NEW: ProPublica/WNYC Podcast Show Leonard Leo’s Role as Republican AG’s “Puppet Master”

October 6, 2023

Podcast Sheds New Light on Leo’s Influence on Republican AGs, RAGA

Washington, DC — On their latest podcast episode “We Don’t Talk About Leonard,” ProPublica and WNYC Studios reveal more on Leonard Leo’s deep influence with Republican Attorneys General and RAGA:

“What’s really interesting is what Leonard Leo was doing behind the scenes. One, and this is classic Leonard Leo, a group he had influence over in an informal way was pouring money into a group that in turn put money into elections for state attorneys general. In 2014, the AGs campaign group, the Republican Attorneys General Association, became a standalone group called RAGA……”

“…Then came a contribution for a quarter of a million dollars. It was from the Judicial Crisis Network, a group formerly known as the Judicial Confirmation Network, or JCN — a Leo-connected entity that, among other things, funnels money into campaigns. Under a different name, JCN remains RAGA’s biggest and most reliable funder today…RAGA has a sister group dedicated to policy. The Judicial Crisis Network also funds it. They do weekly calls where Solicitors share what they’re doing. The calls are Thursday afternoons. There are regular retreats and seminars where these days, scholars and activists talk about issues like election integrity and woke corporations.”

“Lastly, there’s personnel. When a Republican AG has an opening, I’ve been told by a former state AG, Leo has suggested the names of potential staffers, pre-vetted for ideology and skills. He won’t say hire this person in a bossy way. He’ll say this is a good guy should check them out.”

ProPublica and WNYC reported how some Solicitors General with Federalist Society and Leo Leonard ties spent more time on ideologically-based cases that were supported by conservatives.

“While he was Solicitor, [Then-Montana Solicitor General Lawrence] VanDyke served on the two Federalist Society Executive Committees on Religious Freedom and Separation of Powers. And he communicated regularly with Federalist Society officials and allied law professors. He persuaded Montana to join suits and amicus briefs that matter to this crowd. Like a contraception and health care case known as Hobby Lobby. It resulted in the US Supreme Court recognizing for the first time a private company as having religious rights.”



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