Why do Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers, and Gregg Popovich appear in...

Why do Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers, and Gregg Popovich appear in...
Why do Steve Kerr, Doc Rivers, and Gregg Popovich appear in...

On Tuesday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr and newly hired Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers

for the Lincoln Project, denounced President Donald and reaffirmed their support for Joe Biden. On Thursday, San Antonio Spurs trains Gregg Popovich .

The political positions of Kerr, Rivers, and Popovich are not surprising to anyone. All three coaches have been outspoken for years. Rivers, in particular, were a respected voice among his NBA peers on the Disney Bubble.

And that makes their collective decision to appear in ads for The Lincoln Project confusing.

Photo illustration of Warriors trainer Steve Kerr.
Blair Heagerty / SFGATE

For the uninitiated, the Lincoln Project is a collection of right-wing Never Trumpers who fire snappy (sometimes stolen) memes and create highly regarded videos that the President and other Republican candidates epically own. The men and women behind The Lincoln Project are not random conservative voters who have had a real change of heart. They are political activists with well-documented backstories who, to put it politely, can only be described as radically different from the NBA and National Basketball Players Association’s stated social justice missions.

One such founder is Steve Schmidt, an adviser to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, who convinced John McCain to elect Sarah Palin as his vice president in 2008. Palin, widely believed to be the forerunner of Trump today, has called Black Lives Matter protesters. “Dogs” and “bats”.

Another is George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway. George recently stepped down to spend more time with his family, he says, but has only tweeted how Amy Coney Barrett – the newest Supreme Court Justice and person who doesn’t believe a black person is in an office as the N- Word to denote that can be classified as hostile Work environment –


Then there’s Jennifer Horn, former New Hampshire GOP chairwoman, who once ruthlessly accused Democrats of electoral fraud, which Trump is currently doing to squeeze voter turnout and question election results. (The NBA’s Coalition for Social Justice was specifically formed to improve access to voting and promote civic engagement, among other things.)

John Weaver, meanwhile, was a longtime advisor to former Senator Phil Gramm, who ran for president in 1996 and proudly announced a plan to cut substantially all social services. In 2008, Gramm said the Great Recession was actually on our minds because we were “whining”. If you think it’s unfair to link on Weaver, that’s fine. During the 2015 primaries, Weaver allegedly offered to offer advice to Trump as Trump moved into first place in the field.

Finally, there is Rick Wilson, who in the years before calling Trump a racist,

the Daily Caller when he unearthed Trayvon Martin’s tweets start and fire a riot in Ferguson about Muslims.

The supposed goal of the Super PAC was to convince, at least initially, other Never Trump conservatives to vote for Democrats in this election cycle. The jury is not yet sure if this will happen (we should know more specifically next week). Instead, the Lincoln Project has been flooded with donations from Democrats who can’t get enough of mean tweets and Trump’s occasional replies. Earlier this month, we got a glimpse of the group’s newfound popularity: they made $ 39 million in the third quarter of this year alone, mostly from Democratic donors. (Kerr himself donated $ 2,500 to the Lincoln Project, according to Open Secrets.)

That is a huge Amount of money and a major escalation from the early days of the Lincoln Project. In the first quarter of 2020, campaign finance expert Rob Pyers

Spent $ 1.1 million on “business expenses,” with only $ 148,132 spent on actual independent expenses (aka the Presidential Trigger Ads). In fairness, starting a PAC isn’t cheap, but the ratio is still alarming. Around the same time, Open Secrets added that the Lincoln project is also “hiding some of its vendors by secretly paying subcontractors, making the money difficult to follow.”

On the home stretch of the 2020 election, the Lincoln Project balanced its books in that they don’t use all of the incoming dollars for operating expenses.

The third quarter total for independent expenses and $ 13 million for operations as it increased to 35 dedicated employees, according to The New Yorker. You now have an inappropriate cash balance of $ 13.2 million. Pyers that their latest operating cost ratio at around 35% is still significantly higher than that of a similar Super PAC, Republican Voters Against Trump (12%).

This week, Axios reported that the Lincoln Project’s brightest minds with cash are planning a fulcrum to show business after the elections. You are “in discussion with the United Talent Agency (UTA) to help build Lincoln Media” and are observing “various television studios, podcast networks and book publishers.” For some reason they have plans for a “House of Cards” -like television series. (This time I wouldn’t cast Kevin Spacey.) Her merch store has started making six-figure profits on shirts that had things like, “Wanna shut up, man,” a callback to something that Biden did during the first Presidential debate, on the other hand, muttered Trump. Probably more of it will come.

To all this, many Democratic Party supporters have said and will continue to say, “Who cares? The enemy of my enemy is my friend. ”Also:“ There will be a choice soon, so don’t have a bad mouth! ”Perhaps that is even the basic principle of Kerr and Co.

Unfortunately, your enemy’s enemy is setting your money on fire and from the start never liked you what to make yours Others Enemy, not your friend. In the coming months, the Lincoln Project Hucksters will stash their money and run away. Trump could stay as president, he couldn’t. The social justice initiatives the NBA is pushing for will obviously still play a role and exist no matter who is in office – which is most relevant to the coaches mentioned above.

It would be absurd to put Kerr, Rivers, and Popovich to a rigorous litmus test or to expect a group of millionaires to embrace the principles of America’s Democratic Socialists. The stakes don’t have to be overly dramatized. Last but not least, their tacit endorsement of the Lincoln Project is a cautionary story when it comes to using their platforms more selectively.

Their commitment is to at least stay in the same stratosphere as the social justice initiatives they sponsor, which they are likely to continue to promote.

Remarkably, the Lincoln Project can’t even break that low, low bar.

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