“Past known donors include executives in the finance and energy industries whose campaign contributions largely lean Republican.”
A new report details how No Labels, a political group that has been deemed a potential spoiler in the 2024 presidential campaign, is being bankrolled by GOP financiers — including the now infamous Harlan Crow. See more below.
The Wall Street Journal: A Mysteriously Financed Group That Could Upend a Biden-Trump Rematch
- WASHINGTON—A centrist group is laying the groundwork to run an alternative candidate if the 2024 presidential race becomes a Donald Trump–Joe Biden rematch.
- It is called No Labels, but many political strategists have their own label for it: spoiler.
- History and recent polling suggest a third-party candidate has little chance of winning and could tip the election to Trump, the Republican former president who No Labels itself says is too dangerous to return to the White House. A No Labels candidate could swing the race in critical states or help ensure no candidate gets to 270 electoral votes, which would let state delegations in the House pick the winner, likely favoring the GOP.
- No Labels—which by law doesn’t have to publicly name its donors—says it will evaluate its general election-chances after Super Tuesday primary voting in March. If it determines its “unity ticket” has an Electoral College path to victory, it will reveal its presidential and vice presidential picks at an April convention in Dallas.
- No Labels is waving off concerns and plowing ahead.
- The 13-year-old nonprofit group, which has a $70 million budget, has qualified for the ballot in Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Utah and is pursuing access elsewhere. Arizona Democrats are suing to kick No Labels off the ballot, and the group says it expects more lawsuits in other states where it wins access.
- The ballot drive in Maine has collided with a Democratic secretary of state who accused the group of leading voters to think they were merely signing a petition when they were actually signing up to join its party.
- Trump, 77 years old, is under federal indictment for allegedly mishandling classified documents after he lost his 2020 re-election bid and faces charges in New York over a hush-money case from his 2016 presidential campaign. He has a substantial lead over the many Republicans who have entered the party primary, though some GOP voters say they won’t back Trump next year under any circumstances.
- Third-party presidential candidates historically haven’t performed well.
- In 1992, Texas businessman Ross Perot, running as an independent, captured about 19% of the popular vote but failed to win any states in the Electoral College. Many Democrats and some political historians think Green Party candidate Ralph Nader cost Democrat Al Gore the 2000 presidential election, given the tight margin in outcome-deciding Florida.
- A growing collection of political strategists and Democratic lawmakers pan No Labels as on a futile mission, possibly aiding Trump. Several dozen, including Biden advisers, met last month in Washington to plot ways to pressure the group to stand down.
- In May, some Democratic House members who belong to the “Problem Solvers” caucus that No Labels helped form in 2017 broke with the group over its presidential effort.
- Questions about the motives of No Labels are compounded by the secrecy surrounding its finances.
- The group’s leaders say naming their donors would subject them to scrutiny and intimidation. Past known donors include executives in the finance and energy industries whose campaign contributions largely lean Republican.
- Crow, the Republican developer, has spoken at No Labels events and made contributions.
- No Labels raised about $11.3 million in 2021 and $11.8 million in 2020, according to its most recent tax filings.
- A related No Labels political-action committee that raises money for candidates it views as centrist reported $223,000 in such contributions last year. As a PAC, it files donor information to the Federal Election Commission.
Published: Jul 5, 2023