Jason Kander Launches Let America Vote to Fight Voter Suppression

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Jason Kander has some big plans for the future. - VIA
  • via
  • Jason Kander has some big plans for the future.

Jason Kander, one of the new darlings of Democratic party, just announced his next act.

The former Missouri Secretary of State has launched Let America Vote, a nonprofit organization designed to fight voter suppression efforts across the nation. Kander, who fought a losing battle to unseat Republican Senator Roy Blunt, revealed the news this morning.

"Let America Vote will make the case for voting rights by exposing the real motivations of those who favor voter suppression laws," Kander said in a statement. "For the first time, politicians intent on denying certain Americans the right to vote will first have to consider the political consequences."

The 27-member board is stocked with progressive firepower from across the country, signaling it could be a major player on the national political scene. Board members include human rights activist Martin Luther King III, Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards and former Obama press secretary Josh Earnest, along with a host of legal scholars, former presidential staffers, activists and politicians.

Bradley Whitford, the actor and activist who played Deputy Press Secretary Josh Lyman on The West Wing, is also on the wide-ranging board, along with the co-chair of the Ferguson Commission, the Rev. Starsky Wilson.

Kander, a 35-year-old former Army intelligence officer, is seen by many on the left as a potential leader as Democrats regroup from a disastrous election cycle.
In a state where Republicans dominated in November, Kander forced Blunt into a real battle as he highlighted the conservative's insider status and deep familial ties to the lobbying industry.

There was also that commercial where he assembled an AR-15 rifle while blindfolded.

Since the election, he seems to have only become more popular as he continues to push issues raised during the campaign. He weighed in on Monday on the St. Louis mayoral race, endorsing Treasurer Tishaura Jones.

On his way out the door, President Obama name-checked Kander as "my guy in Missouri" when talking about people to watch.  Liberal talk show host Bill Maher invited him on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, where Kander's performance opposite conservative commentator Tomi Lahren sparked a Twitter dust-up with another right-winger, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling.

Schilling called Kander "garbage," but Kander got the last word:

Jason Kander and Curt Schilling exchange pleasantries. - IMAGE VIA TWITTER
  • Image via Twitter
  • Jason Kander and Curt Schilling exchange pleasantries.

Schilling, who had apparently underestimated Kander's Twitter counter-punch, later apologized for the "dick move."

With the Let America Vote project, Kander will be returning to an issue he championed during his time as Missouri secretary of state. He fought against proposals calling for what he describes as "extreme voter photo identification" requirements that could have kept an estimated 200,000 eligible voters in the state from casting ballots.

"Voting in our country has never been easy, and unfortunately it's never been guaranteed for everyone," Kander says.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at doyle.murphy@riverfronttimes.com or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.



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