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In Opposite Day Logic, USA Today Breathlessly Defends ‘Zuckerbucks’

The accomplice media want you to believe that banning Mark Zuckerberg’s money in elections is an attack on democracy.

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You know how kids like to play Opposite Day. In the game, the idea is to say and do the exact opposite of what one might normally do.

So, Joe Biden would be alert, competent, and cognizant, for instance — at least on Opposite Day. Biden’s mouthpiece, Karine Jean-Pierre, would be honest, Miley Cyrus would be talented, and Jimmy Kimmel would be funny. Well, okay. Opposite Day doesn’t have that kind of power. 

The usual suspects in the corporate media have long operated in an opposite world, believing that speaking their truth is, in fact, the truth. Take Sudiksha Kochi, the “congress, campaigns and democracy reporter” for the shortcut to thinking that is USA Today. Following this week’s rejection of “Zuckerbucks” by Wisconsin voters, Kochi wrote a CYA piece for the left demanding that “Trump and the GOP weaponized Mark Zuckerberg’s donations.” 

In the reporter’s pretend world, the unprecedented $400 million-plus that Facebook founder and conservative voice silencer Mark Zuckerberg injected into the 2020 elections was simply the noble act of a Big Tech billionaire trying to save democracy from the clutches of covid-19. The piece is rich with leftist sources insisting that conservative criticism of Zuckerbucks is driven by “misinformation” and “false claims.”

What’s Missing Here?

Kochi’s sins of omission are as breathtaking as her reliance on leftists to massage her narrative was expected. And the facts she left out are why Wisconsin just joined 27 states in banning private funding in the administration of elections. 

There’s no mention of long-time former Democrat operatives like Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, who offered to cure (or amend) ballot envelopes in Wisconsin’s largest, Democrat-controlled cities and was given the keys to the storage room that held Green Bay’s absentee ballots on Election Day 2020. 

There’s no mention of the far-left voting activist “partners” who were required by suspect contracts to be involved in functions that are by law reserved for elections officials. They worked as a swell team, laughing late election night when Democrat stronghold Milwaukee, as it so often does, finally counted all the votes that gave Democrat Joe Biden victory over the left’s No. 1 nemesis, President Donald Trump. 

“D-mn, Claire, you have a flair for drama, delivering just the margin needed at 3:00 a.m.,” wrote Ryan Chew of the left-leaning Elections Group in an email to the city elections chief Claire Woodall. “I bet you had those votes counted at midnight, and just wanted to keep the world waiting!”

The USA Today story mentions none of these details or suspect players. It does quote Tianna Epps-Johnson, founder of the Chicago-based Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), the “nonpartisan” nonprofit that received $328 million from Zuckerberg and his wife, Pricilla Chan, in 2020. 

What About The Wisconsin 5?

Epps-Johnson told Kochi that CTCL’s grant-making processes weren’t tainted with partisan consideration, and that was good enough for the intrepid reporter. She did note a study by Michael Toner, a Republican and former chairman of the FEC “that found that more grants were given to jurisdictions who voted for Trump rather than Biden in 2020, according to an FEC report.” 

Zuckerberg, by the way, tapped Toner to complete the report. Missing from the story is the fact that grants in Trump country paled in comparison to the huge sums delivered to the biggest Democrat-controlled cities in swing states like Wisconsin that ultimately decided the election. 

In the Badger State, the largest five cities — Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Racine — received nearly 86 percent of the $10 million-plus in Zuckerbucks “safe election” grants handed out by CTCL, according to a study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city — and one of its bluest — received more than $3.4 million, better than one-third of the CTCL windfall. That amounts to $13.82 per voter. Conservative-leaning Waukesha, Wisconsin’s 7th most populated city, received $42,100, about $1.18 per voter. Democrat-heavy Green Bay, the third-largest city, grabbed $1.6 million in grant money, or $36 per voter. Racine, another leftist bastion, pocketed nearly $1.7 million, for a whopping $53.41 per voter. 

Dubbed the “Wisconsin 5” by CTCL community organizers, the deep blue cities are all led by far-left Democrat mayors. They all also signed a contract that allowed leftist “voting rights” activists to infiltrate their election offices.

The Wisconsin 5 cities, like other Democrat-laden communities elsewhere, used significant portions of their CTCL funds for get-out-the-vote initiatives targeting Democrat voters. Racine, for instance, purchased a “polling booth on wheels” that traveled to neighborhoods dominated by left-leaning voters.

According to documents obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight, the city sought, among other things, $250,000 in Zuckerbucks to purchase a mobile voting precinct (RV) “so the city can travel around the city to community centers and strategically chosen partner locations and enable people to vote in this accessible (ADA compliant) secure, and completely portable polling booth on wheels.” 

The story was the same in other critical swing states. Georgia received more than $45 million in Zuckerbucks, and 75 percent of those funds went to left-leaning counties, according to a study by the Foundation for Government Accountability. Pennsylvania raked in more than $25 million, with 90 percent of the money going to counties that Biden won. In Michigan, $7 million of the total $15 million in Zuckerbucks went to Democrat stronghold Detroit, according to FGA.  

What About That ‘Nonpartisan’ CTCL?

Let’s take a look at CTCL’s deeply partisan connections, something USA Today failed to note. The center’s funding spigots, beyond Zuckerberg and wife, include leftist groups such as the Skoll Foundation, the Democracy Fund, and the New Venture Fund, according to nonprofit tracker InfluenceWatch.

CTCL was founded by Epps-Johnson, Donny Bridges, and Whitney May. They all previously worked at the New Organizing Institute (NOI) which was described by the Washington Post as “the Democratic Party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry.” As InfluenceWatch notes, NOI “was a major training center for left-of-center digital activists over the decade of its existence.”

“Epps-Johnson was also part of the inaugural class of fellows at former President Barack Obama’s Obama Foundation,” the activist tracker reports. Seems like an important detail when insisting that Trump and the GOP have “weaponized” poor Mark Zuckerberg’s donations. 

So it’s no surprise that Kochi relies on a leftist from the Brennan Center in lamenting that without the donations of Big Tech tyrants like Zuckerberg, local election offices will be forced to live with “outdated voting equipment, to make security investments in their voter registry technology … to open more polling places, whatever it may be.” 

All of this private donor money was sold to us as urgently needed to save democracy from covid, as the same “saviors” of democracy locked us all down. Even Biden says the emergency is over. But somehow the left’s defense of Zuckerbucks goes on, with the ready assistance of accomplice media players like USA Today. 

Here’s another important point Kochi missed: At least some Democrats voted to put a ban on private donations in election administration in Wisconsin’s constitution. All it took was approaching the issue from their point of view, with questions like, how would you like the National Rifle Association or Elon Musk cutting checks to local election offices? They didn’t much care for that. 

In the real world, voters are understandably concerned about left-wing and right-wing groups meddling in elections, which is what Zuckerberg and his leftist pals at CTCL did in 2020 — and CTCL is still doing in 2024, where allowed. 

But in Opposite Day world, Kochi is an excellent journalist and USA Today is a beacon of balanced journalism. 


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