David Becker’s “Democracy Summit” Was a Sham

by | May 10, 2023 | Election Integrity

“Progressive” elites gather in D.C. to smear everyday Americans as “fascists” for questioning the integrity of the 2020 election.

The elite Left’s contempt for normal Americans was on full display at this week’s “democracy” summit, held—of all places—in Washington, D.C.’s International Spy Museum.

Over 11 hours across two days, Democratic luminaries ridiculed “fascists” for scrutinizing their mischief in the 2020 election. Inflated, self-impressed “experts” derided the discoveries made by right-leaning watchdog groups as so much “disinformation.” Big Media’s partisan journalists gloated that “election deniers” like Arizona’s Kari Lake lost election bids in the 2022 midterms (never mind that Lake’s opponent ran her own election). And sneering activists spread the lie that law-abiding conservatives are threatening the lives of election workers and must be punished with ever-more-stringent laws.

In short, the summit revealed what we already knew about the professional Left’s view of everyday people—and this at a gathering meant to instill public confidence in our elites.

Brought to You By “Zuck Bucks”

Organizing the conference was David Becker, founder of the lobbying group Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR). Becker is a Democratic elections lawyer akin to Marc Elias with a background in activism with People for the American Way. At the voting rights arm of the U.S. Justice Department, Becker earned a reputation as a “hardcore leftist” who “couldn’t stand conservatives”—an image he’s since tried to obscure.

Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) founder David Becker

We’ve revealed how CEIR obtains sensitive voter data, usually protected by federal privacy laws, from Becker’s other organization, the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), to promote Democratic voter turnout in swing states. No wonder Becker calls this project the “single most effective voter registration drive in the history of the United States.”

Since 2016, Becker has positioned CEIR as a nonpartisan, good government group. Yet it took $70 million in 2020 from Mark Zuckerberg to promote ERIC’s voter registration mandate in key states as well as fund get-out-the-vote drives in Democrat-heavy counties. CEIR continues to promote early and mail-in voting expansion nationwide.

Mingling in the Swamp

Becker and Co. are as partisan as they come. Yet they’re a key example of how the Left worms its way into our country’s election machinery by positioning political activists as trusted, neutral authorities. These ideologues use America’s long history of free elections to establish for themselves a credibility they never earned and don’t deserve. Fortunately for us, they can’t help but reveal the farce.

Virtually every speaker at CEIR’s summit was a Democratic elections official or member of the legacy media. Panelists rambled endlessly about “democracy,” “misinformation,” “disinformation,” and “election deniers.” Many bandied loaded code-phrases about (“fully enfranchise voters”) to imply that America’s elections are hopelessly racist and unfair.

Becker scorned that it’s “nefarious” “disinformation” to believe that we can know the winner of a presidential race on Election Night—only Republicans are stupid enough to believe that. Others, like Rhode Island’s secretary of state, bragged about their “progressive” bona fides—like sponsoring the Let Rhode Island Vote Act, which promotes dropboxes, no-witness mail-in ballots, and no-excuse absentee ballots with endorsements from the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the far-left “Womxn Project.”

Panelists melodramatically thanked Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, a Republican, for his “courage” in standing up to his own party after the 2020 election. Gates himself complained about the “post-traumatic stress disorder” conservatives caused him for mismanaging the election, earning him yet more theatrical sympathy from leftists (and a gushing profile in the Washington Post).

The panel on “Maintaining Accurate and Complete Voter Rolls” might be better called the “Save ERIC Commission.” All but one of the speakers hailed from an ERIC state. What’s evident is that Democratic election officials are more interested in talking about automatic and same-day voter registration, as well as “voter suppression,” than in maintaining accurate voter rolls.

Federal data shows that non-ERIC states do a better job cleaning their voter files than do ERIC members. Michigan, for instance, has nearly 4,000 registered voters who’ve been dead for at least two decades while Virginia recently discovered 19,000 dead registered voters.

Both have been in ERIC for years. To what end?

Right-Wing Boogeymen

But the Left’s darkest fantasies and conspiracy theories were let loose in a panel ironically titled “Opportunities for Bipartisan Cooperation.”

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes warned the audience that their conservative opponents are enemies of democracy. “This is not Party A vs. Party B,” he said. “This is people of good will vs. people who are not of good will.”

It only got more rabid. Viewers were told that skeptics aren’t merely questioning election security but promoting “attack[s] on voting rights.” Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold lied that Republicans were supposedly behind the attempted kidnapping of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the attack on Paul Pelosi, and the police officers who died on January 6. (In reality, the Whitmer plot was fabricated by the FBI to entrap a handful of extremists, Paul Pelosi’s attacker was a far-left illegal alien and family friend, and we now know that congressional Democrats lied about when and how Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick died.)

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Griswold then attacked her counterparts in Wyoming and South Dakota as “election deniers” before working herself into a fury. “This is part of the national Republican strategy to cause chaos to [win] elections,” she blasted. Griswold assured us that the term “election deniers” isn’t partisan, we were told, because battling “lies to try to steal an election is not partisan, it’s American.”

She added: Right now there are 6 secretaries of state who are election deniers, 6 more U.S. senators, and 150 congressmen “desecrating the halls of Congress as we speak.”

In 2022, she continued,

we had election deniers running in this country in every swing state where there was a race to oversee elections. It would’ve been a disaster if they’d won.” Now, it’s time to prosecute them.

Fontes went even further: “There are fascists active in this country,” referring to the Republicans listed by Griswold.

She just politely calls them ‘election deniers’ . . . I personally prefer calling them what they are. They are fascists. And if they don’t want to be called fascists they need to stop acting like fascists.

January 6 PTSD

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson mused over banning so-called election misinformation. “As long as there’s misinformation there’s going to be threats stemming from that misinformation,” she said. As for January 6, it began a “multi-year, multi-faceted effort to undo democracy, to threaten democracy.”

Panelists waxed at length about the “trauma” they endured because of “Trump’s Big Lie.” CNN reporter Kyung Lah, a self-appointed specialist on right-wing election violence, asked Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD): “What did it take for you to get up and to do the hard work of the [Trump] impeachment and the [January 6th] panel?”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD)

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), perhaps the Left’s favorite ally on the Right, informed viewers about what an outstanding job he’s doing running Georgia’s elections. Lah asked Raffensperger how he can “go to the grocery store in peace” given his party’s brutish election deniers—after all, he’s surely afraid of the “wrath of the Trump machine” gunning for him. And isn’t he embarrassed by Georgia’s photo ID requirement and Republicans’ 2021 election overhaul legislation?

To his credit, Raffensperger defended both. But he couldn’t help but admonish conservatives who “have trouble accepting reality” about the 2020 and 2022 elections because “misinformation and disinformation have been baked into people’s DNA.” Tea Party conservatives, he says, should get over their concern with issues like Fulton County’s infamous suitcase ballots because he believes they’re entirely unfounded.

Raffensperger and CEIR go back years. In July 2022, he was celebrated as a CEIR “Defender of Democracy” for “standing up to efforts to undermine the democratic process” in the 2020 election. Ditto Raffensperger’s chief operating officer (and noted Trump critic), Gabriel Sterling. At least two other panelists awarded by CEIR—CNN reporter Kyung Lah and CBS News correspondent Major Garrett—later moderated its 2023 democracy summit.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger

Of course, we only know about the secret event because a grassroots integrity group, County Citizens Defending Freedom, did the hard, thankless work of uncovering the connection. Is that an example of democracy, or fascism?

A Republic on the Ropes

If it isn’t obvious, CEIR’s summit was never intended to bring both parties together, but rather to castigate conservatives as a threat to democracy. These people don’t take election integrity groups’ fears seriously. Voters—especially conservatives—are irritants who just get in the way of “progressive” officials’ important work transforming the country.

To hear the panelists talk, one might get the impression that Republicans overturned every norm and procedure to win the 2020 election. Yet it was Democratic elections officials and legislator who enacted last-minute to the rules governing absentee ballots, early voting, and drop boxes in 2020. It was a left-wing billionaire, Mark Zuckerberg, who funneled over $400 million to thousands of county election officials and juiced Democratic turnout in swing states. Overnight, the same ideologues who opposed privatizing garbage collection came to support privatize election funding.

Jimmy Carter’s bipartisan election report from 2005 still stands as a monument to how to run transparent elections—yet today’s leftist oppose everything the report proposed, particularly concerning absentee ballots. Recall that before 2020 Democrats were just as suspicious of all-mail elections as Republicans. That changed when the National Vote at Home Institute pitched vote-by-mail as Democrats’ best shot at unseating Donald Trump.

Republicans were caught flatfooted by these well-orchestrated, effective changes, and it cost them dearly in two elections. But now that they’re fighting back, the Left has gone all-in on destroying conservatives, starting with their reputation.

Don’t be fooled: This was no conference, but a war council.

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