Are ‘Zuckerbucks’ in Wisconsin Lawful?

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 09/19/2023

The Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) and other nonprofits have been part of ongoing investigations and legislative hearings in Wisconsin. CTCL gave $6 million in grant money, much of which went to support vote-by-mail and early voting efforts, to 5 major metropolitan areas of Wisconsin.

Attorney Erick Kaardal represents clients through his own firm and The Amistad Project. The Wisconsin Voters Alliance (WVA) filed a complaint against CTCL with the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC). Since the five largest recipients of CTCL grants—Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Milwaukee, and Racine—are considered to have demographics that lean Democrat, the complaint argues that the grants violate Wisconsin laws against funds that influence the outcome of an election.

Kaardal, also associated with the Thomas More Society, went on War Room with Steve Bannon to discuss CTCL involvement in Wisconsin, describing a "privately funded, government-administered plan" to target votes:

"They were targeting minorities, low-income people, and they were targeting certain geographies. That's all Unconstitutional."

Wisconsin has a Republican-controlled legislature that has put forward numerous potential reforms of election law that might reduce the potential for fraud in future elections. However, its Democrat governor will most likely veto anything election reform related. Further, Donald Trump has criticized Republican leadership in Wisconsin who might otherwise push for reform, naming Robin Vos, Chris Kapenga, and Devin LeMahieu as among those "working hard to cover up election corruption in Wisconsin" and "actively trying to prevent a Forensic Audit of the election results."

A review of election complaints like the one against CTCL is part of an audit supervised by the state auditor. That audit is not expected to be completed until fall 2021. From Kaardal's perspective, complaints like his have not attracted due attention from Republican leadership. As to why Kaardal told Bannon:

"The reason why it's taken a while for... the establishment Republicans to catch up... is because the left is so sophisticated with all these non-profits... that this was so carefully calibrated to exploit a vulnerability in our system... that it takes a lot of... education, a lot of looking at it to figure it out."

Kaardal gave his thoughts on the citizens' solution and then on the legal solution:

"So the people have to declare that they are the leaders in a populist moment. My clients in each of these five cities said, 'we're taking charge, our election officials can't violate the U.S. Constitution, they can't violate the state statutes anymore'. So this is just a perfect example of the people rising. You've got to trust the courts because we're fighting a battle over our culture, our democracy—and if we lose the courts, we're lost—we're not protected from prosecutors, we're not protected from civil lawsuits by the government. So we have to trust the courts."

Kaardal seemed to be optimistic about his side's chances:

"We've got them dead to rights. I think we're gonna prevail in this one because the left put down everything in writing..."

As to the big picture, Kaardal remarked:

"I think the people on our side are just far too trusting of the government. The government is basically the problem that needs to be solved. The government doesn't represent the people anymore."

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