Zuckerberg’s recent donation of $400 million has been thrown into greater controversy with the revelation that his foundation’s lead in policy and advocacy formerly worked as the campaign manager and senior advisor to former President Obama.
David Plouffe was hired in 2017 to lead policy and advocacy work at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a charity founded in 2015 by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan “to accelerate progress in Education, Justice & Opportunity and Science.”
Plouffe’s background includes extensive involvement as a policy leader in the Obama campaigns and organizations like Uber, CZI, and most recently ACRONYM.
Plouffe worked as Obama’s campaign manager for the 2008 presidential campaign, for which Obama praised Plouffe highly during his acceptance speech: “And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe…the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best – the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.”
Plouffe went on to serve as an outside advisor to the Obama administration, and then in 2011 became Assistant to the President and Senior Adivsor.
In 2019, Plouffe “stepp(ed) back from day-to-day operations into a new part-time role as a strategist in residence” in order “to make time for non-CZI endeavors.”
Zuckerberg’s $400 million donation toward voting initiatives in recent months ($350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, and $50 million to the Center for Election Innovation and Research) has already been under heavy fire for breaking election laws and raising concerns about private parties interfering in the integrity of the election process.
Lawsuits have already been filed to prevent cities from accepting the grants from Center for Tech and Civic Life on the grounds that city use of the partisan funds is illegal and that the funds are discriminating against rural, Republican jurisdictions in favor of urban, Democrat jurisdictions.
“Since September 1, 2020, the CTCL has made at least $63.7 million in grants to election commissions in 18 counties and two cities for what the CTCL calls the coronavirus “safe elections” project.
More than 99.5 percent of this funding — $63.4 million — went to election commissions in 17 counties and two cities won by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Less than one half of one percent of the funding — a mere $289,000 — went to a county Donald Trump won in 2016, Hays County, Texas, which the president barely won by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.
It should be clarified that Zuckerberg’s donations were from his own personal funds, not from CZI for which Plouffe works. Ben LaBolt, spokesperson for the Zuckerberg Chan family office, has not yet responded to questions from Breitbart about Plouffe’s involvement in the donations.
Zuckerberg has maintained that the donations were non-partisan, despite the CTCL’s strong ties to progressive causes. The possibility that Zuckerberg may have been advised of this donation by a man actively working to see President Trump defeated in the upcoming election continues to undermine the defense of “non-partisan” intentions.
Let’s take a closer look at Plouffe:
In 2019, Plouffe joined the board of directors at ACRONYM, a Washington, D.C.-based organization dedicated to supporting progressive causes with digital strategies. They boast on their website that with the assistance of their PAC (PACRONYM), they “helped elect 65 progressive candidates across the country” in 2018. It almost goes without saying that their current objective is a 2020 Biden victory.
According to Politico’s report on his work with ACRONYM, Plouffe “identified six states on which he thinks Democrats should focus their efforts: Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida and North Carolina. The work of ACRONYM and other outside groups, he said, should focus on countering Trump’s spending…”
It should be noted that Michigan and Pennsylvania are two of the states that the CTCL has been heavily targeting with grants (in Democrat-heavy jurisdictions).
Additionally, Plouffe released a book earlier this year titled, “A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump.” The book details how the Democrat party should use Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts to defeat Trump.
In an excerpt provided by Breitbart, Plouffe explains the failure of the Clinton campaign in 2016 to properly estimate the turnout in rural and exurban areas of swing states:
“If they had known this at the time, the Clinton campaign could have increased contact with some younger voters and African American voters in the upper Midwest, and with more urgency. They also could have invested in more persuasion work with rural and exurban voter targets.
To win, our GOTV operation, utterly dependent on volunteers, will need to start with a deadly accurate sense of which voters the campaign and the volunteers should concentrate on, and then be deadly efficient in carrying out the operation.”
Is it possible that Plouffe is walking out his strategy to accomplish a 2020 Donald Trump defeat partly through the donations of Zuckerberg? In addition to the other troubling problems with these donations, the question can’t be ruled out.