Editor’s note: This piece was coauthored by David N. Bossie, president of Citizens United.
In order for our constitutional republic to function properly, citizens must have faith in the election system and the protocols used to count each legitimate vote. This system must be transparent and easily understood by voters so confidence doesn’t crater. To this point, a recent ABC/Ipsos poll revealed – alarmingly – that only 20 percent of the public is very confident about the integrity of our national election system and the lack of confidence transcends the political spectrum.
These numbers should command the full attention of our political leaders. And if this polling data isn’t enough to get politicians to act, then the recent report from Special Counsel Michael Gableman – who is probing the 2020 election in Wisconsin – should do the trick. Additionally, Citizens United’s new documentary Rigged: The Zuckerberg Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump that highlights many of the troubling allegations coming out of Wisconsin, as well as Arizona and Georgia, should strike concern amongst our citizens as well.
The question of large campaign contributions and whether they are a corrupting force has been on the front burner of American politics since Watergate. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that contribution limits are constitutional, and in recognition of this ruling, limits and transparency laws have been enacted in many jurisdictions over the years. But what about large private contributions made to state and local governments to assist with the administration of the elections themselves? Historically, the appropriating of dollars to run our elections is done through a legislative body and is taxpayer funded.
So, what exactly happened? Zuckerberg spent nearly four hundred million dollars to turn the official election offices in counties and cities around the country into partisan Democrat voter turnout and ballot curing operations. To put that in context, that is almost as much money as the Democrat National Committee spent in the entire 2020 election cycle. The left’s decision to turn a blind eye to this big money operation is hypocrisy at its finest. Look no further than the Democrat governors – including Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards – who have vetoed legislation in their states that would ban the practice in the future.
Winston Churchill once quipped, “Politics is almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times.” In many ways, this is true, war and politics are two methods to achieve the same objective. In America however, we fight in the marketplace of ideas so we don’t have to fight in the streets. But how we conduct ourselves in both war and politics is equally as important. In 2020, Zuckerberg financed a new weapon in the political “war” and we should all – every single one of us on both sides of the aisle – denounce it and make sure it never happens again. The Zuckerberg model of private election funding must be investigated and outlawed in every state in our union.
Never before in the history of American elections has money on this scale been funneled to public agencies to conduct elections at the direction of a powerful private interest with an agenda. In this case, private funds dictated how public election officials conducted their elections depending on the jurisdiction. Even more insidious, the vast majority of that money was spent in areas critically important to both Joe Biden’s electoral vote and popular vote success.
For example, the Gableman report in Wisconsin determined that the more than $8 million in grants that flowed to the cities of Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay amounted to an election bribery scheme under Wisconsin law. And by targeting important jurisdictions with large Democrat vote potential with greater financial resources, opportunities were given to some voters that weren’t made available to all Wisconsin voters. As stated in the report, “Treating all voters equally in the same election is a bedrock principle of election law.”
Private funding of the administration of our elections is dangerous. We can’t have the government officials tasked with conducting the elections being directed and influenced by the highest outside bidder. Many of our elected election officials are partisans; but bribing them with private funds to conduct their elections according to private interests is a bridge too far and must be stopped.
It’s not the job of the government to entice people to vote. The government’s job is to provide an equal opportunity for all citizens to exercise their right to vote in an open and transparent process, while insuring that every legitimate vote is counted fairly. What is desperately needed right now is an audit of Zuckerberg’s funding in each state. Those findings should then be compared to the current applicable laws of those states for a determination of whether any violations occurred. Only then will confidence start to be restored.