A lawsuit filed by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry in October 2020 alleged that an obscure nonprofit group operated as half of a bigger nonprofit based and largely funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Pierre Omidyar tried to recruit native election officers to apply for grants from the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL).
Landry filed the lawsuit on behalf of the State of Louisiana towards CTCL, New Venture Fund DBA Center for Secure and Modern Elections, Dawn Maisel Cole, a personal particular person; and Full Circle Strategies LLC, “to prevent the injection of unregulated private money into the Louisiana election system.”
The lawsuit alleged:
- The New Venture Fund, working in Louisiana beneath the commerce identify Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME), partnered with CTCL to solicit functions and data from Louisiana officers in reference to proposed grants [from CTCL as part of the $350 million in grants made nationwide in the 2020 election].
- CTCL and CSME labored their grant scheme within the State of Louisiana by way of a lobbyist by the identify of Dawn Maisel Cole, proprietor and operator of Full Circle Strategies, LLC, as their Louisiana consultant and agent to goal registrars of voters, clerks of courtroom, and native election officers.
- The scheme focused 13 parishes, some to obtain contributions of greater than $500,000, accompanied by a request for detailed details about the operations, conduct and bills of the registrars/clerk’s workplace.
- Ms. Cole instantly solicited registrars and clerks of courts to settle for contributions from CTCL and New Venture Fund for the operation of their respective places of work.
These practices have been prohibited, the lawsuit argued, as a result of:
…personal contributions to native election officers are illegal and opposite to the strategies for election funding established by regulation within the State of Louisiana, and such contributions by these defendants needs to be declared unlawful and completely enjoined.
The lawsuit was vital partially as a result of it highlighted the function an obscure group referred to as the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, which describes itself as a “fiscally sponsored project of the New Venture Fund,” performed in advancing the efforts of the Mark Zuckerberg-funded CTCL in privately funding the administration of the 2020 election.
The New Venture Fund, in flip, is a part of Democracy Fund, whose web site says it’s “an independent and nonpartisan, private foundation that confronts deep-rooted challenges in American democracy while defending against new threats.”
Democracy Fund has dedicated greater than $150 million to assist a wholesome democracy. Established by philanthropist and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2011 and incubated inside Omidyar Network, Democracy Fund launched as an impartial basis in July 2014 and is part of The Omidyar Group.
Civitas, a effectively linked public affairs agency based and staffed by Democrat activists, counts CSME amongst its shoppers, however its web site is unclear what companies it supplies the group.
According to the Form 990 Democracy Fund filed for 2019, the group supplied a $275,000 grant to CTCL that yr.
As Breitbart News reported:
Private funding of election administration was nearly unknown within the American political system till the 2020 presidential election, when Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and his spouse Priscilla Chan donated $350 million to the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL), which supplied funding to county and municipal governments across the nation for election administration, and $69 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), which supplied funding to 23 state governments, primarily by way of the Secretary of State’s workplace, additionally for the funding of election administration.
In late October, a Louisiana decide dominated towards Landry and in favor of the defendants, as The Advocate reported:
Judge Lewis Pitman, of the sixteenth Judicial District in St. Martin Parish, dominated towards Landry within the lawsuit final week. Landry stated in an interview he would attraction the ruling. . .
In Louisiana, the clerks of courtroom and registrars of voters had utilized for round $7.8 million [in CTCL grant money], which the native officers stated they’d use to assist pay for added prices introduced on by the pandemic. That contains gear, private protecting gear and wages for election employees staffing early voting websites for longer hours.
The native officers have since backed off the grant cash and gained’t be tapping into the funds earlier than the Nov. 3 election. Early voting is already underway.
According to the CTCL web site, not a single Louisiana parish or metropolis ended up with funding from CTCL within the November 2020 election.
But the beforehand obscured relationship between CTCL and CSME highlighted within the October 2020 lawsuit by Louisiana Attorney General Landry means that the connection between these two teams could have prolonged to many states past Louisiana.
The two teams, as an example, delivered a joint presentation on election administration points in January 2019. Scott Seeborg, the CSME contact in that January 2019 presentation, was employed in April 2020 because the Pennsylvania State Director for All Voting is Local, a non-profit whose mission assertion says, “We fight to dismantle barriers to the ballot well before the next election, so that every voter can cast a ballot that counts.”
According to its web site, “All Voting is Local Action is a campaign of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. We fight for the right to vote in eight states with distinct assaults on the right to vote.”
Those eight states are Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Michigan.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights web site states:
The Leadership Conference’s founders got here collectively in 1950 out of the assumption that the struggle for civil rights couldn’t be gained by one group alone, however wanted to be waged in coalition.
Our members — which have grown from 30 civil and human rights organizations at our founding to greater than 200 at this time — differ in measurement, scope, and construction. But what transcends our variations and unites The Leadership Conference coalition is our enduring widespread goal: full equality for all.
That widespread goal gave our leaders the knowledge to see that civil rights are ladies’s rights and LGBTQ rights and immigrant rights and employees’ rights and incapacity rights and human rights. That widespread goal is our coalition’s inheritance. It is a residing legacy that binds us collectively — in trigger and group.
According to the web site of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, “All Voting Is Local [is] housed within Access Democracy, an incubated project of The Leadership Conference Education Fund, [and] fights to protect and expand the right to vote for every American.”
In future tales, Breitbart News will discover the connection between CTCL, CSME, and All Voting is Local in key battleground states of the 2020 election, together with Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Arizona.