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Katie Porter Is Right, ‘Big Money’ Does ‘Manipulate’ Elections — But Democrats Aren’t The Victims

Americans’ votes are diluted by the effects of billionaires funneling millions into local races to fundamentally alter how elections are conducted.

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Democratic California Rep. Katie Porter rightly pointed out that election outcomes are “manipulated” by “big money” after losing her primary race –but Democrats like her aren’t the usual victims.

Porter initially claimed the California Senate primary race to replace the late Dianne Feinstein was “rigged” after she placed third.

“Thank you to everyone who supported our campaign and voted to shake up the status quo in Washington,” Porter posted on X. “Because of you, we had the establishment running scared — withstanding 3 to 1 in TV spending and an onslaught of billionaires spending millions to rig this election.”

Porter told “Pod Save America” host Jon Lovett she regrets using the word “rigged” to describe her loss but doubled down on the assertion that her race was affected by malign factors.

“Big money does influence our elections,” Porter told Lovett, adding the election system itself in California is not the culprit. “Outcomes are manipulated and distorted when you have people coming in, spending millions and millions of dollars at the last minute and that money is not disclosed until after the election.”

Porter is right: Big money does manipulate election outcomes. And it’s not just via above-board campaign donations, either.

But it’s not Democrat candidates like Porter who are the primary victims — it’s Americans whose votes are diluted by the effects of billionaires funneling millions into local races to fundamentally alter how elections are conducted. Further, those millions have been shown to be skewed in Democrats’ favor.

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg used “Zuckbucks” to, as Porter would put it, “affect” elections during the 2020 cycle.

[READ NEXT: 9 Ways The Feds Are Using ‘Bidenbucks’ To Rig The 2024 Election]

The Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) received $400 million from Zuckerberg and used it to change election administration ahead of the 2020 election, expanding unsupervised methods such as mail-in voting and ballot drop boxes.

CTCL and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) used their money, for example, to “implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements,” as researcher William Doyle previously reported in The Federalist. CTCL and CEIR funded self-identified “vote navigators” in Wisconsin to “assist voters, potentially at their front doors, to answer questions, assist in ballot curing … and witness absentee ballot signatures.”

Although both are designated non-partisan 501(c)(3) corporations, data appear to show their combined $419.5 million in spending was distributed unevenly in favor of Democrat areas.

“Of the 26 grants CTCL provided to cities and counties in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia that were $1 million or larger, 25 went to areas Biden won in 2020,” Doyle noted. “The only county on this list won by Donald Trump (Brown County, Wisconsin) received about $1.1 million—less than 1.3 percent of the $85.5 million that CTCL provided to these top 26 recipients.”

But the disproportionate allocation was glaring even in Brown County, with funds boosting voting resources in Democrat-led Green Bay while rural areas did not see much of an increase.

[READ NEXT: AOC Admits Big Tech’s Algorithmic Meddling Is ‘Election Interference’]

Twenty-seven states responded to CTCL’s meddling by restricting “Zuckbucks” after the election. But the group appears to have found a backdoor way to influence future elections anyway.

A 2023 report released by Honest Elections Project (HEP) and the John Locke Foundation found the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, which claims to help election officials develop a “set of shared standards and values,” is actually a left-wing attempt to “systematically influence every aspect of election administration” and promote Democrat-backed voting procedures nationwide.

CTCL launched the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, which HEP calls specifically “designed to thwart meaningful oversight and accountability,” in 2022.

“For instance, after the Alliance had recruited its first cohort of members it announced plans to begin charging offices to join. However, the Alliance also created ‘scholarships’ to cover those membership costs, which are instantly converted into ‘credits’ that member offices can use to buy services from CTCL and other Alliance partners,” the HEP report states. “As a result, offices receive access to funds they can spend exclusively on services provided by left-wing companies and nonprofits, entirely outside normal public funding channels.”

CTCL also announced earlier this year it would begin “efforts to facilitate applications to a massive federal government grant program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” as Doyle reported in The Federalist in January.

FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant program is designed to help “states, local communities, tribes and territories as they undertake hazard mitigation projects, reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards.”

During the 2021 BRIC grant cycle, $1.26 billion was spent on utility/infrastructure protection, Doyle noted.

CTCL is now trying to capitalize on the grant program, with Communications Manager Andra Abbate saying in an email obtained by the Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute that “elections are a critical service and eligible for this government funding.” CTCL said it would help local election offices with the application process.


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