The American Center For Voting Rights Legislative Fund (ACVR Legislative Fund) was founded in February 2005 on the belief that public confidence in our electoral system is the cornerstone of our democracy. The organization was established to further the common good and general welfare of citizens of the United States of America by educating the public about the importance our election process and to support efforts to increase public participation in elections and increase public confidence in our election process. ACVR Legislative Fund supports election reform that protects the right of all citizens to participate in the election process free of intimidation, discrimination or harassment and which will make it easy to vote but tough to cheat. ACVR Legislative Fund supports election reforms such as those proposed by the bi-partisan Carter-Baker Commission. ACVR Legislative Fund is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that neither supports nor endorses any political party or candidate.
Work for equal access to the ballot for all eligible citizens irrespective of their race, gender, partisan affiliation and free of harassment or intimidation
Defend the rights of voters to participate in the election process through civil litigation where necessary
Undertake voter education initiatives concerning election reforms with the object of increasing the public understanding and confidence in the fairness and outcome of elections and encouraging greater citizen participation
Sponsor symposiums and conferences with prominent legal scholars and election officials to address ways to improve and reform the election process and increase public confidence in fair and honest elections
Brian A. Lunde, Chairman
Brian Lunde has three decades of political campaign and grassroots organizing experience at the national, state and local levels. He has served as Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), as campaign manager for the Presidential bid of the late Senator Paul Simon, and as director of two winning campaigns for the DNC Chairmanship (Chuck Manatt in 1981 and Paul Kirk in 1985). He was also nominated for Campaign Manager of the Year in 1990 for his work in Rhode Island by the American Association of Political Consultants.
In 1999, impressed with then Texas Governor George Bush's record and approach to governing, he assisted the Governor's 2000 presidential campaign, playing an instrumental role in the highly successful Americans for Bush-Cheney effort to gather support from Democrats and Independents. Following the election, he served on the Presidential Transition Task Force.
In 2004, Lunde co-chaired Democrats for Bush with Senator Zell Miller which resulted in the recruitment of over 5,000 state and local Democratic elected officials, activists and rank-and-file party members who publicly endorsed the President's re-election.
In addition to his political campaign work, Lunde has built a successful track record in corporate consulting and managing issue campaigns for corporations and associations who have adopted a more aggressive approach to managing issues and public policy. He has played an important role in advising and implementing government relations strategies for HSBC, GlaxoSmithKline, Boeing, AOL Time Warner, The Business Roundtable, DuPont, Kodak, the National Restaurant Association, the Homebuilders Association and other major corporations and trade associations. He has also headed the grassroots and issue management divisions of Weber Shandwick Public Affairs and Edelman, Inc., two of the nation's largest public relations/public affairs firms.
In 1988, Lunde founded the campaign consulting and issue management firm of Lunde & Burger, where he developed the trademarked grassroots lobbying concept known as "Political Family Persuasion" which involves communicating with key officials through individuals who the official knows, trusts and relies upon for political advice and support. This unique approach has proved to be extremely successful to pro-business efforts to persuade elected officials in an increasingly re-election oriented political environment.
Lunde & Burger was acquired in 1998 by Weber Shandwick where he headed the firm's grassroots and issue management division through 2002. In 2003, Lunde joined Edelman as General Manager and developed the Issues Advocacy Group in the Washington, D.C. office. In July 2005, Lunde began his own government relations consulting practice and also serves as President of HelpingAmericansVote.org, Inc, the nation's largest online "early voting" service.
Lunde began his political career as a field coordinator for the 1976 Jimmy Carter for President Campaign. After the presidential campaign (from 1977-1979) Lunde served in the Kentucky Department of Commerce as an information and communications specialist. He became executive director of the Kentucky Democratic Party in 1979.
A native of North Dakota, Lunde graduated from the University of South Florida in 1976 receiving bachelor's degrees in Mass Communications and Political Science. He resides with his wife and two daughters in Arlington, Virginia.
Mark F. (Thor) Hearne, Counsel
Thor Hearne is one of the nation's most experienced election attorneys. Prior to joining ACVR Legislative Fund, Hearne served as National Election Counsel to President Bush's reelection campaign and in 2000 was Missouri counsel to the Bush campaign. Hearne was on the Bush campaign recount team in Broward county Florida in 2000. Hearne has also served as legal counsel to many other political candidates and campaigns on the federal and state level. Hearne was appointed by the Missouri Secretary of State as an advisor to the Missouri Help America Vote Act (HAVA) implementation task force. Hearne testified before the U.S. House Administration Committee hearings in March 2005 into the conduct of the presidential election in Ohio. Hearne also testified before the Missouri commission to investigate the 2000 Missouri general election and voter fraud in the City of St. Louis. More recently, Hearne served as an academic-advisor to the bi-partisan Carter-Baker Commission on Election Reform.
Hearne is a longtime advocate of voter rights and an attorney experienced in election law and litigation. Hearne has spoken to numerous groups and organizations about issues of election reform and served as chair of the Republican National Lawyers Association ("RNLA") National Election Law School in 2003 and 2004. The RNLA Election Law School is a continuing education program for attorney's involved in election law and is accredited by the bar associations of various states. Hearne was named one of Missouri's ten best attorneys by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 2004. Hearne was also named one of the "Up and Coming Young Attorneys" by the St Louis Business Journal.
Hearne also served as an attorney and law clerk in the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights during the Reagan Administration.
He has been admitted to the Michigan and Missouri bar and has been admitted to and practiced in a number of courts including the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of International Trade, the Supreme Courts of Missouri and Michigan, the Eighth, Second and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Hearne received his law degree from Washington University Law School and his B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. He is a licensed pilot who has provided commentary for National Public Radio, FOX News and MSNBC and has authored a number of law review articles on various legal issues.
Hearne and his wife Susan live in St. Louis, Missouri with their two daughters, Amelia and Elise.
Robin DeJarnette, Executive Director
Robin DeJarnette serves as Executive Director of the American Center for Voting Rights Legislative Fund. DeJarnette is also the founder and Executive Director of the Virginia Conservative Action PAC. Robin has been involved in advancing the conservative movement in Virginia for 15 years. She was the Government Relations Director for The Family Foundation for 10 years. Robin has also consulted and been involved in numerous local, state and federal races throughout Virginia, to include managing Jay Katzen's campaign for Lt. Governor. She also represents and lobbies for various pro-family groups before Congress.