Report: Democrat Election Lawyer, Russia Hoaxer Marc Elias Backs ‘Secretive’ Media Network in Arizona

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Robert Willett/The News & Observer via AP, Pool

Marc Elias, the Democrat lawyer behind the Russia collusion hoax in 2016 and the push for vote-by-mail in 2020, is backing a “secretive local media network” in Arizona whose purpose is to boost Democratic candidates on social media.

As Breitbart News has noted:

Elias runs the so-called “Democracy Docket,” suing on behalf of Democrats and claiming to defend “democracy” in doing so. He played a key role in planting the “Russia collusion” hoax, which sought to undermine the results of the 2016 presidential election. He was also instrumental in suing states to change their voting laws ahead of the 2020 presidential election to enable mass vote-by-mail, a tactic that was crucial to Democratic turnout in swing states.

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign split with Elias in 2023, who also had left his former law firm, Perkins Coie, amid investigations into the origins of the “Russia collusion” hoax. But he continues to support Democrats.

Semafor reported on a new operation called “Star Spangled Media”:

A secretive local media network with ties to high-profile national Democratic operatives wants to convince regulators in Arizona that despite the political tilt of its stories, it is not a political entity and should not be subject to campaign finance disclosures.

Over the last few weeks, Star Spangled Media has started spending a modest amount to boost Morning Mirror stories on Facebook that tout the pro-abortion rights records of local Democratic candidates running for Michigan House seats.
The site is low on content, but it has the backing of the law firm led by Marc Elias, perhaps the Democratic Party’s best known elections litigator and a central player in 2024’s politics. And Elias’ law firm is moving to ensure the odd blog is treated as a journalistic operation, not a political one.

The use of fake news sites in elections is not a new Democratic Party tactic. In 2020, the Washington Free Beacon reported, a fake news network called “Courier Newsroom” used “news” stories to boost Democratic candidates:

Courier Newsroom, a “news” site bankrolled by a major Democratic fundraising network, has undertaken a seven-figure ad campaign to push flattering pieces about vulnerable House Democrats, garnering millions of impressions on social media.

The candidates Courier boosts on Facebook overlap substantially with the candidates backed by top Democratic donors Laurene Powell Jobs—the billionaire widow of Apple pioneer Steve Jobs—and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. The so-called newsroom, by pushing pieces that mirror the candidates’ own press releases, provides a complementary outlet for Democrats to pursue their political goals.

Courier Newsroom is funded by the left-wing nonprofit ACRONYM, which counts Jobs and Hoffman among its high-profile donors. While Jobs has denied funding Courier Newsroom, her parallel donations make clear that Courier shares the same political goals as ACRONYM’s billionaire donors.

In the 2017 U.S. Senate race in Alabama, a similar operation funded by Hoffman “posed as conservative Alabamians on Facebook and tried to use the platform to divide Republicans,” Breitbart News editor-in-chief Alex Marlow reported.

The question that is puzzling Arizona regulators, Semafor noted, is whether Star Spangled Media should be subject to the same spending and disclosure rules as political organizations, or whether it should enjoy a media exemption.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of “”The Agenda: What Trump Should Do in His First 100 Days,” available for pre-order on Amazon. He is also the author of “The Trumpian Virtues: The Lessons and Legacy of Donald Trump’s Presidency,” now available on Audible. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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