This little-known group is funding voter suppression efforts across the United States
Diana Davis Spencer. (City Year via Flikr)

A relatively little-known conservative foundation headquartered just outside of Washington, D.C., which has been providing funding to some of the right-wing groups that continue to promote Donald Trump's big lie about a "stolen" 2020 presidential election, also has been found to be pushing voter suppression policies in states across the country.

The Bethesda, Md.-based Diana Davis Spencer Foundation website says its mission "is to promote national security, entrepreneurship, self-reliance, free enterprise, and to enhance quality of life by supporting the arts, education, global understanding, health advancements, and preservation of the environment." But the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and Truthout.org are reporting that between 2018 and 2020 it gave almost $4 million to 13 voter suppression groups.

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Many of the grants are designated for “election integrity," which critics say are essentially right-wing code words for restricting voting rights.

The foundation is led by its namesake, the daughter of Shelby Cullom Davis, who made a fortune on investments and insurance and once chaired the right-leaning Heritage Foundation. The Foundation disclosed net assets totaling $1.5 billion on its 2020 IRS filing obtained by CMD.

According to the foundation’s IRS filings for those three years, it gave $24 million in contributions to DonorsTrust, which reportedly is the preferred donor conduit of the Koch political network. DonorsTrust pumped over $137 million into rightwing groups in 2020 alone — including millions to the same voter suppression groups funded by the foundation.