U.S. Digital Response, “Zuck bucks,” and undue influence in the Biden administration
While the revolving door of political appointments is as old as the republic, professional left-wing activists have never been so well-represented as they are in the Biden administration.
Case-in-point: Hillary Hartley, newly minted head of the “Zuck bucks”-fueled group U.S. Digital Response. During the Obama administration, she was deputy executive director for 18F, a government-run tech consultancy for the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for improving communications and operations across the federal government.
Now Hartley aims to integrate U.S. Digital Response (USDR) into the Biden administration, permanently establishing a conduit for left-wing influence in our government’s operations.
Mark Zuckerberg’s Millions
Helping states obtain federal grants—USDR’s stated goal—may sound nice, but it isn’t the issue. Transparency is.
USDR was founded in March 2020 in the early stages of the COVID-19 lockdowns to promote COVID vaccination and CARES Act funding. It was a partner of the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), the infamous group responsible for doling out $350 million from Mark Zuckerberg as COVID-19 “relief grants” across thousands of local election offices, juicing Democratic turnout in hotspots in battleground states. USDR’s role was to insert itself into local election offices, promoting vote-by-mail and retooling websites and operations to boost turnout.
Now USDR is part of CTCL’s latest project: the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, a coalition of activist groups aiming to transform election processes to promote the Left’s preferred policies, including automatic voter registration and permanent vote-by-mail. The alliance is fueled by $80 million from the Audacious Project, a platform for liberal causes funded by the Gates Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and billionaires Jeff Skoll, Nat Simons, and Steve Jurvetson, and John Arnold.
Plotting Behind the Scenes
In January, the watchdog Honest Elections Project revealed how the alliance used fake “scholarships” to infiltrate election offices, providing consulting on drop boxes, ballot curing, mail-in ballots, ballot design for non-English speakers, and similar policies. USDR’s part was to provide “off the shelf software” and “poll worker management systems,” while CTCL offered funding for implementing this agenda.
The goal is to take over public agencies for private gain. Imagine the response of the New York Times and Washington Post if a set of conservative nonprofits attempted to embed themselves in government agencies to enact voter ID and other safeguards. Yet when “progressive” groups try to buy sensitive information, the legacy media praises the scheme for improving voting access.
Revealingly, the left-wing group Democracy North Carolina encourages membership in the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence as part of its “push for progressive changes to election laws and procedures.”
“Left-wing nonprofits like U.S. Digital Response should not be providing free services, especially election services, to local and state—and now, with Ms. Hartley’s appointment, the federal—governments,” explained Ned Jones, deputy director of the Election Integrity Network at the Virginia Institute for Public Policy.
“Taxpayers should be paying for these services, not left-wing billionaires,” he added.