On Tampa Bay
Posted by: Sharon Calvert
In September 2020 Democrat Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections (SOE) Craig Latimer took over $2.9M of "ZuckBucks". He received his "ZuckBucks" from the highly partisan Democrat activist nonprofit CTCL. There are a lot of questions that deserve answers from SOE Latimer.
In 2020 CTCL told
local election officials to report to the Censor King Tech Oligarchs ala
Zuckerberg "suspicious" posts "they" considered
misinformation and/or disinformation. Who knew the role of the SOE included
being the social media police? Who was colluding with who?
As we posted here, CTCL was founded in 2012 by Tiana Epps-Johnson, a former
election administration director for the New Organizing
Institute (NOI). NOI, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit was a
partisan Progressive activist organization that trained Progressive organizers
and was responsible for training many of the Democratic Party's digital
organizers. NOI was called "the left's think tank for campaign
know-how" by the Washington Post.
CTCL states on
their website "some of the organizations who have funded them over
the years". These are Lefty organizations who support Democrats.
In addition, according to CTCL's previous 990's, the Tides Foundation also funds CTCL. The Tides Foundation is a Leftist organization funded by the radical Leftist billionaire George Soros. Soros has openly admitted that he is a "transactional meddler" who uses nonprofits to meddle in elections.
Did Zuckerberg become the George Soros like "transactional meddler" who meddled in our 2020 election using nonprofits?
As posted here, Latimer was the most flagrant user of "ZuckBucks" of any Florida county who received them. Very little was spent on COVID resources, none was spent on any new equipment. Latimer handed $2.6M (90%) of the $2.9M ZuckBucks he received to a local PR firm Vistra Communications.
But state officials say situations
may still vary from locality to locality. Hillsborough County Supervisor of
Elections Craig Latimer this year serves as President of the Florida Supervisor of Elections,
and his office noted, the way the grants are structured, it will be up to local
elections officials whether to pursue assistance.
“That’s really a county by county
question,” said Gerri Kramer, spokesperson for the office. “Since it’s a grant
process, any county can apply for the money, if needed.” That won’t happen in Hillsborough. “We’re
good,” she said.
On September 2, 2020 Kramer publicly and clearly stated
Hillsborough County SOE did not need "ZuckBucks". Kramer admitted
Hillsborough County was financially good to go for the November 2020 election
and they did not need additional funds.
9 days later on September 11, 2020, Latimer submitted his grant request to
CTCL for $2,932,375.
10 days later on September 21, 2020, CTCL awarded Latimer a
"ZuckBucks" grant in the total amount of his request
One day later on September 22, 2020, Latimer awarded a no-bid
contract to local Marketing and PR firm Vistra Communications for $2.6M -
almost 90% of the total "ZuckBucks" Latimer received. Vistra's
contract even requested expedited payments from the SOE due to the large costs
being spent in such a short period of time.
Vistra rapidly spent
the entire $2.6M in the 5-6 weeks prior to the November election on a GOTV campaign to
push mail ballots and target young, minority and "inactive"
voters. Vistra's contract with
Latimer even used the "Woke" term "LatinX" voters they were
Report submitted to Latimer after the election states their GOTV "Call to
Action" successfully enabled Latimer to reach "his" objectives.
Call to Action is not education or outreach rhetoric it is full mode campaign
rhetoric. "Call to Action" is the campaign rhetoric of candidates,
political parties, political action committees and grassroots activists.
The role of the
Supervisor of Elections (SOE) is ADMINISTRATIVE. Their role is to administer
the local elections and voter registration process. The SOE is not a Public
Relations or Marketing role to be used to unfairly chase specific demographics
of voters. It is not the role of the SOE to chase after voters who have never
voted or inactive voters.
clearly stated September 2, 2020 they had enough funds to ADMINISTER the
November election. So what changed 9 days later for the SOE to pursue almost
$3M in "ZuckBucks" and spend almost all of it on a GOTV campaign?
Did Latimer see the
"ZuckBucks" as a way to launch a GOTV campaign thru a third party PR firm?
Latimer, selected as President of the Florida Supervisors of Elections Association in May
2020, knew he could never launch such GOTV campaign and oh so quickly with
Latimer and Kramer
have had a relationship with CTCL for years. What communication was going on
between the SOE and CTCL?
Did CTCL contact
Latimer and/or Gerri Kramer directly to pursue the grant? If Latimer knew they
would get the grant they asked for, were they already orchestrating the GOTV
contract with Vistra?
Gerri Kramer never transparently informed the voting public about their $2.9M
"ZuckBucks" grant. Hillsborough SOE never published a press release to
announce the grant millions they were receiving.
integrity purposes, receiving a grant of almost $3M - almost 20% of Latimer's
budget for 2020 - from a private donor is certainly newsworthy.
Why didn't the
Hillsborough SOE inform the voting public about the grant? Did Latimer not want
Hillsborough County voters to know he took "ZuckBucks" from a highly
partisan Democrat aligned nonprofit? Did Latimer not want the voting public to
know what his "ZuckBucks" was being spent on?
Why didn't the
Hillsborough SOE inform the voting public what changed in 9 days to pursue
almost $3M in "ZuckBucks" from a Democrat aligned nonprofit?
none of the transparency required to spend tax dollars - public hearings,
financial transparency, checks and balances, accountability - because he was
spending outsiders "private" money....on our election activities.
voters feel "trust" and "confidence" with such disregard
and lack of transparency?
We could find no
local news reporting about Hillsborough SOE's "ZuckBucks" grant or
how that money was spent. Why?
The New York Times
reported about the "ZuckBucks" in September 2020:
The prospect of election
administrators tapping large pools of private money has raised new legal and
political questions. That is partly because it 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
source of the cash, Mr. Zuckerberg, has drawn fire from across the political
Press also reported "ZuckBucks in September 2020:
The cash comes with a new set of
questions about donor transparency, motivations and the influence of groups and
figures that are not democratically accountable.” He also reported without
objection that conservatives were concerned because of “the Democratic origins
of CTCL and that its donations have predominantly been in areas where Democrats
depend on votes.” [AP reporter] Nicholas Riccardi stated “I cannot believe
people of such partisanship will put their partisanship aside while taking
hundreds of millions of dollars and distributing it to election offices.”
But not a peep from
our local media when Hillsborough SOE took the questionable
contract with Vistra, we received in writing via a public records request to
the SOE: "There was no RFP. The Vistra contract was made through emails
and verbal conversations."
Handing $2.6M with zero transparency
to a third party PR firm to fund a GOTV campaign is a problem.
How did Vistra get
awarded the contract the day after the SOE received their "ZuckBucks"
grant? Why was Vistra selected?
and coordination was already occurring between Latimer and Vistra to enable a
contract, apparently already created, to be signed so quickly?
between local taxpayer funded agencies and PR firms drives distrust.
What if a
conservative organization such as the NRA, Heritage or Right to Life, etc.
handed election officials almost a half billion dollars to fund election
activities targeting specific voters? We can bet Democrats, the Tampa Bay Times
and all of DNC Media would be screaming outrage. Their outrage would be
headline news everyday most probably demanding the SOE must resign.
Lack of reporting
by local media is a real injustice because it displays journalistic laziness,
incompetence and/or the censoring of important information from voters.
The only mention we
could find by the Tampa Bay Times about "ZuckBucks" was this article
published on August 8, 2021 -
almost a year after the 2020 election. Their article makes generic claims
that election offices are "chronically" underfunded and quotes a
person from the highly partisan CTCL, not any elections official, that the
"infrastructure faced unprecedented challenges" due to the pandemic.
The Times never
mentions a word about any of the "ZuckBucks" handed out in Florida,
including to their own local Hillsborough SOE who took $2.9M
spent his "ZuckBucks" with a sole-sourced PR firm on a GOTV campaign,
not on elections "infrastructure". And...Gerri Kramer had
already publicly stated Hillsborough did not need any additional funds to
administer the 2020 election.
The 2022 election
year is bearing down upon us. Thankfully private funding of election activities
is now banned in Florida.
But voters deserve
transparency from Latimer about his $2.9M "ZuckBucks". Voters
deserve to know whether Latimer is still associated with CTCL.
Voters must trust
their election officials to treat EVERYONE the same and fairly and that they do
not step outside the bounds of their administrative role.
Whitney Quesenbery is on CTCL's Advisory
Committee that CTCL claims is "made up of some of the most
experienced, thoughtful election professionals in the United States."
Quesenbery Tweeted this on November 6, 2020. How "thoughtful".
The State of
Florida needs to launch a formal investigation and audit of the Hillsborough
County SOE's $2.9M "ZuckBucks", the $2.6M GOTV campaign it funded and
Latimer's relationship with CTCL.
transparency and accountability from their SOE.
answers to numerous questions about Latimer's "ZuckBucks".
Voters must be
assured that Latimer has cut all ties to the highly partisan CTCL.
Because voters must
have trust in the integrity of ALL actions taken by their SOE.
Cross Posted with permission from: Eye
On Tampa Bay