Voters in four states announced today the filing of federal lawsuits as part of a growing campaign to block cities and counties from the alleged misuse of $250 million donated by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, issued in “grants” from the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) to influence the outcome of the election on November 3.
The new lawsuits allege that local governments, with the support of Zuckerberg and CTCL, are usurping the role of state governments in deciding the funding priorities for election spending, and demonstrate that private funds cannot be used to gain an undue advantage in these cities and counties in presidential battleground states and selectively targeted U.S. Senate and House races.
“Privatizing the management of elections undermines the integrity of our elections because private donors may dictate where and how hundreds of millions of dollars will be managed in these states,” said Phill Kline, Director of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, which is supporting the litigation by the plaintiffs. “Private interests do not have to operate with the same transparency and political accountability as government and this lack of transparency allows secret and selective deals to emphasize voter turnout that benefits a select party or candidate while making it harder for others to vote. The purchasing of local election offices by billionaires, if allowed, will open an ‘arms race’ between other vested and partisan interests to pour monies into select government coffers to direct government activity. Government must not be involved in favoring any private interest or any partisan objective in the management of elections,” Kline continued.
Election management is a core function of government and the influx of private money undermines local government integrity. CTCL is determining the priorities for where the money is going and it appears that they are selecting key Democratic areas in critical elections. “The person who holds the purse is the person who holds the power,” Kline added.
Kline went on to say that, “It’s like having private interests stuffing money into the pockets of the umpire before he calls the first ball or strike. If Mr. Zuckerberg wants to help government, he should give the monies to state legislatures as lawmakers are charged by the United States Constitution, federal law, and state law with the management of elections and the allocation of resources.”
The plaintiffs in the four states include the Georgia Voters Alliance, the Iowa Voters Alliance, the South Carolina Voters Alliance, and True the Vote along with individual voters in the State of Texas. These lawsuits follow the filing of similar complaints last week in the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
In Dallas, Texas alone, CTCL is spending $15,000,000, a Democratic-heavy city where Hillary Clinton won 60% of the vote. In Atlanta, Georgia, where Clinton won over 68% of the vote, CTCL is spending $6,000,000. In Iowa, CTCL is targeting two of the six counties where Clinton won, and in Charleston, South Carolina, CTCL is targeting areas to boost only Democratic turnout in competitive U.S. House and Senate races.
Government spending private monies to turn out a target voter demographic is the opposite side of the same coin as government targeting a demographic to suppress the vote. Moreover, the private provision of millions of dollars to local governments to assist in voter turnout in Democratic strongholds is occurring at the same time that many governors are reducing in-person voting opportunities claiming the threat of COVID-19 in areas traditionally carried by Republican candidates.
In the 17 cities and counties that have received the largest “grants” from CTCL, totaling more than $51,000,000 combined, Clinton won by an average of over 60% of the vote in 2016 and only one grant, of just under $300,000 was given to the only GOP-carried county in the top 17.
CTCL is a left-leaning election activist group pushing major government voting initiatives in Democratic strongholds, which raises alarms about the integrity of the November election and demonstrates a present danger in allowing private groups to influence elections. The group boasts that its major funding sources include Google and Facebook, and the group just recently received a contribution of $250 million from billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife.