GOP strategist’s daughter leaks secret files

Her father was a longtime political operative, and she just released his secret files to the public. This is why you should care.

Thomas Hofeller was the Republican Party’s gerrymandering mastermind

Now his daughter has released his secret files to the public — shedding light on how he helped shape elections in the U.S. Gerrymandering was named after Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts in 1812 reshaped a district so much it resembled a salamander. Despite being used at the local level by the GOP and Democrats historically, Thomas Hofeller was behind the gerrymandering strategy used to win GOP elections for decades since the 1980s — But when he died in 2018, he left a treasure trove of files.

Her father's work with the GOP

This included recommending a citizenship question to the census to be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic whites.” After hearing of her father’s death, she found his bag of hard drives detailing his gerrymandering methods. She then made them public. They became evidence in a successful case against Republicans drawing illegal districts in North Carolina.

“They were having literally secret meetings where the maps were getting drawn so that the public may not even other members of the legislature, much less the public, even could be present while it was happening. What started to happen in the 90s, and I'm afraid my father was really in on the ground floor is there started to be a shift, a real strong shift to the point where Republicans in general were squarely not the majority of the population. And, well, the Republican leadership didn't like that. My father was the first person that I knew of that made a really cogent point. And that is, "Hey. If we control the state legislature in a state, a purple state, you know, let's say. Doesn't that mean that we would control the redistricting process?" If my father was drawing district lines, well, then he was doing something that affects every single one of us”, Stephanie Hofeller tells Brut.


The next major redistricting cycle will follow the 2020 U.S. Census. Hofeller hopes her decision to make her father’s work public serves as a wakeup call for voters.The Republicans are still in the process right now of trying to get my drives erased. They filed motions just the other day trying to get those destroyed, trying to get them suppressed, trying to get them declared classified. How the audacity that they can call how they draw our representative districts, a trade secret. How can the government have a trade secret? They work for us.