WASHINGTON - Today, the Committee on House Administration Committee held a hearing titled, "American Confidence in Elections: Confronting Zuckerbucks, Private Funding of Election Administration.” 

Witnesses included: 

Ms. Mollie Hemingway, Author;
Dr. Will Flanders, Research Director at Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty;
Mr. Scott Walter, President of Capital Research Center

In case you missed it, here are the top takeaways:

1. Democrat Rep. Terri Sewell Agrees Private Funding in Elections is Bad

Representative Terri Sewell (AL-07)
: "No private funding should be funding our elections."

2. Democrat Governors are Vetoing Legislation that Stops Zuckerbucks

Representative Anthony D'Esposito (NY-04): "Dr. Flanders, We know that 27 states have now enacted legislation prohibiting Zuckerbucks or the private funding of our elections. But in some states like Wisconsin and Michigan, Democrat governors have vetoed the legislation. Why have they vetoed these bills? And why do you believe the states should prioritize oversight over private money infiltrating election administration?"

Dr. Will Flanders: "So I think a lot of what we see here today that this issue that is a very real issue as being conflated with many other election integrity issues. I think that on the part of our own states, speaking about Wisconsin Governor Evers is a track record of sort of refusing to implement any sort of reforms to election integrity.

"You know that and you can even go to another level and say potentially, they see the benefits of continuing this funding, given what we see in the election results where it has been beneficial to focus on the left, and obviously, they tried to sell it as Zuckerbucks being this once in a lifetime pandemic."

3. Americans do NOT Have Trust in their Elections when there is Third Party Funding Involved

Representative Mike Carey (OH-15): "Does accepting private funds for alleged purposes of election administration increase voters confidence in election process? Yes or no in your opinion?"

Dr. Will Flanders:  "Absolutely not. There's some polling from last year I saw a 2022 poll that the majority of Americans think this funding should be banned. And I think when people learn more about the process we're doing here today, those numbers would even go up higher."


4. Steil Questions Why the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) Places Operatives in Election Offices

Committee on House Administration Chairman Bryan Steil (WI-01): "So CTCL recommends a New York election worker to come to Wisconsin and Green Bay to help run the election, and what role did other CTCL staffers play? Did they manage the vote by mail process with updates on absentee ballots?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Mhm."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "Did they send out return and collect absentee ballots?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Yes."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "Did they supervise the counting of ballots?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Yes, again, and in Democrat areas."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "In the city of Green Bay, did they help voters cure absentee ballots?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Yes."

Chairman Bryan Steil:  "And at least one staffer had access to the voting machines before Election Day. It was running the voting counting operation on election night. Correct?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Yes."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "CTCL recommended staffers in some instances, actually replaced nonpartisan election workers. Is that accurate?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway:  "Drove them out, yes."

Chairman Bryan Steil: "Absolutely insane! And so when we're talking about these private funds coming in I think it's incredibly appropriate for us to dig in and understand what they did. And it's the reason that I think it's so essential. We passed my legislation that would actually ban Zuckerbucks. It would ban these private funds from coming in because when you see what these funds were used for, it does not instill confidence in the elections process."

5. CTCL Targets States that Could Be Flipped From Republican to Democrat

Representative Barry Loudermilk (GA-11): "Turn to see CTCL grants that were given to my home state of Georgia. A state that President Biden won by a little over 11,000 votes and, according to the Foundation for Government Accountability, Georgia received $31 million in Zuckebucks for the general election. Why did Georgia receive nearly 9% of all Zuckerbucks when only 3% of the population of the country lives here? Did every county in Georgia get Zuckerbucks?"

Ms. Mollie Hemingway: "Thank you, Mr. Loudermilk. So it does seem that CTCL targeted Georgia more than most other states. They got a disproportionate amount of the funding that other states got, and CTCL likes to say well, we gave to Republican states and to Democrat states. And, in a sense, that's true and CEIR which is a partner organization also gave money to Georgia. 

"But they were targeting states that might be able to be flipped. And I think Georgia is a great example. It's a state that went 5 points for Donald Trump in 2016 after the influence of the Zuckbucks funding targeting the blue areas of Georgia. Georgia went by 11,000 votes or so for Joe Biden, and it was just a long targeted project to influence the outcome of that state."