100 Days into Mark Zuckerberg’s Latest Acquisition
Government sometimes needs help. It can’t do everything… and it most certainly can’t do everything well. What we learned of late is that some Americans have stepped up and use their resources and expertise to help the government function more effectively.
An example of this is Michael Bloomberg’s efforts to fund “Special Assistant Attorneys Generals” in actual Attorneys Generals’ offices in half a dozen large cities across the country. These SAAGs focus specifically on climate change and act as liaisons between AG leadership, NGOs, and other interested parties. The goal is to step up and move the issue of climate change forward in the face of Congress’s refusing to act.
Another more recent effort to address government dysfunction had to do with voting. After the chaos of 2000, the Russian influence scandal of 2016, and complaints about lines and closed precincts after almost every election, it was clear that America’s voting system could use some assistance.
As might be appropriate for the high-tech world in which we live, it was a master of the Silicon Valley universe who stepped into the breach to provide assistance to the very low tech world of voting: Mark Zuckerberg. He and his wife contributed over $350 million to the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life (“CTCL”) to pay election workers, drop boxes, foreign language information, train poll workers, rent polling locations, and count votes during the 2020 elections.
The result was a far more robust election functionality in the locales where Zuckerberg focused his money. It was what you would call a home run. Take Maricopa County Arizona, for example. The county, with its 2,000,000 votes – including Phoenix – represents over 60% of Arizona’s electorate. CTCL spent approximately $3 million in the county. The result? Much higher turnout. Donald Trump received 995,665 votes, 250,000 more than he did in 2016 for a 33% increase. Joe Biden garnered 1,040,774 votes, a whopping 340,000 or 48% more than Hillary Clinton did four years before. Zuckerberg and CTCL certainly had an impact.
To see how much, look at the rest of Arizona where CTCL spent 30% less. Trump’s 2020 total grew by 32% (compared to 2016) while Biden improved on Clinton’s total by 38%, a difference of 6%. And again, in Maricopa County, Zuckerberg’s $3 bought a 15% differential between the candidates. CTCL essentially boosted Maricopa County’s turnout by 9% compared to the rest of the state.
If a difference of 9% between Maricopa and the rest of the state doesn’t sound like much, remember that billion-dollar casino empires have been built on games where the house has much less of an advantage and trillion-dollar empires have been built with less than half that.
That CTCL model also played out in a handful of states that gave the election to Biden: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Georgia. In each state, CTCL spent millions of dollars in heavily Democrat counties and drove almost unprecedented increases in voter turnout, along with troubling vote irregularities.
Today, half the country might suggest that Zuckerberg’s spending was Constitutional. In fact, it wasn’t.
In the 1960s, the United States was having an upheaval of monumental proportions, with most of the nation challenging genuine racism and Jim Crow laws – that is, people really were being treated differently with the government’s imprimatur. The Civil Rights and the Voting Rights Acts were passed specifically to ensure the Constitutional requirement that people were treated equally. MLK’s I Have a Dream speech epitomized the goal of the journey that the United States embarked on over the next few decades.
Fundamentally, Americans understood that people should be treated equally, particularly by government. Government has a power over you that no store or restaurant or hotel does. Government can raise your taxes, affect your ability to open a business, dictate where your kids go to school, and most importantly, put you in prison.
As such, Americans expect government to treat everyone equally and, according to a report released by the Amistad Project, Zuckerberg’s CTCL not only didn’t do that, the expenditures directly violated federal law:
This privatization of elections undermines the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which requires state election plans to be submitted to federal officials and approved and requires respect for equal protection by making all resources available equally to all voters.
The provision of Zuckerberg-CTCL funds allowed these Democrat strongholds to spend roughly $47 per voter, compared to $4 to $7 per voter in traditionally Republican areas of the state.
While there are most certainly areas of government where private / public partnerships can play a role –-- things such as feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and substance abuse aid -- none of those things involves the government’s police power or methods for determining representation in the government itself. Bloomberg’s efforts involve the former and Zuckerberg’s impact the latter.
Government is supposed to be objective when executing the laws. By illegally allowing private entities to take over the state’s core functions, the government is essentially putting its thumb on the scales that keep the Republic balanced. Just as it would be unconstitutional for Exxon to fund the EPA’s enforcement actions, the NRA to fund ATF agents, or the Proud Boys to do enforcement work for the Border Patrol, it’s equally unconstitutional for billionaires or anyone else unaccountable to the people to be bankrolling election processes and activities.
No doubt, if Donald Trump had won with similar assistance from a nonprofit funded by Larry Ellison, John Schnatter, or the late Sheldon Adelson, the nation would be subject to wall-to-wall cries that the election was fraudulent and that Donald Trump was a fascist dictator. And indeed, that would have been true.
Had GOP-aligned “nonprofits” provided training and helped count votes in predominantly red counties and precincts, Antifa, BLM, and Democrats would have “protested“ and likely burned Washington to the ground. Instead, as it was, in the face of the clear theft of the most important election of our time, a few hundred Trump supporters broke into the Capital and took selfies with the Capitol Police, put their feet up on Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and caused minor mayhem.
And so today, as we “celebrate” the first 100 days of the fraudulent Biden administration, it might be useful to sit back and recognize exactly what Mark Zuckerberg’s purchase of the 2020 election foretells. Unless this unconstitutional election is somehow set aside, or laws are put in place to make sure the theft is never repeated, we will have crossed the Rubicon into a post-Augustan Rome, one in which the Imperial Throne is up for grabs to the person who comes up with the most gold for the vote takers and counters. Given that Kamala Harris is the next in line, it wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t have our own Year of the Four Emperors.
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