The liberal voting activist group that dumped $350 million of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s money on local election offices during the 2020 presidential election is back again with another $80 million to give over the next five years.
And Wisconsin once again will be front and center in the Center for Tech and Civic Life’s “generosity.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a Civil Investigative Demand to the Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) as part of an investigation his office launched to determine whether it “solicited donations under the pretext of protecting voters from Covid-19 while instead using the funds to support partisan electioneering efforts or election oversight roles normally left to state and local officials.”
CTCL, a self-described non-partisan nonprofit organization, according to the bios posted on its own website and other records, “is led by individuals with distinctly partisan backgrounds,” the AG’s office says. CTCL’s founder and executive director, for example, Tiana Epps-Johnson, was among a group of inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows who previously was the Election Administration director for a progressive grassroots organization, the New Organizing Institute. She also worked on the Voting Rights Project for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
Three Milwaukee, Wisconsin, officials face accusations of illegally taking “Zuck Bucks” to facilitate voting by purchasing absentee ballot drop boxes, among other things, according to a lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Society.
Politics is getting in the way of government transparency, preventing the sort of accountability on which our governing institutions depend for maintaining public trust and legitimacy.
In Wisconsin and elsewhere around the country, public officials are steadfastly refusing to answer basic questions about their official conduct from the people’s elected representatives. These are not salacious questions about their personal conduct, or fishing expeditions designed to stir up political scandal. Legislators are merely seeking to better understand how appointed bureaucrats and elected officials administered the 2020 elections amidst a pandemic and an unprecedented, and in many cases unlawful, infusion of private monies into public election offices.
Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, for instance, has sued to block a legislative subpoena seeking voter information as part of an investigation of the state’s voter registration system, known as SURE. Even though there is ample precedent for disclosing this type of information, the AG’s lawsuit argues that it would violate citizens’ right to privacy, as though allowing lawmakers to access government records would automatically compromise the security of that information.
Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to introduce a measure banning private organizations from funding election administration in the Keystone State.
The bill’s sponsors, state Sens. Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus) have cited the role that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) played in election operations in Philadelphia and other Democratic-leaning counties in 2020. CTCL has been funded significantly by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.
A report released Tuesday by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) revealed that the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), a group funded by Facebook founded Mark Zuckerberg, spent over $36 million in 14 urban counties in the state of Texas in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2020 election, according to Breitbart.
The report states that “Texas counties were given money to help shift voting to the mail and away from traditional procedures in Texas law. The large blue-leaning counties received huge sums to transform their elections,” while “smaller red counties did not receive anything close.” Among the initiatives that were pursued by this funding were “drive-thru voting, mail voting sorting assets, polling place rental expenses, and…voter education/outreach/radio costs.”
The county that most benefited from these funds was Dallas County, which received just over $15 million, followed by Harris County (where Houston is located) at $9.6 million. The remaining 12 counties all received less than $3 million.
Michigan and Ohio state secretaries Jocelyn Benson and Frank LaRose endorsed $300 million directed to elections by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) and Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) announced Tuesday that Zuckerberg and his wife donated in order “to promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities.”
Both Benson and LaRose agreed that the investment was necessary considering the pandemic’s effects on the presidential election. LaRose reposted the press release the day it came out, citing the need for accurate information during voting.