Amidst the Left’s weeping and gnashing of teeth last week, one thing stood out—Democrats won’t defend private funding of elections.
One of the ugliest features of the 2020 election was the proliferation of “Zuck bucks,” private money paid by billionaire Facebook founder and Democratic mega-donor Mark Zuckerberg to thousands of county elections offices. As we’ve reported time and again, that money—which was sold as COVID-19 “relief” grants—targeted Democratic vote-rich cities in swing states, juicing enough votes for Joe Biden to unseat President Donald Trump.
Using private funds to pay the people who count our ballots is alarming and indefensible—and Democrats know it.
At a Feb. 7 House Administration Committee hearing on banning Zuck bucks, Democrats spent little-to-no time defending Zuckerberg and the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), the funding vehicle for distributing Zuck bucks in 2020. “I’m certainly not in a position nor have any desire to defend Mark Zuckerberg,” admitted New York Rep. Joseph Morelle, who insisted on pretending the hearing was actuallyabout the Jan. 6 riot and Trump’s post-2020 “tantrums.”
Democrats instead chose to smear the witnesses—all credible issue experts—as election deniers unfit to address the committee.
“I’m going to try really hard to . . . show some civility where civility has not been shown” with “these types of witnesses,” California Rep. Norma Torres (D) fumed, before laying into the witnesses for (somehow) suppressing minority votes. Her grimace hardly improved when Mollie Hemingway pointed out that Torres’ “embrace of censorship” of journalism is “self-discrediting.”
Yet when Democrats did deign to discuss the matter at hand, they uniformly denounced Zuck bucks. “All of us can agree that no private funding should be funding our elections, it should be public funding,” insisted Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell (D). This from the author of the Democrats’ extreme John Lewis Voting Rights Act to federalize elections, mind you.
Even the Democrats’ expert witness, Dr. Zachary Mohr, ignored the issue of Zuck bucks and CTCL altogether. That is, until he admitted that elections are more expensive in rural counties and so should’ve received more funding than cities… precisely the opposite of where Zuck bucks actually flowed:
[In] the more rural counties . . . you have to spread them [polling places] out, and so that all costs more per voter.
Fortunately, Chairman Bryan Steil (R–WI) made the threat of Zuck bucks to future elections plain as day:
So there you have it from congressional Democrats themselves: Zuck bucks were partisan and distributed vastly more to Democratic cities than Republican counties, and they offer an avenue for foreign agents to meddle in U.S. elections.
So it’s time to ban them and go home, right? Don’t count on it. If there’s one thing House Democrats excel at, it’s lining up to vote against Republican legislation, including the American Confidence in Elections Act which would ban private funding for elections. Get ready to watch the same set of leftists who just denounced private election money vote to preserve private election money.