A lawsuit filed against a Michigan official charges that the $17 million “donation” from Mark Zuckerberg to spend on the 2020 presidential election was diverted from its ostensible purpose of purchasing personal protective equipment to fight COVID-19, and instead was used to “boost Democrat candidates.”
The action filed by the Thomas More Society is not intended to relitigate the 2020 results. But it wants to prevent a similar election manipulation from occurring again.
The Society currently is fighting demands from Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that the case be dispensed with quickly using a summary disposition.
Thomas More Society lawyers this week filed a response in the Michigan Court of Claims on behalf of voters asserting that Benson violated election law “by accepting private money and allowing it to be used in a partisan manner that denied Michigan voters’ constitutional right to equal access to balloting.”
The action charges that Benson took nearly $17 million in the so-called “Zuckerbucks” from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, which was funded largely by Zuckerberg.
The money was outside of any of the ordinary rules for election and campaign spending because it came from a “charity.”
But, the Society explains, the facts are:
- Center for Tech and Civic Life spent nearly $17 million in Michigan on the election 2020
- Almost half of the money Center for Tech and Civic Life spent was paid to the City of Detroit, where Biden won 94% of the vote
- Of the Center for Tech and Civic Life payments over $20,000 that were made to each of several jurisdictions in Michigan – which accounted for a total of over $14 million of the almost $17 million paid out – 98% of the payments were made to jurisdictions carried by Biden in 2020
- Even if all the remaining payments under $20,000 went to jurisdictions that voted for Trump – which is very unlikely – 84% of the total funds paid by Center for Tech and Civic Life went to jurisdictions that Biden carried in 2020
- Center for Tech and Civic Life made 19 payments each exceeding $100,000, all to jurisdictions that Biden carried in 2020
Similar fights have erupted in other states, and some even have moved to ban such private influence money donations.
One study confirmed that the 2020 election likely wasn’t “stolen,” as some have charged, but it likely was “purchased” by Zuckerberg for Biden, based on the efforts across many states, including key swing states, to use the hundreds of millions of dollars to recruit voters from Democrat strongholds leading up to the election.
The Society said, “The lawsuit asserts that the Zuckerberg money inflow was claimed to relate to COVID and the need to purchase personal protective equipment, but reports show only a tiny percentage of the money was used to pay for COVID related personal protective equipment.”
Thor Hearne, a special counsel, explained, “COVID dangers were used as a cover for providing Center for Tech and Civic Life monies to municipalities to boost Democrat candidates in the 2020 election through increased mail-in voting and ballot harvesting in predominantly urban jurisdictions and to the detriment of Michigan voters who live in suburban and rural jurisdictions of the state.
“Because the funds were channeled through Center for Tech and Civic Life, a ‘charity,’ and characterized as ‘grants,’ Zuckerberg’s ‘donations’ were not covered by campaign finance laws. Instead, they were unlimited and unregulated ‘dark money,'” said Hearne.
But the problem is, he noted, the state constitution “guarantees every eligible citizen the right of equal protection when it comes to voting, and that means state officials may not put in place an election scheme that enhances the weight of votes cast by one class of voters or increases one favored class of voters’ access to the ballot.
“That’s just what happened here. Analysis of data that the Center for Tech and Civic Life provided to the Internal Revenue Service and other public records demonstrates that this scheme was designed to favor urban areas in Michigan and to disadvantage Michigan voters in rural and suburban more politically conservative areas.”
He said the case doesn’t seek to return to 2020.
“It is about making sure that these unfair and illegal activities cannot happen in any future election in Michigan. As Michigan’s chief election official, Secretary Benson is responsible for ensuring that every eligible Michigan voter has an equal right and opportunity to cast a ballot.”
Thomas More Society attorneys are currently also representing Wisconsin voters in election bribery complaints and lawsuits as a result of the state’s officials accepting private money from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to influence the election process there.
A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found 70% of likely voters believe Zuckerberg’s influence money was a bad thing.
“The published summary, Voters Against ‘Zuckerbucks’ Influencing Elections, reports that most still believe that cheating influenced the outcome. Notably, by a more than 2 to1 margin, American voters believe it is more important to make sure there is no cheating in elections. Almost two-thirds, 65%, ranked election integrity above ease of voting. That opinion was supported by a majority across all racial demographics: 67% of white voters, 59% of black voters, and 60% of other minority voters ranked the prevention of cheating in elections as taking priority over ease of voting (32%),” the Society reported.
Nearly a dozen other states already have adopted laws banning private money to run public elections, but Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed the plan adopted by the state legislature there.
Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, explained, “Unfortunately, this illegal private funding of elections happened in many states including neighboring Wisconsin, where litigation is in progress to demonstrate that use of the Center for Tech and Civic Life funds by Wisconsin election officials violated the state’s election bribery law, and where courts have ruled the use of ballot drop boxes illegal.”
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