The Zuckerberg 5 are Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay counties.
According to the report, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg providing financing that allowed the Center for Tech and Civic Life to offer nearly $9 million in “Zuck Bucks” to Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay counties.
Breaking: Special Counsel Finds Mark Zuckerberg’s Election Money Violated Wisconsin Bribery Laws
By: Margot Cleveland
March 01, 2022
That’s one of the many troubling findings in the report submitted Tuesday by a state-appointed special counsel to the Wisconsin Assembly.
Nearly $9 million in Zuckerberg grant funds directed solely to five Democratic strongholds in Wisconsin violated the state’s election code’s prohibition on bribery. That conclusion represents but one of the many troubling findings detailed in the report submitted today by a state-appointed special counsel to the Wisconsin Assembly.
Last August, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos authorized the Office of Special Counsel, headed by retired state Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman, to investigate concerns about election integrity and the 2020 election. Gableman delivered an interim report to the state assembly on November 10, 2021. Earlier today, the special counsel provided a second interim report to the state legislative body, noting the report “is final in the sense that it provides a list of recommendations with time for the Legislature to act before the close of its session in March.”
From the details exposed in Monday’s special counsel report, the state legislature has much work to do to address “the numerous questionable and unlawful actions of various actors in the 2020 election.” The first unlawful action, according to the report, concerned the payment of grant funds to five Wisconsin counties that were used to facilitate voting. That arrangement, Gableman wrote, violated Wis. Stat. § 12.11, which prohibits election bribery by providing it is illegal to offer anything of value to or for any person in order to induce any elector to go to the polls or vote.
According to the report, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg providing financing that allowed the Center for Tech and Civic Life to offer nearly $9 million in “Zuck Bucks” to Milwaukee, Madison, Racine, Kenosha and Green Bay counties. In exchange, the “Zuckerberg 5,” as the report called the counties, in effect, operated Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts. Those grant funds then paid for illegal drop boxes to be placed in Democratic voting strongholds.
The illegal use of drop boxes represented a second area of concern to the special counsel’s office. The report notes state election code limits the manner in which ballots may be cast, providing that an elector must personally mail or deliver his or her ballot to the municipal clerk, except where the law authorizes an agent to act on the behalf of the voter.
The Zuckerberg 5 also violated the federal and state constitutional guarantee of equal protection, according to the special counsel report. The grant money targeted specific voters for special voting privileges, to the disadvantage of similarly situated voters located in other Wisconsin counties. The report also detailed troubling evidence the Zuckerberg 5 counties allowing private groups working with the granting organization, the Center for Tech and Civic Life, to “unlawfully administer aspects of the election,” including in one county where one organization was unlawfully embedded in local government election administration.
Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.