Updated: Apr 15, 2021
By M.D. Kittle
What: Wisconsin’s five largest cities signed contracts with the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a left-leaning organization that doled out millions of dollars in “safe election” grants. Wisconsin Spotlight has obtained the agreement Green Bay signed.
So What: The contracts include multiple requirements the cities must follow, and clawback provisions if they don’t. The conditions, election law experts claim, violate the constitution because they led to outside groups taking over the election responsibilities of city clerks. One state senator called the arrangements a quid pro quo.
But the hefty grants, funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, were very enticing. Green Bay ultimately received $1.6 million from CTCL — nearly five times the $330,000 the city budgeted for elections in 2020, according to the combined grant application from the five cities. Kenosha’s CTCL grant was $862,779 — four times the city’s $205,690 election budget.
What’s Next? The Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections holds an informational hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m., in 417 North (GAR Hall) of the State Capitol. Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe is expected to testify. The committee also will look further into Green Bay’s handling of the November election.
MADISON — The “free” election assistance grant money dumped on Wisconsin’s largest cities wasn’t so free.
The windfall — significantly increasing the cities’ elections budgets — came with strings attached. Documents, including a contract obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight, show the left-leaning Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) wanted a lot in return for its generosity. Or, better said, they wanted a return on Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s investment. Read more By M.D. Kittle https://wisconsinspotlight.com/conditional-election-grants/