The Judicial Crisis Network, Heritage Action for America, and Americans for Public Trust are kicking off the campaign with an ad blitz aiming at Vanita Gupta, Mr. Biden’s nominee for associate attorney general, and Xavier Becerra, the nominee for secretary of Health and Human Services.

The trio of conservative groups is coordinating with Republicans on the Hill and at other advocacy groups, including the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List and Catholic Vote, to better marshal the right’s resources against Mr. Biden. The first slate of ads will run on cable news and digital platforms.

The Judicial Crisis Network, which led coalitions of conservative groups in support of former President Trump’s judicial picks, is now leading the charge against Ms. Gupta, who has taken leave as head of the liberal Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to pursue a critical Justice Department job.

“She supports defunding the police, led a group that wants to reduce punishments on White supremacists, even terrorists,” says a narrator in the Judicial Crisis Network’s 30-second ad. “When our cities burned, Gupta could’ve stood for law and order, for victims. Instead, she advocated to let convicts out of jail.”

Heritage’s advocacy arm is taking the lead on fighting Mr. Becerra, California attorney general and former congressman, with an ad calling him a “radical partisan, not a doctor.”

“Xavier Becerra has spent his entire career fighting for socialized healthcare, catering to the abortion industry, trampling on Americans’ religious freedom, and pushing the policies of dark money groups,” said Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action for America executive director, in a statement. “If confirmed, he would bring his extreme agenda to HHS. Heritage Action is working to expose the radical personnel and policies being advanced by this administration, and we are urging every senator to reject Becerra’s nomination.”

While JCN and Heritage Action focus their efforts on the nominees directly, Americans for Public Trust is fighting against the “dark money” groups that the conservative advocates say are responsible for Mr. Biden’s agenda and his nominees. The “dark money” description refers to groups that are not required to disclose their donors.

Americans for Public Trust’s ad spotlights White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and claims liberal dark money is “cashing in” with Mr. Biden.

“Why won’t Biden reopen the schools? Teachers unions, and their dark money,” a narrator says in a 30-second ad. “From personnel to policy, Biden is just starting to pay back all that dark money.”

Several conservative groups are not required to detail their donors either, including the Judicial Crisis Network.

Liberal advocacy groups, however, look to be getting new reinforcements. Mr. Biden’s allies are working to form another “dark money” group to advance Mr. Biden’s agenda, the Wall Street Journal reported. The group, expected to be named after Mr. Biden’s slogan “Building Back Better,” is expected to coordinate liberal groups’ actions in support of Democrats’ preferred policies.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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