CNN Fails to Disclose Poll Was Funded by Silicon Valley Billionaire

Pierre Omidyar (Brian Harkin / Getty)
Brian Harkin / Getty

CNN failed to disclose in a story published last week that the “nonpartisan” group that funded polls released last Thursday which purport to show “just how far Republicans were willing to go to support then-President Donald Trump’s unprecedented efforts to subvert the 2020 election,” is also the parent organization of an obscure nonprofit that helped the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) recruit local election officials to accept controversial private funding of election administration.

CNN reported:

New polls released Thursday show just how far Republicans were willing to go to support then-President Donald Trump’s unprecedented efforts to subvert the 2020 election.

The research was conducted by the Democracy Fund, a nonpartisan foundation that studies voter attitudes toward democratic institutions and works to strengthen democracy in the US.

Their polls found that after the election, a supermajority of Republicans backed Trump’s efforts to overturn the results: 86% said his legal challenges were appropriate, 79% said they weren’t confident in the national vote tally, and 68% said Trump really won. Another 54% said Trump should never concede, and a plurality said state legislatures should override the popular vote.
CNN, however failed to report key information about the left wing bias of the Democracy Fund, whose website states it “has committed more than $150 million to support a healthy democracy. [It was] [e]stablished by philanthropist and eBay founder Pierre Omidyar in 2011 and incubated inside Omidyar Network, Democracy Fund launched as an independent foundation in July 2014 and is a part of The Omidyar Group.”
Omidyar is currently the 83rd richest person in the world, with a net worth of $25 billion, Forbes reported.
Influence Watch reported:

Omidyar has given $213 million to various causes, many of which are active in left-wing politics. Among those groups that have been funded are the Open Society Foundations, the Tides Foundation, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Center for Responsive Politics.

Omidyar has also donated to Democratic Party candidates. During the Democratic Party presidential primaries in 2008, he donated to the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Ahead of the 2016 election, it was reported that Omidyar and his wife have donated $200,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and $150,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee “over the years.”

CNN also failed to report the role the Democracy Fund played in helping the Mark Zuckerberg-funded Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTCL) provide $350 million to local county and city governments to privately fund the administration of the 2020 election.

While Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan provided the $350 million of funding to CTCL in the latter part of 2020, the Democracy Fund helped keep the previously tiny CTCL operating in 2019 with a $275,000 grant.

Court documents filed in Louisiana by Attorney General Jeff Landry in October 2020 allege that an obscure nonprofit operating as part of the Democracy Fund, the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, attempted to recruit local Louisiana officials to accept $7.8 million in grants from the CTCL in the months immediately preceding the November 2020 election, as Breitbart News reported:

Landry filed the lawsuit on behalf of the State of Louisiana against CTCL, New Venture Fund DBA Center for Secure and Modern Elections, Dawn Maisel Cole, a private individual; and Full Circle Strategies LLC, “to prevent the injection of unregulated private money into the Louisiana election system.”

The lawsuit alleged:

  • The New Venture Fund, operating in Louisiana under the trade name Center for Secure and Modern Elections (CSME), partnered with CTCL to solicit applications and information from Louisiana officials in connection with proposed grants [from CTCL as part of the $350 million in grants made nationwide in the 2020 election].
  • CTCL and CSME worked their grant scheme in the State of Louisiana through a lobbyist by the name of Dawn Maisel Cole, owner and operator of Full Circle Strategies, LLC, as their Louisiana representative and agent to target registrars of voters, clerks of court, and local election officials.
  • The scheme targeted 13 parishes, some to receive contributions of more than $500,000, accompanied by a request for detailed information about the operations, conduct and expenses of the registrars/clerk’s office.
  • Ms. Cole directly solicited registrars and clerks of courts to accept contributions from CTCL and New Venture Fund for the operation of their respective offices.

These practices were prohibited, the lawsuit argued, because:

…private contributions to local election officials are unlawful and contrary to the methods for election funding established by law in the State of Louisiana, and such contributions by these defendants should be declared illegal and permanently enjoined.

Though a Louisiana judge ruled against Landry and in favor of the defendants later in October 2020, not a single Louisiana parish accepted a grant from CTCL in 2020.


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