- The Washington Times - Friday, February 5, 2021

An exposé by Time magazine confirms the existence of a vast and powerful network that worked to ensure the “proper outcome” of the 2020 presidential election.

National Political Correspondent’s Molly Ball‘s piece titled “The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election” was published Thursday after she gained access to “the inside story of the conspiracy to save the 2020 election, based on access to the group’s inner workings, never-before-seen documents and interviews with dozens of those involved from across the political spectrum.”

“The participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream — a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information,” Ms. Ball wrote. “They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.”

Ms. Ball‘s piece covers the following areas the network targeted in its quest:

  • “Overhauling America’s balky election infrastructure.”
  • Combating “disinformation” campaigns (e.g., “Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories.”)
  • “Explain a rapidly changing election process.”
  • Facilitate cooperation between “strange bedfellows.”

The common thread tying everything together was “The Architect” Mike Podhorzer, senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO, who helped inform her article.

“In his apartment in the D.C. suburbs, Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others,” Ms. Ball wrote.

Maurice Mitchell, national director of the Working Families Party, concurred with the idea that “Pod” was crucial to realizing the network’s goal.

“Pod played a critical behind-the-scenes role in keeping different pieces of the movement infrastructure in communication and aligned,” Mr. Mitchell said. “You have the litigation space, the organizing space, the political people just focused on the W, and their strategies aren’t always aligned. He allowed this ecosystem to work together.”

Ms. Ball‘s piece concludes with a debate among activists groups who should get credit for “thwarting Trump’s plot” to win the election through dishonest means.

“Liberals argued the role of bottom-up people power shouldn’t be overlooked, particularly the contributions of people of color and local grassroots activists,” she wrote. “Others stressed the heroism of GOP officials like Van Langevelde and Georgia secretary of state Brad Raffensperger, who stood up to Trump at considerable cost. The truth is that neither likely could have succeeded without the other. … Democracy won in the end. The will of the people prevailed. But it’s crazy, in retrospect, that this is what it took to put on an election in the United States of America.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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