Congressional Democrats are seeking input to make election integrity less integrable. Last month, Democratic members of the Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Committee on House sent letters to local election officials in states that have started seeking election reform by restricting private election funding, such as “Zuckerbucks.” The letter was sent to collect information on the efforts put forth to counter conspiracy theories and protect the integrity of federal elections in those states. The letter later stated, “An effective, coordinated strategy at the federal, state, and local levels is essential to counter false information that could undermine upcoming elections.” In other words, Democrats are looking toward state and local election officials to collaborate with them on an election-based propaganda campaign. A strategy that worked well for the party’s last election cycle.
Behind the scenes of the 2020 Presidential election were left-wing activist groups who aligned themselves with wealthy corporations in efforts to prevent President Donald J. Trump from winning his re-election campaign. Molly Ball, TIME’s political correspondent with close ties to prominent Democratic leaders, wrote,
“Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers, and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result.”
A major player in the alliance to make this group of college-aged activists so effective was Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. Along with his reputation for censoring conservatives on social media, Zuckerberg also contributed such an extensive amount of money to left-leaning activist groups that it developed into a catchword called “Zuckerbucks.” He funded get-out-and-vote operations and indirectly funded swing states and local districts with generous grants.
Zuckerberg tunneled approximately 419.5 million into local government election offices through the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). A hefty increase from the 400 million included in the CARES Act (pandemic relief package) for election funding.
Eliminating loopholes and bringing back election integrity is of utmost importance to the Republican party. Following the 2020 elections, nearly a dozen states have already banned the use of Zuckerbucks and private funding, with more states considering doing the same. Each ban on private funding varies from one state to the next. For example, Texas allows donations up to $1,000, but in Kansas that would be considered a felony and a misdemeanor in North Dakota.
The ban on Zuckerbuck funding is a big loss for the Democrat party heading into the midterms and 2024. It is not surprising that they are looking for new strategies to control the flow of information since it benefited them so well in 2020. With election reform underway, it is important to remember that it’s the people’s right to determine what information is true and not when it comes to the officials we elect. It should not be up to federal, state, or local officials to determine what information is allowed to reach the voters. Freedom of speech and the press is critical for fair elections.
Bob Carlstrom is President of AMAC Action
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