Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman in his presentation to the Wisconsin Senate finds that Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s election money violated state bribery laws.
Margot Cleveland at the Federalist reports:
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.