he Michigan House Oversight Committee has the power to subpoena documents and should get to the bottom of what the secretary of state knew and when she knew it.
In the months since the 2020 election, evidence has come to light showing millions of dollars from Silicon Valley billionaires such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went to elect Democrats, including Joe Biden. There is perhaps no more of a smoking gun to be found than in Michigan and the evidence demands an immediate investigation by the state legislature.
We have seen corruption and abuse of power from Governor Gretchen Whitmer over the last several months, but she has only been further emboldened by the potentially illegal actions of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
A shocking report recently published by the Michigan Star revealed a Benson-linked 501(c)(3) nonprofit took money from a Mark Zuckerberg-funded political group during the 2020 election, then pushed the money out the door to two untraceable Democratic political consulting firms. But let’s take a step back for a second.
Benson has claimed impartiality when it comes to elections. She asserted she wanted an increase in absentee balloting during the 2020 election to protect voters from COVID-19. The Michigan Star report, however, revealed a Zuckerberg-funded nonprofit called the Center for Election Innovation and Search granted $69 million to government entities in 22 states. Would you be surprised to learn that many were located in swing states Donald Trump won in 2016 and that Democrats wanted to seize in 2020? The Associated Press found that in battleground Pennsylvania, historically Democratic-voting counties received an average of $4.99 per voter, while Republican-leaning ones got $1.12 per voter. Enter characters like Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Benson in Michigan.
In Michiganthese “Zuckerbucks”, $12 million to be exact, went to the Michigan Center for Election Law and Administration (MCELA), a supposedly nonpartisan, nonprofit organization founded by Benson.
Shortly after receiving the massive grant, MCELA gave 99 percent of it—or nearly $11.9 million—to two political consulting firms that work exclusively for Democrats under the guise of “educating voters.” It is illegal for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit to engage in partisan political activity. Did these firms educate all voters or just the ones they wanted to turn out for Joe Biden? We don’t know. Once the money flowed through the nonprofit to the consulting firms, it became untraceable.
The Michigan House Oversight Committee needs to launch an immediate investigation into Benson’s questionable dealings with this nonprofit and get to the bottom of why Zuckerberg’s “voter education” money was directed to this organization rather, say, than directly to her agency where it would have been subjected to public oversight (assuming it should have been received at all).
Benson formed MCELA (under a different name) in 2008. She was president through at least February 2020, the Michigan Star reported. This is Corruption 101 and isn’t the only example of Benson and her friends appearing to manipulate the election, evidently for their own partisan ends.
In March, Michigan Court of Claims Chief Judge Christopher Murray held that Benson’s arbitrary rules about how absentee ballots would be scrutinized violated the state’s Administrative Procedures Act. Benson broke the law when issuing a “mandatory directive requiring local election officials to apply a presumption of validity to all signatures on absent voter ballots,” according to the plaintiffs.
The court’s opinion concluded:
. . . nowhere in this state’s election law has the Legislature indicated that signatures are to be presumed valid, nor did the Legislature require that signatures are to be accepted so long as there are any redeeming qualities in the application or return envelope as compared with the signature on file. Policy determinations like the one at issue—which places the thumb on the scale in favor of a signature’s validity—should be made pursuant to properly promulgated rules under the APA or by the Legislature.
Plain and simple, the court ruling vindicated one of President Trump’s claims: that rogue secretaries of state like Jocelyn Benson crea…