A top official within the Michigan Republican Party confirmed to The Michigan Star that the House Oversight Committee chaired by State Rep. Steven Johnson (R-72) is on the verge of holding a hearing on the role of a Detroit-based nonprofit in the 2020 election.
The Star broke the story on August 5 of how the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA) received a $12 million grant to support its purported purpose of “nonpartisan voter education” and then turned all but a sliver of the money over to two Democratic political consulting firms for a get-out-the-vote campaign.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, speaking remotely to the American Bar Association on Monday, called for “educating voters” about supposed GOP efforts underway to “undermine democracy,” but questions remain regarding her role with the “voter education” efforts of a Mark Zuckerberg-funded nonprofit she founded.
Benson is a former president of the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA), an organization that received $12 million in grants from the D.C.-based Center for Election Innovation and Research.
Ned Staebler, the university administrator who notoriously spouted a furious tirade against two Wayne County Republican election officials in a public meeting last November, is also treasurer of an entity promoted by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) for “nonpartisan voter education.”
On November 17, 2020, Staebler, vice president for economic development at Wayne State University and head of the business-development organization TechTown Detroit, blasted county Board of Canvassers’ members Monica Palmer and William Hartmann for initially voting to block the certification of votes in Wayne County.
Republican leaders in either chamber of Michigan’s state legislature, both of which have GOP majorities, have yet to indicate whether they intend to investigate expenditures made by an election-related nonprofit that was founded by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D).
The Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA), as The Michigan Star has reported, received a $12 million grant in September 2020 from a national nonprofit, the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR).