GURVICH: Let’s Make Zuckerbucks Illegal!

Today a privately produced movie by the name of “Rigged: The Zuckerberg Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump” will be released. I am going to obtain a copy by going to the website citizensunitedmovies.com  and ordering one for $5.00. It is money well spent, and I understand that our Attorney General, Jeff Landry, appears in the film. I think readers of The Hayride will be very much interested in the subject matter of this movie, which also happens to be the subject of this article.  Please read on if you care about America.

Earlier this week, the publisher of The Hayride, Scott McKay, penned an article about Attorney General Jeff Landry’s big victory in Louisiana’s 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal. Basically, the appellate court overruled a trial court ruling which had allowed the use of private money, dubbed by the press as “Zuckerbucks,” to fund Louisiana’s public elections.

Now you may well wonder how any court or election official anywhere in the country could have seriously contemplated for even one moment the propriety of using private money for public elections. Perhaps we should just chalk this wayward line of thinking up to some sort of COVID induced delirium, although it is frankly suspicious that the illness seemed to have infected a far larger number of Democrat election officials than Republican ones. But allow me to briefly summarize how we arrived at this point:

It is September 2020, and a presidential election is looming as a worldwide pandemic sweeps the nation. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, announce that they will donate $250M to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a left wing non-profit advocacy group founded in Chicago in 2012. CTCL’s founders have very close ties to the Democratic Party, and the organization has a history of promoting election practices which strongly favor Democrat voter turnout. However, the public is told that the CTCL will make grants of this money to local election officials to help them deal with the pandemic’s effects on the upcoming election.

The grant money begins flying out the door, but only to select local election officials in areas approved by CTCL operatives. Just a few weeks later, the Zuckerbergs donate an additional $100M to the same organization, an amount which will later increase to a total of $400M. They state at the time that they are donating this money “… to local election jurisdictions across the country to help ensure that they have the staffing, training, and equipment necessary so that this November every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and have their vote counted.”

In other words, the whole scheme was marketed as private funding to help public election officials conduct a fair and safe presidential election in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sounds well intentioned, doesn’t it? But I must note at this point that the CTCL had no expertise whatsoever in epidemiology (the branch of public health medicine which deals with pandemics), or pandemic control or mitigation measures. Nor did it have any expertise in the use or distribution of personal protection equipment such as masks, face shields or plastic germ barriers.

As you may have guessed by now, precious little of this huge sum of money was actually spent on personal protection equipment. Instead, several thousand election jurisdictions, most of them heavily Democratic, received the money under the so-called CTCL COVID-19 response program. The money was then used to conduct highly partisan get-out-the-vote efforts. Democrat political machines used it to hire and train huge voter turnout-out staffs, set up vote harvesting grifts, create and distribute vast quantities of partisan print and social media, establish drive-by voting sites, and place ballot drop-off boxes in heavily Democrat areas, etc., etc.

Forty-eight states ultimately received grants from CTCL. Fortunately, Louisiana only received two such grants (Orleans- $614,000 and Calcasieu- $200,000). For this we owe a debt of gratitude to two men: Attorney General Jeff Landry and Representative Blake Miguez. You see, when it was learned that mostly Democrat election officials had been contacted by CTCL operatives and that grants totaling nearly $8M were being considered for Louisiana, Rep. Miguez filed and the legislature then passed his bill (HB51) to make the practice permanently illegal. Predictably, Governor John Bel Edwards promptly vetoed it.

Attorney General Landry then quickly filed suit to stop the grant money from being doled out. If it wasn’t readily apparent to some Louisiana Republicans, he had foreseen that private financial aid to select polling districts would corrupt the entire election process, which is exactly what happened in November.

The suit was dismissed by a trial court judge (this is the ruling that the appellate court just reversed), but not until October, 2020, by which time early voting had already begun and the CTCL had moved on to more corruptible pastures in other states. Thanks to Attorney General Landry’s lawsuit, Louisiana was spared the worst corrupting effects of Zuckerbucks in the 2020 presidential election.

In 2021, Rep. Miguez again filed his bill (now renumbered as HB20), which again passed both houses of the legislature. True to form, our Governor once again vetoed it, even with full knowledge of the damaging impact that the Zuckerbucks had on the 2020 presidential election. Unfortunately, the 2021 veto override session failed, leaving us where we were until the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal ruled last week. Now the case has been returned to the trial court for additional fact findings based on the appellate court’s ruling. The point is that the legal situation is greatly improved by this development, but the courts have not yet finally resolved the issue of whether private funds can be used to finance public elections.

Moving on to the national level, just how important to the health of the American republic is the problem we are here discussing? Well, Joe Biden “won” the following states by very slim vote margins: Georgia (16 electoral votes) was decided by 11,779 votes; Arizona (11 electoral votes) was decided by 10,457 votes; Wisconsin (10 electoral votes) was decided by 20,682 votes; Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) was decided by 80,555 votes; Nevada (6 electoral votes) was decided by 33,596 votes. Those states collectively held 63 electoral votes, and several other states were also fairly close calls. Biden received 306 electoral votes and Trump received 232. 270 electoral votes were needed to win, so a flip of only 38 electoral votes would have done the trick for Donald Trump.

Consider that a change of just three or four of the five states mentioned above, involving a minuscule number of the more than 155M total votes cast, would have given Trump the victory in 2020, and you begin to see the depth of the problem. I think it is fair to say that the Zuckerberg’s $400M (along with additional sums contributed by other billionaires, not to mention the suppression of the New York Post’s reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal by Zuckerberg’s Facebook and other Big Tech social media platforms) very likely altered the outcome of the 2020 Presidential election!

And think what a difference that wayward result has made to our country these last fifteen months: The out-of-control crime, steeply rising inflation, woke insanity, loss of control of our southern border, loss of basic freedoms, multiple foreign policy failures, and rapidly escalating national bankruptcy – our current national fiasco would not have occurred under a Donald Trump second term.

The threat posed by the continued use of private funding in our public elections is the gravest danger which the American republic faces, bar none. Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un, and the Ayatollah combined do not threaten our nation as seriously as a loss of confidence in our elections would within a matter of days or weeks. What must we do to avoid this problem in the future?

Unfortunately, nothing can likely be accomplished at the national level with this president and this congress, but there is something we can do right here in Louisiana, right now. And for that we can again thank Rep. Blake Miguez. He has filed a bill (HB811) which prohibits the use of Zuckerbucks in Louisiana elections. The bill has not yet come up in committee, but it soon will, and from start to finish through the entire legislative process, this bill needs our full support.

Nine states have already prohibited the use of Zuckerbucks in their elections. Every Louisiana citizen, regardless of ideological persuasion, who is concerned about this existential danger to our nation, should contact his or her legislator and express support for Rep. Miguez’ HB811. The sooner the better!

 

LOUIS GURVICH, Chairman
Republican Party of Louisiana

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