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Republican outrage over Zuckerberg’s 2020 election splurge

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A bombshell report that means Mark Zuckerberg successfully “bought” the 2020 presidential election by funneling greater than $400 million to native boards of election below the guise of a “non-partisan” effort has prompted outrage and calls from officers for reform.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis blasted the billionaire Facebook founder throughout a news convention at which he mentioned a latest election reform regulation had “banned Zuckerbucks” within the Sunshine State.

“So, Zuckerberg, he spent over $400 million through these, quote, nonprofits to, quote, help with election administration,” DeSantis mentioned Tuesday.

“But what they would do is they would require certain things to be done like mass mail balloting, ballot harvesting, and they would focus on partisan voter turnout, basically. That was totally unacceptable.”

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) informed The Post, “I continue to question whether Mark Zuckerberg’s highly partisan 2020 election spending was even legal.”

“While we still don’t know all that happened, public reporting on his influence over the 2020 elections in Green Bay and other Democrat strongholds raises enough suspicion,” Johnson mentioned in response to Tuesday’s report by The Federalist.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized Zuckerberg for the hefty donations.
Paul Hennessy / SOPA Images/Sipa

Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, additionally a Republican, has commissioned a probe into the work funded by Zuckerberg and his spouse, Dr. Priscilla Chan, within the state’s 5 largest cities.

They embrace Green Bay — the place town clerk reportedly resigned below strain to work with “grant mentors” and repair errors on absentee ballots.

On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) retweeted a report in regards to the investigation, including: “Are our elections for sale? Did Mark Zuckerberg purchase the Wisconsin Presidential election?”

Zuckerberg’s cash was supposed to reinforce authorities funding and “promote safe and reliable voting” amid the COVID-19 pandemic in order that “every eligible voter can participate in a safe and timely way and that their vote is counted,” in response to a September 2020 press launch saying the plan.

Sen. Rand Paul wondered about Zuckerberg's potential role in Wisconsin.
Sen. Rand Paul puzzled about Zuckerberg’s potential function in Wisconsin.
Shutterstock

Earlier this yr, an evaluation by the conservative Foundation for Government Accountability discovered that within the battleground state of Georgia, about $29 million of Zuckerberg’s cash went to counties that President Biden later gained, at a charge of $7.13 per registered voter.

By distinction, the Peach State counties that former President Donald Trump carried obtained a complete of $2.3 million — at a charge of simply $1.91 per voter, the FGA mentioned.

In a ready assertion, a Zuckerberg-Chan spokesman acknowledged the donations to the tune of $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life and $69.5 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research.

“CTCL issued an open call to local jurisdictions across the country and provided funding for all jurisdictions that applied,” spokesman Ben LaBolt mentioned.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, and wife Priscilla Chan arrive on the red carpet during the 2nd annual Breakthrough Prize Award in Mountain View, California November 9, 2014.
Wisconsin state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has pushed for an investigation into Dr. Priscilla Chan and Zuckerberg within the state.
Stephen Lam/File Photo/REUTERS
Vos's probe would look into Wisconsin's five biggest cities.
Vos’s probe would look into Wisconsin’s 5 largest cities.
Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel through AP, File

“Nearly 2,500 election jurisdictions from 49 states applied for and received funds, including urban, suburban, rural, and exurban counties.”

LaBolt added: “While Mark and Priscilla provided an overall grant to CTCL [to] ensure funding was available, they did not participate in the process to determine which jurisdictions received funds, and as a [nonprofit organization] CTCL is prohibited from engaging in partisan activities.”

Neither a CTCL consultant nor any of its three founders — govt director Tiana Epps-Johnson, director of presidency companies Whitney May and director of civil knowledge Donny Bridges — returned The Post’s requests for remark.

CEIR founder and govt director David Becker known as the Federalist report “full of mischaracterizations” and touted his group’s distribution of $64.2 million value of Zuckerberg’s cash to 22 states and the District of Columbia.

In this March 3, 2021 file photo, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., speaks at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Sen. Ron Johnson has puzzled in regards to the legality of Zuckerberg’s spending.
Greg Nash/Pool through AP, File

“These grants helped states inform voters about changes to election procedures, polling locations, and recruit poll workers in response to the pandemic,” he mentioned in an e-mail to The Post.

“CEIR is very proud of our effort to assist election officials of both parties successfully ensure the most secure, transparent, and verified election in American history, with record turnout, in the middle of a global pandemic.”

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