By the end of the month, hearings were held on Capitol Hill. One of the witnesses before the House Judiciary Committee hearings was Hans von Spakovsky, a former Federal Election Commission member who is now a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation. Von Spakovsky used high-minded and principled language to oppose the bill. In his prepared testimony, he wrote that H.R.1 is “clearly unconstitutional,” complaining that its provisions “come at the expense of federalism.”
Just two weeks later, however, as von Spakovsky addressed a private gathering of conservatives, he was considerably more candid about his reason for opposing the bill: It would be bad for Republicans.
That’s the message this scholar delivered when he traveled to Orlando, Florida, to brief a Council for National Policy-sponsored meeting of Republican donors and Christian right leaders on the bill. Sitting in the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes Ballroom, von Spakovsky explained that expanded voting rights and nonpartisan redistricting could imperil GOP political power.