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Brief of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, and The Presidential Coalition as Amici Curiae in support of appellants and petitioners in Merrill v. Milligan

Brief of Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, and The Presidential Coalition as Amici Curiae in support of appellants and petitioners in Merrill v. Milligan

CU & CUF Sign On To Ami... by Citizens United


WESTERN JOURNAL: Zuckerberg's Election Interference Was So Bad Even the NYT Warned About It 39 Days Before the Election

When Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg gave almost $400 million to election efforts in 2020, he billed it as a non-partisan donation. Yet one of the groups he gave the most money to was partisan at its core.

“Rigged” is a bombshell new documentary that exposes Zuckerberg’s plot to influence the 2020 presidential election in favor of Joe Biden. Get your copy here today.

Zuckerberg donated more than $328 million to an election group called the Center for Tech and Civic Life. This organization was founded by partisan Democrats.

In the film, Citizens United President David Bossie revealed CTCL was founded by Tiana Epps-Johnson, who is also a fellow at the Obama Foundation.

The foundation is run by former President Barack Obama, a notorious leftist. The fact that Biden also served as Obama’s vice president makes Epps-Johnson’s association with the Obama Foundation a blatant conflict of interest.

Donny Bridges co-founded CTCL alongside Epps-Johnson, Bossie said. He previously worked with the New Organizing Institute, which Bossie described as “a progressive group training digital organizers and campaign operatives for liberal political causes.”

According to the film, The Washington Post dubbed the New Organizing Institute “the Democratic party’s Hogwarts of digital wizardry” in 2014.

Both Epps-Johnson and Bridges are Democrats, and they had vested interests in helping Biden win. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg gave their organization hundreds of millions of dollars in the name of expanding election access.

If you want to see exactly how Zuckerberg helped Biden win in 2020, buy “Rigged” here right now.

“These groups were filled with battle-hardened activists, but now everyone was supposed to believe they had suddenly become non-partisan in 2020,” Bossie said.

Prior to the election, establishment media outlets were already reporting on Zuckerberg’s election funding. The New York Times cast doubt on Zuckerberg’s motives in a Sept. 25, 2020 article, just 39 days before the election.

“[I]t is unusual for elections to be subsidized by nongovernment funding at this level, but also because most of the cash is coming from nonprofit groups that have liberal ties, and the biggest sources of the cash, Mr. Zuckerberg, has drawn fire from across the political spectrum,” the Times reported in an article cited in “Rigged.”

Given the Times’ tendency to side with Democrats, this line was as close to a criticism of the left as the outlet will ever publish.

If even the Times was admitting Zuckerberg’s plan was questionable, the Republican Party should have been able to challenge him and even win. Sadly, that did not happen, and Zuckerberg was successful in influencing the election.

The good news is that thanks to films like “Rigged,” it will be much harder for people like Zuckerberg to get away with this nonsense in the future. Zuckerberg himself apparently knows this, as a spokesperson announced he would not make similar donations in 2022.

In order to stop corruption, American voters need to be educated about it. You can learn how to stop people like Zuckerberg right now when you buy “Rigged” here.


BREITBART: DirecTV Reportedly Refused to Air Advertising for ‘Rigged’ Documentary: ‘Woke Political Censorship,’ Says Citizens United

DirectTV reportedly refused to air advertising for the Citizens United documentary Rigged: The Zuckerberg-Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump, Breitbart News has learned.

The refusal is detailed in an April 15 letter to Michael Hartman, who is the General Counsel and Chief External Affairs Officer at DirecTV.

According to Michael Boos, Vice President & General Counsel at Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation learned on April 5 that DirecTV would not run advertising for the documentary, which details just how Mark Zuckerberg spent $400 million for 2020 election efforts to quash former President Trump and bolster then-candidate Joe Biden. According to Boos, the DirecTV failed to give an adequate answer as to why it was rejecting the ad.

“When the account representative for the media buy firm inquired as to why, the only explanation given was that the company’s standards and practices department ‘isn’t client facing,’” he wrote, blasting the lack of justification as a “red flag,” which suggests that the ad’s rejection “was a blatant act of censorship” rather than a legitimate exercise.

Boos emphasized that Citizens United is “extremely troubled” by DirecTV’s refusal to air the advertising, as well as the company’s refusal to “engage us on the justification for this adverse decision.”

“The lack of an explanation leads us to believe the decision is a blatant act of woke political censorship by a company exercising near monopolistic power,” he wrote.

Boos continued, explaining the premise of Rigged, which traces the $400 million Zuckerberg spent on the 2020 election to tip the scales in Biden’s favor via cash flowing to a pair of non-profit organizations, as Breitbart News has detailed at length:

Specifically, the documentary “traces the river of cash flowing from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to a pair of 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR).” Interestingly, the Chan Zuckerberg Institute happens to involve a number of well-connected Democrat players, including former President Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, whom a press release describes as the institute’s “Strategist in Residence.” Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, also conveniently served as an adviser at the institute.

The CTCL, which received roughly $328 million in Zuckerberg money, awarded about 2,500 grants around the country. And while Zuckerberg’s team claims that Trump areas were awarded more money than Biden areas, the documentary explains how that assertion is “enormously, and perhaps purposely, misleading, because of the approximately 160 grants of $400,000 or more – totaling some $270 million – an incredible 92 percent of those funds went to jurisdictions carried by Joe Biden in 2020.”

As Breitbart News detailed consistently throughout the election year, Democrats used the Chinese coronavirus pandemic to usher in new voting rules under the guise of public safety, and that is exactly what “Zuck Bucks” operated under as well, as the grants were purportedly designed to assist with the “safe administration of public elections” throughout the pandemic. In other words, this money rushed to Democrat strongholds, as well as key swing areas, under the guise of addressing pandemic needs. Yet, that is not what they really intended it to do.

“Rigged is a legitimate contribution to the debate over the role that a billionaire’s money played in influencing the outcome of the 2020 presidential election and whether public funding of election administration should be allowed,” Boos continued, noting that the film has already had an enormous impact, as the tech billionaire announced he “will not provide similar funding in the future elections and CTCL has promised not to engage in similar spending in the 2022 mid-term elections.”

Citizens United President David Bossie celebrated this decision earlier this month during an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday, noting that Zuckerberg already threw his hands up “in surrender.” However, he warned that the battle still is not over.

Boos pointed out that Facebook allows the Rigged ads — an “ultimate” irony — “while DirecTV and other media entities seek to censor them.” He ultimately wants Citizens United Foundation and its sister organization, Citizens United, to “use all means at their disposal, whether they be legislative, regulatory, judicial or rallying the public in the court of public opinion to challenge and undo DirecTV’s woke censorship policy.”

People can watch the film at www.Rigged2020.com.


REAL CLEAR POLITICS: Zuckerberg's 'Donations' Rigged the 2020 Election

The 2020 presidential election was decided by just 42,000 votes in three states. If the 37 electoral votes in Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia had flipped the other way, Biden would not be president right now.

Read on Realclearpolitics.com


BREITBART: Citizens United President David Bossie: One Week After ‘Rigged’ Film, Zuckerberg ‘Throws His Hands Up in Surrender’

Citizens United President David Bossie celebrated the success of the documentary film from Citizens United Productions, Rigged: The Zuckerberg-Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump, which details how Mark Zuckerberg dropped $400 million for election efforts to quash former President Trump and bolster then-candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election, telling Breitbart News Daily that the tech billionaire has already thrown his hands up “in surrender.”

This week, the Center for Technology and Civil Life (CTCL), the organization partially responsible for distributing Zuckerberg’s $400 million grants for election efforts leading up to the 2020 election, said they would cease to engage in similar behavior in the next election. This announcement came less than two weeks after the premiere of Rigged, which shows just how Zuckerberg spent millions to defeat Trump.

It is a “big deal for us, one week after the film comes out, Mark Zuckerberg throws his hands up in surrender,” Bossie said. “Obviously it’s a big victory for the film.”

The film itself, Bossie explained, shows how Zuckerberg spent $400 million in last four months of the 2020 election. While Trump had been saying that the election was rigged, Bossie said it became abundantly evident that the biased media “won’t cover the facts” or tell the truth. He, too, became frustrated that they seemed to lack evidence to prove any of it and noticed that no one was backing the president, so his organization went out and did it themselves, successfully demonstrating how Zuckerberg’s money essentially tipped the scales in favor of Biden.

He “put his thumb on the scale before Election Day,” Bossie said. “So President Trump never had a chance. He never saw it coming, but he never, ever had a chance.”

Bossie provided some context to the figures, noting that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) spent $460 million on the 2020 election cycle over two years. Yet Zuckerberg spent $400 millions in just four months. It is “unbelievable” what his money did, Bossie said, explaining that they ran the money through the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and gave much of it to the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) — “about $325 million.” For further context, that organization’s 2019 budget was just $1 million. Further, Bossie noted that the Chan Zuckerberg Institute’s chief strategist was David Plouffe, former President Barack Obama’s campaign manager.

This money hit the streets in “big big numbers,” Bossie said, mentioning 162 grants of $400,000 or more.

“And we spell this out in the film, that a total of $272 million, and of that $272 million, 92 percent — 92 percent of it — went to Biden districts. That’s how you put your thumb on the scale of an election before it happens.”

The highest concentration of money went to Democrat areas, he said, going to urban centers to drive up the vote. And Zuckerberg did it, Bossie said, because his friends, supporters, and allies “really blamed him for helping Donald Trump get elected in 2016 and beating Hillary Clinton.”

“This was something he had to do to make up for what people’s perceptions were in Silicon Valley, that he allowed Donald Trump to become president and they held him accountable for it. So this is not something out of thin air,” Bossie said before commending Breitbart News for getting the word out about the film.

“No one on the mainstream media was covering this issue” about the film, he said, noting that conservative media, such as Breitbart News, “drove this over the last week” and educated people, adding, “That’s the power of the conservative medium today.”

Bossie said the battle is not over yet, however, as it is now essential to analyze how Democrat operatives did it, and use the Republican National Committee (RNC), committees, and candidates to make sure that this doesn’t happen again in future elections. He seemed optimistic, noting that in 2020, “our people didn’t know this was going on.” But now people know.

Meanwhile, Bossie said 12 states are taking action, passing laws to outlaw private funding in elections. Five other state legislatures have also passed legislation, but Democrat governors have “vetoed their legislation,” he said, listing Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, and North Carolina.

“It is outrageous” that these governors are vetoing, he said, adding that it is “because they want to be able to do it again.”

Bossie added that the film ultimately “destroyed” the coronavirus argument about funds being used for coronavirus safety, because “clearly we know who Mark Zuckerberg hired, where they gave the money to — and what they ended up doing with the money was clearly not for COVID safety.”

People can watch the film at www.Rigged2020.com.


WESTERN JOURNAL: Zuck Draws Fire from Senate: 'Greatest Billionaire Assault' on Elections Ever - 'Rigged' Film Brings Down FB Founder

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the 2020 election. Despite how they may characterize this spending, they had a partisan reason for it.

“Rigged” exposes Zuckerberg’s entire plot to help President Joe Biden win in 2020, and it is out right now. You can get your copy here for just $4.99.

In the film, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas explained exactly where Zuckerberg directed his money.

“They’re sending the money to big urban centers, they’re dramatically increasing the ballot boxes that are there, and they’re conditioning the money on those polling locations, those government entities, throwing open the floodgates to potential voter fraud.”

In an opinion article for The Washington Times, Citizens United president David Bossie said Zuckerberg spent nearly $400 million on the election.

Most of that money went to expanding mail-in and absentee voting, and there were two main problems with this funding.

First, mail-in voting is simply more susceptible to fraud because it is impossible to monitor every person who casts a mail-in ballot. Whereas poll watchers can provide at least some protection from fraud during in-person voting, they cannot go to someone’s house and watch him fill out a mail-in ballot.

Second, Bossie revealed the vast majority of Zuckerberg’s funding went to heavily Democratic areas.

If you want to learn every detail of Zuckerberg’s plan to influence the 2020 election, you can get “Rigged” here today.

“The group that got the bulk of Mr. Zuckerberg’s money — the Center for Tech and Civic Life — sent some 2,500 grants to government elections offices in 48 states,” Bossie wrote in the Times.

“Defenders of Mr. Zuckerberg contend that more grants went to Trump areas while conveniently ignoring the fact that the vast amount of money was targeted to critically important areas for Mr. Biden.

“In fact, approximately 160 of the 2,500 grants were for $400,000 or more and totaled a whopping $272 million — and 92% of the money flowed to jurisdictions that Mr. Biden carried.”

So in addition to mail-in voting being inherently susceptible to fraud, Zuckerberg used his money to bolster mail-in voting almost exclusively in Democratic counties. This provided a huge boost for Democrats over Republicans.

“This was the greatest billionaire assault on election integrity we’ve ever seen,” Cruz said.

There has been a massive victory on this front. Just one week after “Rigged” was released, a spokesman announced Zuckerberg and Chan would not repeat their actions during the 2022 election.

“As Mark and Priscilla made clear previously, their election infrastructure donation to help ensure that Americans could vote during the height of the pandemic was a one-time donation given the unprecedented nature of the crisis,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said. “They have no plans to repeat that donation.”

However, just as Zuckerberg used the coronavirus as an excuse to fund mail-in voting in 2020, he may come up with another excuse to do so in the future.

If you want to join the fight for fair elections, the first step is learning what sorts of plots to look out for. “Rigged” exposes just how Zuckerberg influenced the elections for Democrats in 2020, and you can get your copy here.


BREITBART: Citizens United Celebrates ‘Major Victory’ on Halting Zuckerberg Money Influencing Elections

Citizens United declared a “major victory” on Tuesday following news that the Center for Technology and Civil Life (CTCL), the organization partly responsible for distributing Mark Zuckerberg’s $400 million grants for election efforts before the 2020 election, would cease to engage in similar behavior in the 2022 midterm elections.

The Zuckerberg-linked non-profit organization, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), will not distribute grants as it did in the 2020 election, according to reports. Rather, it will focus on another program: An “$80-million, five-year effort is aimed to create a network for the nation’s thousands of local election officials, who can apply for aid to improve their technology and processes,” according to the Daily Mail.

The news comes less than two weeks after the documentary film from Citizens United Productions, Rigged: The Zuckerberg-Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump, which details just how Zuckerberg spent $400 million on the 2020 presidential election in an effort to bolster then-candidate Joe Biden and quash then-President Donald Trump. The film premiered in Mar-a-Lago on April 5, and viewers can watch it at www.Rigged2020.com.

As Breitbart News explained:

The explosive documentary details just how these left-wing operatives sprinkled “Zuck Bucks” in various areas around the country to influence the election. All of this is documented via 990 forms non-profit groups file with the IRS.

Specifically, the documentary “traces the river of cash flowing from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to a pair of 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR).” Interestingly, the Chan Zuckerberg Institute happens to involve a number of well-connected Democrat players, including former President Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, whom a press release describes as the institute’s “Strategist in Residence.” Joel Benenson, the chief strategist for twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, also conveniently served as an adviser at the institute.

The CTCL, which received roughly $328 million in Zuckerberg money, awarded about 2,500 grants around the country. And while Zuckerberg’s team claims that Trump areas were awarded more money than Biden areas, the documentary explains how that assertion is “enormously, and perhaps purposely, misleading, because of the approximately 160 grants of $400,000 or more – totaling some $270 million – an incredible 92 percent of those funds went to jurisdictions carried by Joe Biden in 2020.”

Citizens United declared the CTCL’s decision a “major victory.”

“This is exactly what we were trying to achieve with our film – to shine a light on what Mark Zuckerberg did to fund voter turnout operations to elect Joe Biden by spending hundreds of millions of dollars in Democrat areas in get-out-the-vote efforts,” Citizens United President David N. Bossie, who narrates the documentary, said.

Bossie explained in a statement:

The Zuckerberg money turned what should be neutral government offices into ground game field offices, effectively, for the Biden campaign. It’s wrong for any private individual to undermine the independence of elections offices, and the announcement that it will stop is an admission that we’re right. Hopefully, the media will not wait to give this the attention it deserves, like they did when they suppressed the story about Hunter Biden’s laptop.

“The Zuckerberg-funded plan was obviously a Democrat voter turnout operation from the beginning. They hired David Plouffe, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, as ‘strategist in residence,'” Bossie said.

“And the news that they’re stopping the grants was announced by a spokesman, Ben LaBolt, who has worked for Democrats his whole career, including for Obama and Biden,” Bossie added. “It was transparently a Democrat ground game effort and we exposed it.”

Notably, the tech billionaire attempted to dismiss the film prior to its premiere, to no avail.


ASSOCIATED PRESS: Zuckerberg money won’t be in next round of aid for elections

The nonprofit that distributed most of the $350 million in donations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to election offices in 2020 said Monday that it won’t disburse similar donations this year after backlash from conservatives suspicious that the contributions tilted the outcome of the presidential race toward Joe Biden.

Instead, the Center for Technology and Civic Life is launching a different program. Dubbed the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, the $80-million, five-year effort is intended to create a network for the nation’s thousands of local election officials, who can apply for aid to improve their technology and processes.

“Unfortunately, years of underinvestment means many local election departments often have limited capacity and training. The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is bringing together world-class partners so that local election officials no longer have to go it alone,” said Tiana Epps-Johnson, CTCL’s executive director, who announced the new program at the TED2022 conference.

The 2020 effort by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, amid the COVID-19 pandemic fueled conservative anger and distrust of the presidential election outcome. At least eight GOP-controlled states passed laws last year banning private donations to election offices in reaction to Zuckerberg’s donations. Suspicion that the contributions — routinely referred to as “Zuckerbucks” by conservatives — helped Biden, a Democrat, has become a staple among those who believe in former President Donald Trump’s election lies.

Several Republican election officials have said the program was vital and nonpartisan and dismissed criticism of it as conspiracy theories.

A spokesperson for Zuckerberg and Chan confirmed that the couple is not funding election offices this year.

“As Mark and Priscilla made clear previously, their election infrastructure donation to help ensure that Americans could vote during the height of the pandemic was a one-time donation given the unprecedented nature of the crisis,” Ben LaBolt said. “They have no plans to repeat that donation.”

Epps-Johnson said the group saw in 2020 just how woefully underfunded many local election offices are. Elections in the U.S. are run at the local level, sometimes by a small staff of city or county workers and volunteers. One New England office, Epps-Johnson said, used its 2020 grant to replace century-old election tabulation equipment, and many struggled to maintain usable websites that could provide voters information on mobile devices.

The network will work with technology experts at Stanford University and elsewhere, Epps-Johnson said. Local election offices will be able to apply for assistance, but things will work differently than two years ago.

In 2020, election offices were scrambling to switch to mail voting as the pandemic made traditional polling places harder to maintain. Negotiations over additional money for election offices collapsed amid partisan acrimony in Washington. In late August of that year, Zuckerberg announced his donations, and CTCL swiftly distributed the funds to 2,500 election offices for a wide range of expenses, including new ballot counting equipment, pickup trucks to haul voting machines and public relations campaigns advertising new ways to cast ballots.

Conservatives were immediately skeptical. Many have long distrusted Zuckerberg, believing he uses his social media platform to help Democrats. CTCL is a nonpartisan group respected by election administrators of both parties, but its founders have roots in liberal politics. And although the grants went to conservative and liberal areas, Democratic-leaning counties received a disproportionate share of the money in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania.

CTCL has spent much of the time since the 2020 contests pushing for greater government funding of election offices, saying that would be better than another round of private donations. The nonprofit was encouraged by Biden’s request for $10 billion in election funding in the federal budget he released last month.

Still, the movement fueled by Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud has latched onto the 2020 donations as one of its many grievances over how the election was conducted. For example, at Colorado’s GOP Assembly on Saturday, candidate after candidate referred to Zuckerberg and “Zuckerbucks” as they claimed the election was stolen from Republicans.

“Mark Zuckerberg and his shadow forces should never be in charge of our elections,” said Tina Peters, a county clerk under indictment for her role in the illegal download of voting software last year that was provided to Trump supporters. She made the comments to the crowd in Colorado Springs as she advanced to the party’s primary ballot for the state’s top elections office, secretary of state.


DAILY MAIL: Mark Zuckerberg-linked nonprofit will not donate any money for midterm elections after doling out $350million in 2020 - following backlash from conservatives who claim the Facebook founder influenced the presidential race

The nonprofit that distributed most of the $350 million in donations from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to election offices in 2020 stated that it won't disburse similar donations this year after backlash from conservatives suspicious that the contributions tilted the outcome of the presidential race toward Joe Biden.

Instead, the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) announced on Monday that it is launching a different program.

Dubbed the U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, the $80-million, five-year effort is aimed to create a network for the nation's thousands of local election officials, who can apply for aid to improve their technology and processes.

'Unfortunately, years of underinvestment means many local election departments often have limited capacity and training. The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is bringing together world-class partners so that local election officials no longer have to go it alone,' said Tiana Epps-Johnson, CTCL's executive director, who announced the new program at the TED2022 conference.

The 2020 effort by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, amid the COVID-19 pandemic fueled conservative anger and distrust of the presidential election outcome after learning that Joe Biden’s campaign, along with two supporting groups, received $220,000 from Facebook’s top employees.

None of Facebook’s executives donated to former President Donald Trump's campaigns. In total, Facebook top ranked executives donated an estimated $3.9million in political donations since its existence in 2004, according to data collected from the Federal Electoral Commission.

At least eight GOP-controlled states passed laws last year banning private donations to election offices in reaction to the CEO of Facebook's donations. Suspicion that the contributions - routinely referred to as 'Zuckerbucks' by many conservatives - helped Biden, a Democrat, has become a staple among those who believe in former President Donald Trump's election lies.

Several Republican election officials have said the program was vital and nonpartisan and dismissed criticism of it as conspiracy theories.

A spokesperson for Zuckerberg and Chan confirmed that the couple is not funding election offices this year.

'As Mark and Priscilla made clear previously, their election infrastructure donation to help ensure that Americans could vote during the height of the pandemic was a one-time donation given the unprecedented nature of the crisis,' Ben LaBolt said. 'They have no plans to repeat that donation.'

Epps-Johnson said the group saw in 2020 just how woefully underfunded many local election offices are. Elections in the U.S. are run at the local level, sometimes by a small staff of city or county workers and volunteers. One New England office, Epps-Johnson said, used its 2020 grant money to replace century-old election tabulation equipment, and many struggled to maintain usable websites that could provide voters information on mobile devices.

The network will work with technology experts at Stanford University and elsewhere, Epps-Johnson said. Local election offices will be able to apply for assistance, but things will work differently than two years ago.

In 2020, election offices were scrambling to switch to mail voting as the pandemic made traditional polling places harder to maintain. Negotiations over additional money for election offices collapsed amid partisan acrimony in Washington.

In late August of that year, Zuckerberg announced his donations, and CTCL swiftly distributed the funds to 2,500 election offices for a wide range of expenses, including new ballot counting equipment, pickup trucks to haul voting machines and public relations campaigns advertising new ways to cast ballots.

Conservatives were immediately skeptical. Many have long distrusted Zuckerberg, believing he uses his social media platform to help Democrats.

CTCL is a nonpartisan group respected by election administrators of both parties, but its founders have roots in liberal politics. And although the grants went to both conservative and liberal areas, Democratic-leaning counties received a disproportionate share of the money in battleground states like Florida and Pennsylvania.

CTCL has spent much of the time since the 2020 contests pushing for greater government funding of election offices, saying that would be better than another round of private donations. The nonprofit was encouraged by Biden's request for $10 billion in election funding in the federal budget he released last month.

Still, the movement fueled by Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud has latched onto the 2020 donations as one of its many grievances over how the election was conducted. For example, at Colorado's GOP Assembly on Saturday, candidate after candidate referred to Zuckerberg and 'Zuckerbucks' as they claimed the election was stolen from Republicans.

'Mark Zuckerberg and his shadow forces should never be in charge of our elections,' said Tina Peters, a county clerk under indictment for her role in the illegal download of voting software last year that was provided to Trump supporters. She made the comments to the crowd in Colorado Springs as she advanced to the party´s primary ballot for the state´s top elections office, secretary of state.


WASHINGTON POST: Pro-Trump group angry it can't run an ad attacking Zuckerberg in Silicon Valley

The latest attempt by former president Donald Trump's supporters to go after social media titans is playing out in Mark Zuckerberg's backyard over an ad for a documentary attacking the Facebook founder that its backers want to air on a cable system serving Silicon Valley.

When the conservative group Citizens United, run by Trump ally David Bossie, wanted to promote its 42-minute film “Rigged: The Zuckerberg Funded Plot to Defeat Donald Trump,” it approached Effectv, a division of Comcast, last month about running an ad in the San Francisco Bay area market.

It was turned down.

In an email reviewed by The Washington Post, an account executive at Citizens United's media-buying firm wrote in an email that Effectv told him it would not run the ad because it violated its guidelines that ads should “not call out CEOs in a negative way.” A spokeswoman for Comcast confirmed to The Early that the ad did not comply with the “personal attacks” section outlined in the company's ad content guidelines. She spoke on the condition of anonymity to provide a response from the company, saying she wasn't authorized to use her name.

• The guidelines stipulate that any ad “may be rejected if it is merely an attack of a personal nature, a direct attack on an individual business or comment on a private dispute. Advertisements may be accepted if the attack is on a business that is in the public forum or the issue is one of public concern.”

Citizens United wasn't happy it couldn't take a shot at Zuckerberg in the area where he lives.

“Rejecting the ad is just another case of the biased corporate media suppressing a story because it doesn't fit their narrative,” Bossie said in a statement.

Shifting reasons or consistent policy?

The group accused Comcast of giving shifting reasons for why it was rejecting the advertisement.

In a letter to Comcast, reviewed by The Washington Post, Citizens United's general counsel alleged that during a call with Comcast, the initial rationale over why they decided to reject the ad shifted from not liking the “image of the ad” to violating Comcast's “prohibition on personal attacks.”

“When we requested specific suggestions and edits so that we could modify the ad to conform to the guidelines, you responded that you and your Comcast colleagues ‘really hadn’t given it much thought,’” wrote Michael Boos, Citizen United's executive vice president and general counsel.

The Comcast spokeswoman said that “in the event that an advertiser wishes to revise a spot, we would re-review it for consideration.”

She also said the company has rejected ads in the past that are inconsistent with the “personal attacks” policy, including a spot last year by the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group, called “Fox News is killing us.”

The Citizens United documentary is the latest attempt by Trump's allies to attack social media companies they argue are hostile to conservatives. The film's importance to the MAGA universe was on display last week when Trump hosted a viewing of the film at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

The movie alleges that Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, helped Democrats by pouring money into the 2020 election for voter turnout and education efforts in areas that benefited the party. The couple and the group they worked with — the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), a nonprofit group that distributed more than $300 million in grants to election agencies in 2020 — have previously denied the effort was partisan. They said the money went to jurisdictions that requested it and that there was no bias in how it was distributed. Facebook declined to comment about the ad or the film to The Early.

Citizens United bought advertising for the documentary nationally on DirecTV and Dish Network as well as the pro-Trump networks One America News and Newsmax, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the group's advertising strategy. This person said the ad buy targeted cable news channels and spots in “news clusters” across the country — including on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, HLN, CNBC, Fox Business, Bloomberg Television and the Weather Channel.

Experts on communications law told The Early that while Comcast isn't required to have a reason to reject certain advertising, the broad standard applied in this case could raise ethical or conflict of interest questions.

“There's ethical issues abound when you refuse to run an ad,” said Jessica González, the co-chief executive of Free Press and Free Press Action, a liberal group that has been critical of both the Trump administration and social media companies. “We'd have to know, for example, if the station gets funded, or has advertising that Facebook runs on it or anything in the Meta universe.”


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