The 2020 presidential election was decided by just 42,000 votes in three states. If the 37 electoral votes in Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia had flipped the other way, President Biden would not be president right now. During the toss-up election we experienced in 2020, both sides were looking for innovative ways to gain an advantage over their opponent due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. A major adjustment or a minor tweak to the allocation of campaign resources could make all the difference because it came down to mere thousands of votes out of over 150 million cast to decide the next leader of the free world.
That brings us to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s “donation” of nearly $400 million during the 2020 election. “Rigged: The Zuckerberg Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump” investigates why Zuckerberg made the unprecedented investment in the election, follows the money through official tax documents and seeks to set the record straight about exactly what happened.
The film’s all-star cast includes former President Donald Trump, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Ted Cruz, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, former Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, former Ohio State Secretary Ken Blackwell, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman and more.
For nearly two years, the liberal media has ignored this Pulitzer Prize-worthy story just like they blew off the Hunter Biden laptop story until recently.
Hopefully this new documentary will put some pressure on the biased corporate media to stop looking the other way. A lot of people ask, in today’s politics, is $400 million that big a deal? Well, look at it this way: The Democrat National Committee’s total expenditures for the entire two-year 2020 election cycle were $461 million!
By using the excuse of the COVID-19 emergency, roughly $400 million flowed through two liberal-leaning 501(c)(3) organizations under the guise of supporting a safe election during the pandemic in 2020. What ended up happening amounted to an enormous Democrat voter turnout operation complete with mass mail-in voting, insecure drop boxes, recruiting poll workers and ballot curing — all courtesy of “Zuck bucks.”
The group that got the bulk of Mr. Zuckerberg’s money — the Center for Tech and Civic Life — sent some 2,500 grants to government elections offices in 48 states. Defenders of Mr. Zuckerberg contend that more grants went to Trump areas while conveniently ignoring the fact that the vast amount of money was targeted to critically important areas for Mr. Biden. In fact, approximately 160 of the 2,500 grants were for $400,000 or more and totaled a whopping $272 million — and 92% of the money flowed to jurisdictions that Mr. Biden carried.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s people claim that this was a nonpartisan effort — because 501(c)(3) funded projects must be as a matter of law. However, public records suggest it was partisan — highly partisan in fact. The fact is that an overwhelming percentage of the funds were distributed exactly where Mr. Biden needed the most help: In critically important jurisdictions within Electoral College battleground states and to Democrat vote-rich areas around the country to boost Mr. Biden’s popular vote tally.
So, why did Mr. Zuckerberg decide to do this? In the wake of the 2016 election, Mr. Zuckerberg was attacked and questioned by many on the left — from Hillary Clinton to his own employees — because his platform was instrumental in helping Mr. Trump win the presidency. It appears that Mr. Zuckerberg’s herculean $400 million spending spree on the 2020 election may have been an attempt to “right his wrong” with the left over what it blamed him for in 2016. There’s simply no way he would have made this investment if it could have possibly helped Mr. Trump get reelected.
Much of Mr. Zuckerberg’s money is documented by CTCL’s tax filings. The January 2022 report shows grants of $860,000 to Kenosha, $1.2 million to both Green Bay and Madison, $1.7 million to Racine, and $3.4 million to Milwaukee. These five critical cities alone received about $8.5 million of the $10.1 million that flowed into Wisconsin from CTCL, and $5.1 million dollars of Mr. Zuckerberg’s money was spent in Arizona. Four difference-making counties — Maricopa, Pima, Apache and Coconino — were carried by President Biden and received nearly 76% of CTCL’s grants. This funding helped Biden grow his turnout by nearly 700,000 votes in funded counties over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 total. CTCL sent $45 million to Georgia — more than any other state in the country — and 94% of the funds went to jurisdictions carried by Mr. Biden.
It’s clear that Mr. Zuckerberg’s money was a key difference-maker in 2020.
In the film, Mr. Cruz describes the operation as “ruthlessly effective.” I like to say that if nothing improper occurred as Mr. Zuckerberg insists, why have 12 states and counting enacted laws that ban or restrict the private funding of elections? It’s also worth noting that five Democratic governors have vetoed similar legislation in their own states, which should tell you all you need to know about whether the plan was partisan or not.
“Rigged” seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of the Zuckerberg model of private election funding. Recently, Justice Gableman’s report alleged an election bribery scheme in Wisconsin and Mr. Landry had a big win in court in his ongoing investigation of private election funding in Louisiana. There was nothing free or fair about the infamous 2020 “Zuck bucks” operation. Those responsible must be held accountable and we must all work to make sure it never happens again.
• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.
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