Lawsuit Alleges Michigan Secretary of State Allowed Facebook to Sway 2020 Election

A conservative group in Michigan is duking it out in court with Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) claiming that the elected official allowed money from Silicon Valley titan Facebook to have a partisan impact on the state’s 2020 elections.

“This is what happened in 2020,” co-founder of the Michigan Conservative Coalition Marian Sheridan said in a press release. “Zuck Bucks, which is private money, was used by elected officials through public entities to promote voting, but only promoted among selected potential voter groups. Not to all citizens. Every voter should have received the benefit of a fair portion of the funds unfairly used by elected officials. They cannot selectively promote anything.”

The term “Zuck Bucks” refers to spending by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who donated $420 million to left-wing nonprofits during the 2020 election cycle, helping those nonprofits achieve their goals of getting Democrats elected.

According to the lawsuit, which Benson is seeking to have dismissed, the secretary of state accepted $17 million from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a private organization, to help administer Michigan’s elections.

That group is funded by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan.

“COVID dangers were used as a cover story for providing Center for Tech and Civic Life monies to municipalities to boost Democrat candidates in the 2020 election through increased mail-in voting and ballot harvesting in predominantly urban jurisdictions and to the detriment of Michigan voters who live in suburban and rural jurisdictions of the state,” Thor Hearne, a lawyer on the case, said.

“Because the funds were channeled through Center for Tech and Civic Life, a ‘charity,’ and characterized as ‘grants,’ Zuckerberg’s ‘donations’ were not covered by campaign finance laws. Instead, they were unlimited and unregulated ‘dark money,’” he continued.

This isn’t the first time the Center for Tech and Civic Life has been scrutinized for its actions during the 2020 election.

As The Tennessee Star reported in October, it was a subject of discussion during a congressional hearing in which Attorney General Merrick Garland was called to testify.

Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) questioned Garland about Zuckerberg’s $420 million spending spree during the 2020 election, and Garland said he had no knowledge of it.

Here is the transcript of their exchange:

Biggs: It has been reported that Mark Zuckerberg spent over $400 million in a quote ‘carefully orchestrated attempt’ close quote to influence the 2020 election. Those efforts have been referred to as a quote ‘private takeover of government election operations’ close quote. Have you sent a letter or issued a memorandum directing that [DOJ] departmental resources be dedicated to investigate these claims?

Garland: I don’t know what was done in 2020 in the previous administration of the Justice Department.

Biggs: We’re talking about the election of 2020. All of this has come out since then, and you’ve not – you’re completely unaware of that?

Garland: I’m not aware of what you’re talking about.

The Facebook-funded nonprofit appeared in other swing states, too.

Chester County, Pennsylvania was one of them.

Using $2.5 million in donations from the private group, that country purchased 14 drop boxes for absentee ballots. Subsequently, President Joe Biden won the county in a landslide. Previously, it has been considered a swing county in the pivotal state.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a reporter at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jocelyn Benson” by Ghanumal77. CC BY-SA 3.0. Background Photo “Election Day 2020” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.



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