The Left’s “Dark Money” Plot to Take Over Election Administration (full series)
Power of Election Officials | Clerk Work
U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence | Big Tech Funding
Big Tech Funding for the Alliance
Although Zuckerberg has bowed out on future election funding, that doesn’t mean Big Tech is out.
The primary financial backer of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is the Audacious Project. It is a program of the TED Conference that Inside Philanthropy says includes:
many of today’s leading major donors and their grantmaking organizations, as well as other big-name foundations and sector heavyweights. “It’s a tech-heavy group of funders that lean liberal in their grantmaking, though there’s plenty of variation in the kinds of work they support and where it falls on the ideological spectrum,”
The major backers of the Audacious Project that will bankroll most of the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence are
- The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, aligned with the Microsoft founder and his ex-wife;
- MacKenzie Scott (ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos) and her current husband Dan Jewett;
- Ballmer Group, the charity of retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer;
- The Laura and John Arnold Foundation, started by hedge fund manager John Arnold and his wife;
- Pivotal Ventures, a charity started by Melinda Gates;
- The MacArthur Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the U.S., which backs mostly left-leaning causes; and
- The Bridgespan Group, which does consulting work for nonprofits, including Planned Parenthood, NPR, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
The Arabella-sponsored Science Philanthropy Alliance is also a member of the Audacious Project. Other members include the Skoll Foundation, Virgin Unite, ELMA Philanthropies, and the Valhalla Charitable Foundation.
What we don’t know is whether taxpayer dollars will help fund the effort to bend election offices to the left.
President Joe Biden signed an executive order in March 2021, and his administration is still implementing an “all-of-government” effort to boost voter registration and participation. The administration has been secretive about how it is implementing the actions, but the order itself says the federal government will focus on “distributing voter registration and vote-by-mail ballot application forms and providing access to applicable state online systems for individuals who can take advantage of those systems” and “soliciting and facilitating approved, nonpartisan third-party organizations and state officials to provide voter registration services on agency premises.”
The administration has thus far ignored inquiries for information from both the news media and government watchdog groups about which nonprofit groups will be working with the administration and what are the criteria. But Americans have good reason to be skeptical about claims of nonpartisanship.
With or without tax dollars, the notion that big money left-wing organizations are stepping to push local elections offices toward a certain partisan bent should concern both sides. The Left may benefit today, but such a precedent could come back to bite them.
In some ways, the creation of these politicized dark money outfits harkens back to the big city Democrat machines of legend, such as Tammany Hall in New York and the Daley Machine in Chicago, that made the vote counters a key part of the smooth-running political infrastructure to ensure Democrats maintain power.
“Dark money liberal advocacy groups will stop at nothing to inject partisan funds into election administration efforts,” said Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and co-chairwoman of the House Election Integrity Caucus.
“They did it in 2020 with Zuckerbucks, and they are continuing to find ways to do it today,” Tenney continued.
Let’s call this what it really is—a blatant attack on the security and integrity of the fairness and transparency of our elections. As co-chair of the House Election Integrity Caucus, I am working every day to hold these dark money groups accountable, expose their shady tactics, and keep partisan influence operations out of election administration.