Grant Monies Flowed Back to Facebook Ad Sales
May 2021 – Flush with cash from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the Center for Tech and Civil Life (CTCL) flooded key Florida county election offices with money to subsidize procedures preferred by the outside group. As states like Florida and others move to ban such practices going forward, an accounting of the grant records will detail how the entire operation worked before and after the 2020 Presidential Election. Unlike other states, Florida records show a pattern of the late-arriving grants being shoved into digital media outreach campaigns, namely to the benefit of Facebook and Google ad sales departments.
What’s the Deal with the Unspent Cash? Unspent ZuckBucks are proving to be quite widespread among states accepting the grants. The grant letters detailing the cash award and instructions noted that recipients had until December 31, 2020, to expend all funds and give a report by January 31, 2021. On that date, subject counties were to report their activities with the monies and, if needed, ask for a six-month extension to dispose of any remainders. The counties showing leftover cash now have until July 31 to report their activities, if so authorized. During this extension period, Florida enacted a ban on private funding for election offices. Upon the signing of the new law, Miami-Dade officials pledged to return all unspent funds.
PILF President J. Christian Adams said “Florida lawmakers were right to close the loophole in election law. Corporate-funded elections violate some of the most basic principles of election integrity. It’s the job of local governments to budget for and administer our voting processes. I commend Governor DeSantis and all involved in helping to make Florida a leader against this threat.”
Read the full report here.