The future of the American electoral system may pivot on the fraught relationship between a right-wing father and his radical daughter.
Stephanie Hofeller became famous last year after discovering a trove of files on her late father’s hard drives detailing his activism in right-wing gerrymandering and efforts to influence the U.S. Census.
Thomas Hofeller, a Republican congressman from North Carolina, was an influential architect of gerrymandering, in which voting districts at the state level are redrawn to build majorities in favor of one party or another.
After his death, his estranged daughter gave the hard drives to the political-advocacy group Common Cause, which in turn used the information to make the case that the Republican Party has been trying to put a citizenship question in the U.S. Census to exclude non-Republicans.
Upend the system
Hofeller’s own words from behind the grave are damning.
He wanted the Census question to be “advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.”
This revelation seems to have contributed in part to the Supreme Court’s decision to block the Trump Administration’s efforts to include the citizenship question on the Census.
More recently, Hofeller upped the ante by dumping all her father’s files online.
She told the New Yorker that her anarchist beliefs motivate her to try to upend the system. In her own words, she’s struggling against “the state, a patriarchy at its finest, working hand in hand with the oligarchs of organized religion, that discourage women from discovering their own natural power.”
Her actions are also influenced by her own struggles in life and with her father.
Already divided by their political differences, the younger Hofeller also lost custody to her children after her father intervened in her struggle with her physically abusive domestic partner.
Although she had tried to place her first child with her parents as the case against her abusive partner — and the father of her children — was playing out.
But upon receiving custody, he put the child into the foster-care system. Her second child was then taken by child-protection services. The adoption records remain sealed and Hofeller told The New Yorker that their adoption was most likely “nonreversible.” Sources: CBS News, Vice News, Huffington Post, The New Yorker