What are Pierre Omidyar’s ties to this Zuck bucks group?
If the past three years have taught us anything, it’s that the Left excels at barnacling itself into our country’s election machinery.
Case-in-point: the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), which gathers the officials responsible for administering elections nationwide. Each year, these officials attend NASED’s conferences to swap information with experts about infrastructure, technology, protocols, and security. The goal is to improve the quality and nonpartisanship of our elections.
So why does NASED credit the Democracy Fund as the (apparently) biggest donor to its February 2023 conference?
Democracy Fund is the philanthropy of eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, a prominent left-wing mega-donor. His Omidyar Nexus spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually slandering capitalism and promoting partisan journalism, including, ironically, the group responsible for coining the term “dark money.”
Democracy Fund is part of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, the Left’s premier strategy group for registering and turning out new Democratic voters, as well as changing election laws to give Democrats a leg up.
One doubts Omidyar gave money to the “nonpartisan” NASED by mistake.
Then there’s NASED director Amy Cohen, herself a creature of the professional Left. Prior to joining the association, she co-founded and was chief operating officer for the partisan Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) in Washington, D.C.
If you don’t know CEIR, you probably know its biggest donor. In the lead-up to the 2020 election, Mark Zuckerberg gifted the group $70 million in “Zuck bucks” to pay for, among other things, Maryland’s government-led get-out-the-vote drive targeting Democrat-heavy districts in Baltimore and bordering D.C.
But CEIR also paid for something less conspicuous: Voter registration in ERIC states. ERIC, short for the Electronic Registration Information Center, is the Left’s most powerful tool for secretly gathering private information on tens of millions of eligible-but-unregistered individuals in swing states. It also forces member states to attempt to register these individuals using taxpayer dollars—in Virginia, roughly $264,000 per year.
ERIC and CEIR share a common founder, David Becker, a partisan elections lawyer infamous for his loathing of conservatives and Trump supporters. CEIR is Becker’s policy shop, created in 2016 to push for mail-in ballots and the Left’s other favorite election “reforms.”
With Becker at the helm, ERIC began pumping private voter data to CEIR for years before watchdog groups exposed the scheme. Armed with this invaluable information, CEIR’s activist allies have the power to find, register, and turn out millions of low-propensity Democratic voters in states like Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania—while keeping Republicans in the dark.
The Pew-Omidyar Angle
Both ERIC and CEIR share yet another common connection in Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew incubated ERIC in 2011-2012 as part of its “voter registration modernization” project and continued to fund the organization for years. And prior to co-founding CEIR, Amy Cohen led Pew’s Voting Information Project, which also worked on voter registration policies.
CEIR was founded with start-up capital from the left-wing Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar’s Democracy Fund, which routed the money through Arabella Advisors’ massive “dark money” network. (It’s possible that more of its funding came from Pew.) Strangely, Cohen never appears in CEIR’s IRS disclosures as a paid employee. Was her salary paid by Pew?
What is clear is that more journalists and watchdog groups need to start asking tough questions about these organizations’ shady connections.