With so much controversy surrounding the 2020 presidential election, hearing about another facet leading to possible fraud is pretty much anticlimactic. Unless, of course, you throw in a big name with big money, such as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Then ears perk up again and nods with exclamations of “I knew it” fill the quiet space.
Phillip Kline, director of the Amistad Project of the Thomas More Society, a Conservative non-profit, held a press conference on Dec. 16, alleging that millions of Zuckerberg’s dollars were used to help influence the presidential election toward a Joe Biden victory. In a 39-page report titled “The Legitimacy and the Fact of Private Funding in Federal and State Election Processes,” Kline points to local governments and election officials who, he said, used Zuckerberg-funded charities to remove transparency from ballot counting, targeted specific demographics, and used election machines that aided in fraudulent counts.
The report suggests that Zuckerberg donated more than $500 million. That’s about $100 million more than the federal government expended in the CARES Act to fund the election during the COVID crisis, according to Kline. He explained:
“It also reveals how private parties, by dangling the dollar bill, incentivized local election officials to violate state law, radically alter election procedures, act contrary to federal law, and help violate federal law under the Help America Vote Act. It involved the government in a scheme to turn out a specific demograph of voter.”
Earlier this month, Liberty Nation Editor-in-Chief Leesa K. Donner reported on some of the findings from the VIP (Voter Integrity Project) that was a combination of efforts between Amistad and Matt Braynard, the former data chief and strategist for the Trump campaign. They focused more on voters, especially with mail-in ballots. This newest report is aimed at private funding for the elections and whether that should even be considered legitimate.
Kline cited several different charities and organizations that received monies from Zuckerberg, such as the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), which, he said, received at least $50 million from the Facebook founder. This group offered the Pennsylvania voter registration center. According to Kline, there were alterations in that system after the election. “The books were being cleaned up,” he explained.
But the main focus was put on one specific charity group, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTLC), which, according to Kline, received $350 million from Zuckerberg. Grants were provided to certain cities and states through the CTLC to help with election costs. Wisconsin and Pennsylvania were two states used as examples.
It is important to note that each state had to provide a State Safe Voting Plan, which was meant to help determine funding to make voting safe during the COVID pandemic. However, CTCL gave Cory Mason, the mayor of Racine, $100,000 to recruit four other cities to also develop a plan to get a larger grant. In return, those cities (Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, and Milwaukee) would receive $10,000 each. “They,” Kline said of CTCL, “were granting monies to recruit other cities and they told them which cities to recruit.”
James Carlson, an author of the Amistad report, said a plan was developed by the cities “to submit to CTCL in exchange for grant contracts.” He continued, “Here we have private money that was injected at the last minute by private entities.” And this, he said, leads to a basic civics question:
“Is it legitimate to allocate private money for public elections?”
Kline said that the government “has the core responsibility of managing the elections. We don’t put out elections for bid. We don’t have elections brought to you by Coca-Cola.”
The city of Philadelphia received a $10 million grant from CTCL – so long as it met specific requirements. Some of those included having at least 800 in-person polling places as well as drop boxes and satellite election centers. “Not satellite polling places,” Kline stressed, “satellite election centers.” This is an important distinction he highlighted, saying the city argued that because they were called “satellite election” instead of polling stations, “no Republican needed to be present, because the law required that both parties be present in polling places.”
Kline pointed out gross discrepancies between Democratic and Republican counties. In the 2016 election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the CTCL (who claims to provide fair funding to both parties) gave grants to 100% of Clinton counties in comparison to 13% of those for Trump, according to the report.
Fast forward to 2020 and the sudden need for drop boxes to compensate for voting during a pandemic. In Delaware County, there was one drop box per every four square miles as well as mobile units to pick up ballots and the 800 satellite offices in Philadelphia. Yet, Kline pointed out, “in the 59 counties that Trump won, [there was] one drop box for every 1,159 square miles. At the same time, Governor [Tom] Wolf was shutting down in-person polling places.”
This, Kline said, was a way to make it easier for Democrats to vote while making it even tougher for Republicans to cast their ballots. Republicans, he continued, like to vote on election day while Democrats usually vote early.
Do What We Say or No Money
Kline said one of the scary parts of the grant contracts is the clawbacks, which basically say, “If you do not follow our plan, we’re going to take back our money.” Carlson concurred and followed up with:
“And so what we have here is a private agency giving money to a local elected official and entering into a contract requiring that these local precincts and electoral officials to do specific things.”
Kline and Carlson explained that, although there was adequate federal funding, election officials opted to use the private money from CTCL instead. They call this privatizing the election, which “undermines the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which requires state election plans to be submitted to federal officials and approved and requires respect for equal protection by making all resources available equally to all voters.” Instead, the report explains:
“The provision of Zuckerberg-CTCL funds allowed these Democrat strongholds to spend roughly $47 per voter, compared to $4 to $7 per voter in traditionally Republican areas of the state. Moreover, this recruiting of targeted jurisdictions for specific government action and funding runs contrary to legislative election plans and invites government to play favorites in the election process.”
Read more from Kelli Ballard.