Pennsylvania Governor Signs Compromise Bill Banning Outside Election Funding

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) this week signed legislation banning nongovernmental entities from issuing grants for election administration and also creating a state-run grant program to meet such administrative needs.

State Senators Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus) sponsored the measure in response to revelations that left-leaning nonprofits like the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) bestowed large sums of money on localities across the nation in 2020. (Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, contributed $350 million to the organization that year.) Most CTCL grants going to Pennsylvania counties subsidized election administration in Democrat-heavy areas.

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Corman to Bannon: Election Integrity Will Be Paramount in Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Administration

Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore and gubernatorial candidate Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte) appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room Thursday to discuss his proposed reforms to make elections more secure in his state.

Corman promised to call for a special legislative session on election-related legislation the day he takes office. Items he said he intends to address foremost are requiring identification of all voters, rescinding a state policy allowing people to vote by mail without submitting an excuse, banning absentee-ballot drop boxes and banning the use of private grants for election administration.

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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Election Integrity Measures

Pennsylvania Republican Senators this week celebrated their chamber’s passage of two pieces of election-security legislation.

One bill, sponsored by state Sen. Cris Dush (R-Wellsboro), would prohibit the use of drop boxes to collect mail-in and absentee ballots. The other, sponsored by Sens. Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus), would bar state or county employees from approving the use of private donations to fund election administration.

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GOP Philadelphia City Commissioner Opposes Restricting Third-Party Election Grants

Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill and Lisa Baker

At a Pennsylvania Senate hearing Tuesday, Republican Philadelphia City Commissioner Seth Bluestein joined his two Democratic colleagues in supporting continued allowance of private grants for election administration.

Left-wing nonprofits, particularly the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), awarded many such grants to election offices in Pennsylvania and across America in 2020. The organization received $350 million that year from Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

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Milwaukee Officials Face Zuckerberg-Related Election Bribery Lawsuit

Cavalier Johnson and Mark Zucckerberg

Three Milwaukee, Wisconsin, officials face accusations of illegally taking “Zuck Bucks” to facilitate voting by purchasing absentee ballot drop boxes, among other things, according to a lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Society.

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Phill Kline Commentary: It’s Not Good When Public Officials Fear Transparency

Politics is getting in the way of government transparency, preventing the sort of accountability on which our governing institutions depend for maintaining public trust and legitimacy.

In Wisconsin and elsewhere around the country, public officials are steadfastly refusing to answer basic questions about their official conduct from the people’s elected representatives. These are not salacious questions about their personal conduct, or fishing expeditions designed to stir up political scandal. Legislators are merely seeking to better understand how appointed bureaucrats and elected officials administered the 2020 elections amidst a pandemic and an unprecedented, and in many cases unlawful, infusion of private monies into public election offices.

Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, for instance, has sued to block a legislative subpoena seeking voter information as part of an investigation of the state’s voter registration system, known as SURE. Even though there is ample precedent for disclosing this type of information, the AG’s lawsuit argues that it would violate citizens’ right to privacy, as though allowing lawmakers to access government records would automatically compromise the security of that information.

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Pennsylvania Bill to Restrict Private Money in Election Administration Passes House

Republican legislation to stop private organizations from donating selectively to Pennsylvania localities’ election activities passed the state House of Representatives along party lines yesterday. 

State Reps. Eric Nelson (R-Greensburg), Clint Owlett (R-Wellsboro) and James Struzzi (R-Indiana) offered the bill after revelations that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) issued grants to counties last year, with much more money reaching Democrat-heavy areas. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan contributed $350 million to CTCL in 2020. Former Obama Foundation Fellow Tiana Epps-Johnson serves as the organization’s executive director.

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Amendments Fail to Water Down Pennsylvania Bill to Restrict Private Money in Election Administration

State Rep. Eric Nelson

Pennsylvania Democratic lawmakers failed to pass a series of amendments Monday to weaken a state House bill that would restrict the ability of private third parties to fund election administration.

State Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Greensburg) is sponsoring the bill largely in reaction to the role that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) played in election operations in numerous Pennsylvania counties last year. Grants bestowed by CTCL in 2020, which mostly aided Democrat-leaning counties, were funded significantly by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

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Pennsylvania State Senators Legislating to Prevent Privatizing Election Administration

Kristin Phillips-Hill

Pennsylvania lawmakers plan to introduce a measure banning private organizations from funding election administration in the Keystone State.

The bill’s sponsors, state Sens. Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) and Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-Jacobus) have cited the role that the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) played in election operations in Philadelphia and other Democratic-leaning counties in 2020. CTCL has been funded significantly by Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg.

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Zuckerberg-Funded Group Spent over $30 Million in Texas in the 2020 Election

Mark Zuckerberg

A report released Tuesday by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) revealed that the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), a group funded by Facebook founded Mark Zuckerberg, spent over $36 million in 14 urban counties in the state of Texas in an effort to influence the outcome of the 2020 election, according to Breitbart.

The report states that “Texas counties were given money to help shift voting to the mail and away from traditional procedures in Texas law. The large blue-leaning counties received huge sums to transform their elections,” while “smaller red counties did not receive anything close.” Among the initiatives that were pursued by this funding were “drive-thru voting, mail voting sorting assets, polling place rental expenses, and…voter education/outreach/radio costs.”

The county that most benefited from these funds was Dallas County, which received just over $15 million, followed by Harris County (where Houston is located) at $9.6 million. The remaining 12 counties all received less than $3 million.

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Michigan and Ohio Secretaries of State Endorse Zuckerberg’s Millions Directed to Elections

Michigan and Ohio state secretaries Jocelyn Benson and Frank LaRose endorsed $300 million directed to elections by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. The Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) and Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) announced Tuesday that Zuckerberg and his wife donated in order “to promote safe and reliable voting in states and localities.”

Both Benson and LaRose agreed that the investment was necessary considering the pandemic’s effects on the presidential election. LaRose reposted the press release the day it came out, citing the need for accurate information during voting.

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