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Biden's Illegal Use Of Taxpayer Funds To Benefit Democrats

Compensating for the negative momentum among the young: financial handouts and gin-up the abortion issue.

Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

One of the most unethical practices employed by the Democratic Party in the 2020 election was its open embrace of ‘Zuck Bucks.’ 

A private donation from Meta founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, set up a foundation called the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), which distributed nearly $400 million in funds to voting districts nationwide. The benefiting districts were disproportionately Democrat-leaning. ‘Zuck Bucks’ paid poll workers to step up voter registration drives, provide transportation to voters to polling stations, and two half-a-million-dollar automatic ballot sorters in Philadelphia, one of the regions at the center of the election disputes in 2020. 

Although the donations were not illegal, they amounted to a massive in-kind, below-the-radar contribution to help one party over another. It is little wonder that 25 primarily-red states have passed laws to ban the practice.

It was bad enough that private money attempted to skewer elections. Now, the Biden administration, using taxpayer dollars, is trying to do the same, using the federal work-study program.

Earlier this week, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a new federal initiative to partner with voting rights groups and federal agencies to get students to register people to vote.

We have been doing work to promote voter participation for students. For example, we have under the Federal Work-Study program now allow students to get paid through Federal Work-Study to register people and to be non-partisan poll workers. As we know, this is important for a number of reasons. One, to engage our young leaders in this process and activate them in terms of their ability to strengthen our communities.

Harris's statement is blatantly unethical and possibly illegal.

For college students who apply for federal aid, the Work-Study Program emphasizes employment in civic education and work related to students' course of study whenever possible. The relationship to students' course of study is vital to the federal aid program. Even when colleges have agreements with private for-profit employers for work-study jobs, the rules stipulate that work-study jobs must be relevant to the student's training (to the maximum extent possible). 

How would Harris verify the qualification of a student to receive work-study funds? Would only political science majors in liberal arts programs qualify? What if a student is minoring in political science? Since conducting elections involves various skills - marketing, statistics, sociology, computer science, litigation, history, criminal justice, cybersecurity, and communication - would all these majors and minors be included? Which majors would be disqualified if Harris wielded such a broad brush? Wouldn't using federal funds to subsidize some majors as against others amount to discrimination? There are some of the many unanswered questions.

Indeed, there are even more significant statutory issues with the proposal. 

Elections in America are a state function. Every aspect of an election - voter registration, maintaining voter databases and authenticating candidates, poll administration, vote counting, tabulation, and declaring results - is the responsibility of the Secretary of State in each state authorized to execute state laws. When disputes occur, these are resolved in state courts under the administration of state judges. 

The federal government has a limited role, mostly centered on election security by defending against domestic and foreign actors through the FBI, combating campaign finance violations through the Federal Election Commission, and protecting election officials and workers from physical harm through federal law enforcement.  

Of course, after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Department of Justice became heavily involved in protecting citizens' right to vote. But after nearly fifty long years of DOJ oversight of problem districts, primarily in the South, the United States Supreme Court held on June 25, 2023, that it is unconstitutional to use the coverage formula in Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act to determine which jurisdictions are subject to the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. Shelby County v. Holder was one of the most consequential decisions of the Roberts Court, no longer requiring an Alabama county, for example, to apply to the DOJ for permission to make the slightest change to the county's voting processes, such as relocating a polling station. 

This 2024 factsheet from the United States Department of Homeland Security explicitly details the federal role in elections. It makes no mention that the federal government should drive voter registrations or send poll workers to elections. What Kamala Harris is proposing is almost illegal, by her own department's definition.

If Harris's proposals are not stopped in court, it will amount to taxpayer funds going to college students who overwhelmingly support Democratic candidates, to mobilize citizen participation in elections when the federal government has no constitutional role. It will amount to federal funds paying workers to play a partisan role at polling stations. There's no mechanism to verify that students on federal work-study programs are non-partisan. If using private funds in ‘Zuck Bucks’ was terrible, using federal dollars is significantly worse. 

Americans have witnessed President Biden repeatedly disobeying legal precedent or court orders to do what he pleases. The Supreme Court expressly forbid Biden's Department of Education from canceling student debt. However, using ingenious methods, Biden has continued to waive hundreds of billions of dollars of debt.

Recall that we've emphasized numerous times in our editorials the negative momentum and the exodus of young people from Biden's camp. The latest initiative aims to reel them back in.

We have not forgotten how, prior to the 2022 midterm elections, Biden promised huge student loan waivers, knowing that the plan was destined to fail. Also noteworthy is Kamala Harris's prominent role as an advocate for abortion rights, another cornerstone of the Democrats' reelection agenda targeting youth.

What's on the horizon? Here are a few predictions:

Many Michigan auto union workers have no intention of voting for Biden. Another round of taxpayer-funded incentives might sway them, but who's keeping track? With the national debt already at $34 trillion, does it matter?

Take for granted and anticipate announcements related to the release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, essentially Biden's political lifeline, to curb summer-to-November price hikes.

President Biden's desperation for a November victory is palpable. Bidenomics has failed, leaving Americans in extreme distress. With nothing to show for his first term in office, his primary reelection strategy now revolves around lawfare, abortion, and financial handouts.

Employing the federal work-study program to help the Democratic Party is another example of Biden's shameful conduct. After all, he is a 52-year career politician, experienced and at his best.

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