'Zuck Bucks' to End, but CTCL Goes On
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is said to end the millions in grants that influenced how election clerks ran elections in 2020. But the practice is still ongoing.
Leftwing progressive Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame is reportedly ending the practice of providing millions in grants to local governments as he did in the 2020 election, which a special counsel is probing for possible bribery violations.
But the Center for Tech and Civic Life, the one-time $1 million non-profit into which Zuckerberg's private foundation funneled over $400 million in 2020, is shifting to a new umbrella group. The goals appear to be the same.
Ahead of the 2022 midterms, and with Democrats in trouble in polling showing a red wave of voter anger coming their way over the economy, inflation, energy prices, draconian Covid policies, and more, the CTCL has launched an $80 million group called the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence.
The press release says the alliance's goal is to help election officials (those paid by taxpayers) to "rally around a set of common values and standards," and also to "support" each other. The grants, the group says, will "keep their skills fresh."
Some 92% of the over $400 million in CTCL grants that Zuckerberg funded in 2020 went to Democrat-heavy districts. (Covid-safety appeared not to apply to Republican-leaning districts.)
Investigations in battle ground states are ongoing to determine whether the CTCL 2020 grants funded illegal activity such as electioneering, and ballot trafficking in battleground states such as Georgia, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.
Over 18 state legislatures have since banned the practice; Democrat governors in some states have vetoed legislation that would stop the practice of using government offices to help one party essentially fund a get-out-the-vote to help one party.
Virginia, Maine, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire are among the states that still allow the practice. (The non-profit outfit America First Policy Institute has assembled a map that tracks which states still allow the practice.)
Deep-red Louisiana has not banned the practices, but the state's attorney general is moving ahead with a criminal probe of the practice.
According to The Advocate, AG Jeff Landry filed suit in October 2020, asking a judge to declare the grants illegal. He warned of the “corrosive influence of outside money on Louisiana election officials.”
In early April an appeals court said registrars of voters and clerks of court aren’t “political subdivisions,” but rather “constitutional offices created by the state.”
The ruling is an important distinction in [AG] Landry's case against the practice. The Third District Court ruling said local political subdivisions are " able to accept donations, but registrars and clerks aren’t given the same freedom under the state constitution."
The impact of Zuckerberg's millions that went toward government elections across battleground states is chronicled in the new movie, www.Rigged2020.com. Multiple analysis of the funds indicates the grants clearly funded an unfair election.
The movie is expanding its messaging – but not on Facebook.
Zuckerberg's social media platform is reportedly refusing to run advertising for the move. According to the Washington Post, cable network Comcast is blocking advertising buys too.
Communication law experts told the Post that “while Comcast isn't required to have a reason to reject certain advertising, the broad standard applied in this case could raise ethical or conflict of interest questions.”
Wisconsin's Special Counsel Michael Gableman is looking into whether CTCL grants violated bribery statutes governing election integrity.
Gableman's second report on his probe into Wisconsin's 2020 election illegalities tracks the behavior of five of Wisconsin's largest cities that received major grants (Milwaukee, Green Bay, Racine, Kenosha and Madison). The report says the practice "violates election bribery prohibition."
For more on CTCL, see the report on InfluenceWatch.com.
The story of Zuck Bucks and private money influencing how public servants run elections is still unfolding. He may be ending his funding, but according to CTCL's press release, the effort has shifted to a new name.
Electoral integrity groups have been warned. #