Thanks, but no thanks.
Democrats in tough elections this year are feeling queasy about the controversial Lincoln Project, which announced a slew of hot-button races it plans to insert itself into.
“This year, the broad authoritarian movement coursing through the Republican Party is putting democracy’s very existence on the ballot,” the organization said in a blustery May 5 press release. “To defeat this threat, The Lincoln Project announced the most crucial races to the survival of democracy in the United States.”
The statement came along with a map of 2022 targets, which included governor’s races in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia and Arizona; Senate openings in Ohio, New Hampshire and Nevada; and a slew of the Democrats’ most vulnerable House members.
“Pls no,” tweeted Izzi Levy, spokesperson for Democrat Tim Ryan, who is running for the Senate in Ohio against GOP nominee J.D. Vance.
“The first rule of campaigning is do no harm and that’s what every outside organization’s goal should be and the Lincoln Project fails epically in that mission,” said one senior Democratic House staffer, adding that the group has little to offer beyond jazzing up Twitter activists.
The Lincoln Project, a political action committee formed in 2019 by Trump-hating former Republicans, became widely beloved among “resistance” Democrats during the 2020 election for their bare-knuckle video ads which frequently went viral.
The group’s fortunes soured after John Weaver, one of their founding members, was forced out when he was busted for allegedly sexting with young men and sexual harassment. The PAC hired the law firm Paul Hastings LLP to conduct a review which found “no evidence that anyone at The Lincoln Project was aware of any inappropriate communications with any underage individuals at any time prior to the publication of those news reports.” Critics called it a whitewash.
The Lincoln Project found itself in more hot water during the 2021 Virginia governor’s race after they admitted staging a fake white supremacist rally in an attempt to smear GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin. The scheme backfired, and Youngkin was elected.
With Democratic control of the House hanging by a thread, the Lincoln Project is hoping to wade back into Virginia on behalf of two of the party’s most embattled incumbents. Reps. Elaine Luria and Abigail Spanberger.
“We’ve received no contact and we will continue running a race on the issues that are most important to Coastal Virginians.” Luria’s campaign manager Katharine Fegley told The Post regarding the Lincoln Project.
“My message to them – if I were Spanberger or Luria — is please send money but stay busy elsewhere,” said Larry Sabato, University of Virginia political scientist, adding that both races were highly competitive and the presence of the controversial PAC was “probably not helpful”
“Sending people with Tiki Torches was a bad idea and it would be a worse idea this year,” Sabato said.
The Lincoln Project did not respond to request for comment.