Madison alders accept election Zuckerbucks

$1.5 million for what, exactly?

It is unanimous. Madison alders voted last night 01-17-23 without a single dissent to accept $1.5 million in Zuckerbucks. That is money that many Republicans feel tilted the balance in the 2020 presidential election in key states like Wisconsin by ginning up turnout in Democrat(ic) strongholds like our fair town.

The alders voted to accept $500,000 in Zuckerbucks this year and another $1,000,000 next year from the Center for Tech & Civic Life for “planning and operationalizing safe and secure election administration infrastructure in City of Madison.” The city will also become a member of something called the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence to (supposedly) develop “a non-partisan program” with other member municipalities that include Las Vegas, Greenwich CT, and suburban San Francisco’s Contra Costa County. 

No one at Tuesday’s meetings divulged what that $1.5 million will buy but the city attorney said those uses would be reported in a public document. That pig in a poke was good enough for our alders — all of them.

In the 2020 election cycle, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg poured $350 million into the Center for Technology and Civic Life. CTCL, in turn, granted hundreds of county and city elections officials in 47 states and D.C. The Capital Research Center claims that “Despite its claims that the grants were strictly for COVID-19 relief, not partisan advantage, the data show otherwise. CRC research into grants distributed in key states—Arizona and Nevada, Texas, Michigan and Wisconsin, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Georgia — has documented their partisan effects.

National Review reports:

In Green Bay WI, one of the advisors dispatched by the center, Michael Spitzer-Rubenstein, offered help to local clerks with curing ballots and allegedly allowed unqualified people to conduct the election process, according to local clerk Kris Teske. Another advisor the CTCL offered to Green Bay offices, according to the Wall Street Journal, was from the Brennan Center for Justice, a left-wing think tank that supports the elimination of the Electoral College.

"Zuckerbucks shouldn’t pay for elections," the Wall Street Journal warns. “It fans mistrust to let private donors fund official voting duties.”

Banned in Iowa & Kenosha

Twenty-four (24) states have already banned private funding of government elections, but not Wisconsin. Legislative Republicans here twice voted to ban private funding of the election process but Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, vetoed both times. The legislature is on track to submit to voters an amendment to Wisconsin’s constitution but it needs two successive legislatures to approve before it being presented to a referendum. Governors cannot veto that kind of referenda.

But 10 Wisconsin counties have banned: Walworth, Ozaukee, Kenosha, Winnebago, Iowa, Lafayette, Washington, Kewaunee, Oneida, and Barron.

Blaska’s Bottom Line: believes Zuckerbucks fuels voter distrust. Privately endowed elections? Since when. The Werkes will attempt to get the clerk to disclose how she intends to spend this windfall. Watch this space for updates. (Or go walk your dog.)

What do YOU think she’ll spend it on?


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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18 Responses to Madison alders accept election Zuckerbucks

  1. Bob says:

    I’ve always have wondered if these agencies would accept money from right wing organizations for elections? When did clerk’s need more money to run elections?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kooter says:

    David, I believe this is the first time you’ve kinda-sorta questioned some of the irregularities surrounding the 2020 election. A bit late, but progress non the less. Perhaps your TDS isn’t terminal after all.


  3. Madtownforsure says:

    Vote in the parks was the most ovious of foul play ever. Who exactly took your ballott and who then put it through the device that counted your vote? Was it a dem or repug? Too late now to ask their part favor. On purpose of course. What a acam and was illegal, but, they relate to crooked Hillary so well.


  4. Kevin S Wymore says:

    Didn’t the Legislature try to override the pro-Zuckerbucks veto by the Governor? What was the result? I am cynical about politics, but I truly doubt almost anybody outside of Madison and Milwaukee would want to have to answer for supporting that kind of black-box sleaze.

    It turned out poorly for Wisconsin in 2020.


  5. Bob says:

    It will be interesting to see how the City or City Clerk spend their new found money or will the be like MMSD and basically hide it. There should be accounting on how they spend their money. As a side note I have never heard the City Clerk complain they didn’t have enough money to run elections. Maybe they should talk to MMSD on how to whine they don’t have any money.


    • richard lesiak says:

      Of course they need more money. Every friggin’ time there’s an election a dozen nut-jobs crawl out from a rock with some new found lawyer and demand re-counts, voting machine data, on and on. And after they lose 60 court cases they still want to harass these people at work and home. All this crap costs time and money.


  6. David Blaska says:

    Your post makes no sense.

    Who counted our votes? If you are really from Madtown you know the answer. Democrats! Dane county clerk Scott McDonell was elected as a Democrat. Is doubtful that city clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl is a Trumpie. Been that way since forever. In other localities, Republicans serve as clerks.

    As for “devices” there’s only one kind in each municipality; i.e., there are no Republican devices over here and Democrat devices over there. They’re scanners. They electronically scan your ballot.

    The WI Supreme Court ultimately ruled Democracy in the Park was not sanctioned by state law. But ballots thus cast must match with a registered voter — and did. The remedy is not to penalize innocent voters by invalidating their ballots, which they cast in accordance with the guidance they were given.

    We lost, Madtown. For sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Bill Cleary says:

    “Daddy Warbucks”

    “Someone who is rich enough to pay for someone else’s expenses, either in a large lump sum or over a long time. Can either be permanent (a rich relative or pimp) or temporary (someone spotting a friend).
    Peirce gave a $25,000 check to his ex-step-daughter to be his daughter for the day. She referred to him as her Daddy Warbucks when telling Jeff. (From Community S1E18)”

    The questions are my friends, do we want politicians of any party to be beholden to someone rich enough to pay for their expenses? More importantly, do we want a whole party to be beholden to one person who can pay the expenses for their politicians to be elected?

    Do I want politicians that I vote for to represent me and my best interests or do I want politicians to represent the interests of the person or persons that got them elected? Do I want a “Daddy Warbucks” running our town through the purchase of our politicians?

    I want you to have the same representation. I want us all to have the same representation.


  8. Bob says:

    FYI from the City web site. City Clerks budget 2022 $2.3 million(presidential election), hourly help $260,000. 2023 $1.3 million, hourly help $100,000.
    I would like to see what strings are attached to get this money. Looking at the amount of money I guess Zucker Bucks is paying for the Madison election.


  9. Daniel Boudewyns says:

    What’s wrong with ginning up turnout?


  10. nemoofthenorth says:

    The progressives need that $500,000 this year to install either Everett Mitchell or Janet Protasiewicz onto the Supreme Court to turn that body into a super legislature. If they manage that, do you think that the new “Gang of Four” will shed their robes and don capes and masks as they rob us of our Liberties and livelihoods? Or do you think that they will move the court in a more Monarchy direction with a throne for them and a pit for us serfs as we beg for our rights?


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