• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023


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Wealthy GOP Donors Form Secret Coalitions to Wield More Influence

A “lawfare and strategic litigation” effort with a projected cost of $3.75 million is intended to use the courts “to hold bad actors, including the media, accountable.” A “transition project,” with an estimated price tag of $3 million, is intended to assemble policy experts and plans to create a “government-in-waiting” to “staff the next Republican administration.”

A “red state project” is intended to mimic a model pioneered by the left in which strategists coordinate the efforts of an array of movement groups to complement one another and avoid overlap. It is estimated to cost $6 million to $8 million per state, and is initially focused on the swing states of Arizona, Nevada and Michigan.

A person familiar with Rockbridge described those projects, and their fund-raising goals, as aspirational, and said the coalition had so far focused on allocating donor funds to pre-existing groups to accomplish its goals, rather than creating new ones.

The person said that the coalition had tested some of its plans, including a voter registration initiative, last year in Arizona, which is identified in the brochure as a case study.

Arizona was the site of Rockbridge’s first summit, which was held last year. It featured a speech by Mr. Thiel, the billionaire tech investor. He and Ms. Mercer, the daughter of the hedge fund magnate Robert Mercer, were among Mr. Trump’s biggest donors in 2016, and worked closely together on his presidential transition team.

Since then, Mr. Thiel has emerged as a key kingmaker, supporting 16 Senate and House candidates, some of whom have also been backed by Ms. Mercer. Many of their candidates have embraced the lie that Mr. Trump won the 2020 election.

One, Blake Masters, a former employee of Mr. Thiel’s who is running for Senate in Arizona, spoke at the Rockbridge dinner reception at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night before Mr. Trump, and conceivably could benefit from Rockbridge’s efforts.