Authored by Joseph Lord via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
An elections group with ties to Democrat mega-donor George Soros and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg gathered in Washington this week for a meeting that was closed to the public.
The Epoch Times was denied entry to the event, called a “Summit on American Democracy” and hosted by the Center for Election Integrity & Research (CEIR). Organizers said that the event was invite-only. Only preapproved press and other guests were permitted to attend the summit.
Though the event was live-streamed, the closed nature of the event deprived independent media of access to the laundry list of high-ranking officials attending the summit, including a litany of Secretaries of State, who oversee elections, and other election officials. Among those attending the conference were Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Bill Gates, county supervisor for Maricopa County, Arizona.
The group describes itself as “committed to a fiercely nonpartisan approach.” But partisan allegations against its founder, funding by Zuckerberg, and indirect ties to the left-wing Soros challenge that description.
During the livestream of the event, the group’s founder, David Becker, set the tone for the conference in his opening remarks, repeating contested claims about the security of the 2020 election, and dismissing concerns about election fraud as unfounded.
“The 2020 election was, simply put, the most secure, transparent, and verifiable election in American history and it’s not close,” Becker claimed.
At least one journalist who challenged this narrative was allegedly removed from the conference.
Laura Loomer, an outspoken ally of President Donald Trump and proponent of theories about widespread election fraud in 2020, reported that she was thrown out of the conference for confronting election officials from Arizona and Georgia. The organizers later called the police on Loomer.
Becker founded CEIR in 2016. He has also been instrumental in several other electoral organizations and efforts across his career.
During the summit, Becker sought to present himself as nonpartisan and unbiased.
He claimed that he was one of the few election officials who was willing to acclaim Trump’s 2016 victory as legitimate, even as others considered claims that voter fraud and election tampering had deprived Hillary Clinton of a victory.
However, Becker founded CEIR in response to concerns about “foreign interference” in elections, an oft-repeated claim that Trump won in 2016 due to widespread Russian interference. But later multimillion-dollar federal investigations into Trump’s victory turned up no evidence of these claims.
And the founder’s track record is splotched with claims of political biases against conservatives.
In 2005, Becker—who has worked in elections for decades—was the subject of a formal ethics complaint while working in the Civil Rights division of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
During the Republican administration of President George W. Bush, Becker offered his expertise in election law to the city of Boston to defeat a lawsuit from the DOJ regarding election law violations.
In the investigation into this matter, it was discovered that Becker had made a series of “nasty, disparaging remarks about Republicans,” Hans von Spakovsky said. Von Spakovsky, who now is employed by the Heritage Foundation, was a DOJ legal counsel at the time.
“In his role with the DOJ, [Becker] was supposed to be nonpartisan,” von Spakovsky said.
“Very unethical and unprofessional,” he added. “I would never hire or trust him.”
Brad Schlozman, who directed the Civil Rights division at the time, was even more critical, suggesting that Becker deserved to be disbarred.
“It was the most unethical thing I’ve ever seen,” Schlozman said. “Classic case of someone who should have been disbarred.”
He added that Becker was “a hard-core leftist” and someone who “couldn’t stand conservatives.”
As recently as last year, Becker portrayed Trump as a liar and a danger to democratic norms in comments to The Washington Post.
“We have a significant percentage of the American electorate right now who have been lied to about the integrity of our elections, who believe that elections … are rigged unless their candidate wins,” Becker said. “Yet it’s nowhere close to 50 percent of America overall. But if Trump were to win a narrow victory again, I could see [election denial] ideas … infecting a larger percentage of the electorate. And if a large segment of a democracy’s electorate loses confidence in elections, that democracy probably is unsustainable.”
CEIR did not respond to an Epoch Times request for comment about these allegations.
However, in past comments to another media outlet, Becker addressed some of the allegations, but left others unanswered: “This complaint was made over 15 years ago, if memory serves, and was dismissed. There was no action taken against me by the Department of Justice as a result of this complaint. As you know, anyone can make a complaint for any reason, with or without basis.
“I served faithfully at the DOJ for seven years, from 1998 to 2005, during which time I received a Special Commendation of Merit from the Attorney General in 2002, during the Bush administration,” he added.
Almost $70 Million from Zuckerberg
In August 2020, Becker’s organization received a staggering $69.5 million from Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Under the appearance of COVID-19 safety precautions, this funding was used to furnish key swing states with more mail-in drop boxes.
Zuckerberg’s donation to CEIR came as part of a series of purportedly nonpartisan donations by the Facebook creator.
Read more here…
Sat, 05/13/2023 – 22:30