“I think that we are all tired of idiotic and baseless conspiracy theories which have been aimed at convincing people that Trump won “by a landslide.””
Throughout the 2020 presidential election, Tony Perkins and his hate group, Family Research Council, have launched numerous prayer events intended to influence their god to favor Donald Trump. That didn’t quite work out.
Nothing fails as reliably as prayer. If there is a god why would s/he favor a serial adulterer with two divorces, six creative bankruptcies (intended to stiff creditors), 25,000 lies and an Olympic god medal in self-absorption?
Friday, through LifeSiteNews, Tony Perkins offers: Revelations arise of Facebook CEO’s multi-million-dollar election involvement.
This pertains to about $350 million that the Zuckerbergs provided to municipalities to cover extraordinary election expenses. Expecting an enormous turnout and an unprecedented amount of absentee ballots, election offices with very tight budgets were in a bind. About 2,500 of these applied for grants.
[Election directors] said the grant money was essential to preventing an election meltdown amid worries over a pandemic and a president who continues to openly question — without evidence — the legitimacy of the process.
Tony Perkins sees a sinister conspiracy:
If the U.S. government were hiring a company to run our elections, Facebook is the last place most of us would turn. For starters, they haven’t proven they support free speech — let alone free elections. Then there’s the inherent bias. …
The self-righteous Mr. Perkins has a penchant for lying. The government did not hire a company to run elections and the personal philanthropy of Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have nothing to do with Facebook. In fact, as Perkins himself concedes, the money was provided to an unaffiliated nonprofit organization.
In fact, the Zuckerbergs are founders of three nonprofit organizations. None of those were involved.
Turns out, the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) was no ordinary charity. It was founded by former Democratic aides and staffed and funded by some of the most extreme leftists in the country, people like David Plouffe — Barack Obama’s campaign manager. Digging deeper, Republicans became even more concerned. It seemed that the biggest pots of CTCL’s money were being channeled to deep blue states and urban battleground areas, places where Democrats needed to make the biggest hay. Suddenly, it became clear: these philanthropists coming to the rescue of democracy were quietly subverting it.
Perkins has no way of knowing who funds the Center and this operation was funded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife who are certainly not “extreme leftists.” He is basely claiming that, in effect, CTCL was politicking which is prohibited for a 501(c)3 by the IRS.
Furthermore, the organization received its nonprofit ruling in March, 2015. I looked at the 2016 tax return and none of the officers or directors would raise any eyebrows. Tiana Epps-Johnson was one of the founders. She is, and was, the executive director:
Our founders — Tiana Epps-Johnson, a civic technologist, Whitney May, a former election official, and Donny Bridges, a civic data expert —joined forces in 2012 to get more Americans civically engaged. Bringing together their unique, individual areas of expertise offered a chance to break down the traditional siloes found in the civic data and election administration worlds.
To be fair, all three founders were employed at one time by the New Organizing Institute which dissolved in 2015. NOI focused on digital campaign tactics and it was a progressive, Democratic-leaning operation that worked on the Obama campaigns.
But we are getting sidetracked
The worst one could say about the three founders of Center for Technology and Civic Life is that they are probably Democrats and progressives. That’s a far cry from influencing the 2020 election through what would amount to illegal activities for a 501(c)3 nonprofit entity.
Perkins prattles on:
Zuckerberg’s operation was deciding how many poll places should be open, hiring the people who count the vote — and paying them — setting up new drop boxes, and sending activists-turned-election officials into neighborhoods to collect ballots. In other words, Thomas More Society’s Phill Kline said, “We had a shadow government managing these elections, particularly in the urban core. They set up these procedures that allowed for the breach of the chain of custody of the ballots and the infusion of fraudulent ballots.”
This wasn’t Zuckerberg’s operation. Furthermore:
- There is no evidence that CTCL had any involvement in administering the activities of grant recipients. Phill Kline’s statement is not evidence. Evidence is, by definition, an objective truth.
- There is no evidence of “the infusion of fraudulent ballots.”
- There certainly is no evidence that CTCL did anything improper.
I would not argue with the proposition that private funds should not be used for municipal election administration. Mark Zuckerberg has said as much.
Here is the list of grant recipients. Picking some randomly from red states there is a political mix. For example, Johnson County, AK is heavily Republican. That is followed in the list by Lafayette County. In 2016 Trump received 61% of the vote. Next on the list is Little River, AK which turned sharply Republican 15 years ago.
Evidence would consist of a Republican leaning county somewhere that was denied a grant. I cannot find a complaint anywhere. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence but things being what they are in this election cycle I think that we would have heard any complaints.
Perkins is not interested in evidence:
And most local election officials had no idea. Desperate for money to keep their operations afloat, they applied for grants, never realizing who the puppet master pulling the strings was. Frank Byrd, a clerk in Jackson County, Illinois, told Vox he wasn’t even aware of Zuckerberg’s involvement. “When you get money,” Byrd said, “you always try to tell yourself, ‘It’s all good.'” But it wasn’t all good — a fact that a growing number of conservative officials realized. State attorneys general like Jeff Landry (R) went on a full-scale attack to stop Louisiana from taking the money. Other states started doing the same. Within weeks, Republicans had filed lawsuits in nine states to stop the “donations” from meddling with local processes.
I cannot find a federal lawsuit against CTCL. That doesn’t rule out the possibility that the counties themselves were sued or that cases were heard in state courts. Perkins provides no specifics.
As for Mr. Landry (who is an anti-LGBTQ piece of work), 26 parishes applied for grants. It was reported in October that Landry advised them to withdraw the applications because it was his opinion that the funding was illegal. Landry argued that there was no guarantee that each parish would be offered the same amount of funding, even though they all were given the opportunity to apply.
Aside from the fact that Landry’s arguments were specious, he did not claim that any strings were attached to the grants. My guess (I am not a mind reader) is that Landry figured that this grant money would benefit Democrats somehow. Perhaps, for example, by shortening lines by virtue of having more election workers.
Tony Perkins’ rationale is preposterous. Grants do not have the effect of “meddling with local processes.” He goes further off the rails:
But in some places, it was too late. Zuckerberg’s influence was already paying off. Cities like Philadelphia, which raked in $8 million in election grants, were more emboldened than ever. In videos that went viral, officials were kicking Republican poll watchers out of headquarters. “Is this no longer a public place?” one asked, “because it’s being funded by a nonprofit?”
The “influence” was an economic shortfall for many counties in the face of a pandemic affecting an election. Furthermore, according to the Washington Post:
Trump’s own lawyers have attested in court that his campaign was granted access and observed the process, both in Philadelphia and in other cities, and has found no evidence of fraud.
The rejected poll watchers meme was another baseless Trump conspiracy theory.
More importantly there is no evidence, that the grants altered, in any way, the overall tally. They might have shortened lines and sped up the processing of absentee ballots by allowing counties to hire more poll workers but that does not alter the vote count.
Speaking of absurd arguments:
Back in December, J. Christian Adams … called the whole plot “diabolical.” “[People] need to worry about [this], because the Center for Technology and Civic Life transformed city election offices” in places like “Philadelphia, Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta, and all over the country to build in structural bias. To make the system work differently. To help one side.
Since leaving the DOJ, Adams has become notable for making alarmist and false claims about the extent of voter fraud in the United States. He has falsely accused a number of legitimate voters of being fraudulent, and has published information about them online, including Social Security numbers.
Great source you got there Tony.
The Adams nonsense goes on at considerable length. It doesn’t get any more rational. It was, according to Adams, a left-wing conspiracy. Let’s face it. What kind of people does Perkins’ radio show attract?
Perkins continues with Mr. Kline again (the nut who said that invalid ballots were processed).
… This is “an insidious, coordinated, and stealth campaign to manipulate this year’s elections,” he warned. …
I think that we are all tired of idiotic and baseless conspiracy theories which have been aimed at convincing people that Trump won “by a landslide.”
Perhaps Tony Perkins is making excuses for the failure of prayer to create a Trump victory. It wasn’t God’s fault. They cheated. Uh huh.