By M.D. Kittle
MADISON —Testifying last week before the Senate Elections committee, Claire-Woodall-Vogg shrugged off concerns about third-party groups involved in Wisconsin’s elections.
Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, nervously defended her good friends at the Center for Tech and Civic Life, the left-leaning “secure” elections group heavily funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. And why wouldn’t the administrator breathlessly defend CTCL. She admitted to committee members that the organization gave her office $3.4 million in grant funds last year.
Woodall-Vogg waved off the idea that there were “strings attached” to the grant funds. Besides, she said, most grants come with conditions.
But the conditions placed on Wisconsin’s five largest cities by the private activist group raise some serious legal questions, for lawmakers and Wisconsin citizens worried about the integrity of elections.
Woodall-Vogg said she doesn’t know how Milwaukee’s election office could have gotten along in 2020 without CTCL — which, as it did in Philadelphia and other battleground state cities, doubled the size of Milwaukee’s election budget. And therein lies the problem. That’s too much money to turn down, too much money to lose for apparently cash-strapped local election administrators. It’s easy to see why Woodall-Vogg and her compatriots would defend such a generous benefactor and comply with said benefactor’s wishes.
Woodall-Vogg wasn’t asked about one of the services CTCL’s partner organization provided to Milwaukee and offered to Green Bay. It was a missed opportunity from the committee. Emails obtained by Wisconsin Spotlight, show a long-time Democratic operative intricately involved in Green Bay’s elections, “cured” or corrected absentee ballots for Milwaukee. Were such apparently unlawful actions just acceptable excesses in the offer Milwaukee couldn’t refuse?
Woodall-Vogg vehemently objects to legislation that would limit private grant funding in elections. She says this is not the time to refuse generous gifts from private groups. Would she feel the same if Americans for Prosperity was as generous? How about the tea party?
Such offers would probably make the liberal election official nervous — more nervous than she sounded testifying before the committee. But Woodall-Vogg is just fine accepting millions of dollars in election administration funds financed by a Big Tech oligarch who shut down conservatives on his social network. She’s cool with that because she’s a tool of the left.
Claire Woodall-Vogg is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.