Michigan voters are calling out Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson over her claims that she bears no responsibility for a private funding operation that affected election processes leading up to the 2020 general election.
As part of a lawsuit brought by the Thomas More Society on behalf of Michigan voters, the reply brief filed on Aug. 30 addressed Benson’s claims that she is not personally responsible for allowing millions of dollars worth of private grants to flood the state during the 2020 election cycle “because ‘she did not personally hand out the money’ and that the courts have no authority to review her failure to follow Michigan law because the election scheme occurred in the 2020 general election.”
“Secretary Benson is wrong,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Thor Hearne. “This lawsuit does not seek to relitigate the results of the 2020 general election. Rather, it is about how future Michigan elections are conducted and Secretary Benson’s responsibility to conduct elections according to Michigan’s Constitution and Election Code so that every Michigan voter has equal access to the ballot.”
Hearne also went on to debunk Benson’s claims that even if such a “private funding scheme is contrary to Michigan’s Constitution and Election Code, she is not responsible and, Michigan voters lack any judicial remedy to hold her accountable.”
Benson does not deny that “she is responsible for supervising Michigan elections and directing how Michigan — and other — election officials conduct the election,” Hearne said. “Nor does she deny that she was fully aware of and supported this private funding scheme. Secretary Benson is asking the court to overlook her responsibility and hold that, because she did not personally pay the money to election officials, she bears no responsibility.”
The lawsuit against Benson was originally filed by the Thomas More Society back in October 2020 in the Michigan Court of Claims over the state’s 2020 use of grants from the left-wing Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), with the legal group alleging that the bid to utilize private grants in the conduction of an election “was intended to influence the election results and den[y] Michigan voters’ right of equal access to the ballot.”
The complaint also argues that “several Michigan election laws were violated when Secretary Benson allowed the use of illegal drop boxes, permitted illegal acquisition of ballot containers that facilitated ballot harvesting, and allowed election authorities to spend public funds for private purposes.”
Given upwards of $400 million by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, CTCL was instrumental in quietly altering state and local election processes in the lead-up to the 2020 election. In Michigan alone, the group distributed “135 grants above the $5,000 minimum,” resulting in $16.8 million “Zuckbucks” being poured into localities across the state.
“Out of these grants just 45 of the recipient localities were won by Trump, while 90 were won by Biden. Together these 90 municipalities received $14.6 million or 86 percent of all CTCL funds in Michigan,” a Capital Research Center report found. “Meanwhile, Trump won municipalities overwhelmingly received CTCL’s minimum $5,000 grant, though some received even less.”
As detailed by Federalist Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway in her New York Times bestselling book, “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections,” Zuckerberg’s financing of “liberal groups running partisan get-out-the-vote operations” such as CTCL and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) was ultimately “the means by which [Democrat] activists achieved their ‘revolution’ and changed the course of the 2020 election.”
“It was a genius plan,” wrote Hemingway. “And because no one ever imagined that a coordinated operation could pull off the privatization of the election system, laws were not built to combat it.”
Federalist Contributor William Doyle further expanded upon the effects of CTCL and CEIR’s election funding last year, writing that the groups’ efforts “had nothing to do with traditional campaign finance,” but everything to do “with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by left-wing activists, and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive outreach campaigns in areas heavy with Democratic voters.”
“CTCL demanded the promotion of universal mail-in voting through suspending election laws, extending deadlines that favored mail-in over in-person voting, greatly expanding opportunities for ‘ballot curing,’ expensive bulk mailings, and other lavish ‘community outreach’ programs that were directed by private activists,” Doyle wrote.
As of September 2022, 24 states and five counties have passed laws banning or restricting public officials’ use of “Zuckbucks” and other private funds when conducting elections.