Greenwich Republicans hosted a conference call on March 2, 2023, with Scott Walter of the Capital Research Center and Jason Snead of the Honest Elections Project to caution listeners about the dangers of injecting third-party money into elections.
“They [CTCL] are trying to worm their way into your election machinery, and manipulate it, and influence it. And the registrars apparently want to say, well, that's not really the case. But if it's not really the case, then how come those same registrars are literally using talking points from the Center for Tech and Civic Life to push back on people like those on this call who are raising issues with it?”
While Walter and Snead didn’t want to necessarily place blame on the registrars, they did emphasize the “bait and switch” nature of the relationship with CTCL.
Namely, that the program was originally presented as a special award — a Good Housekeeping “seal of approval” as it were — but when the “winners” received the email about the major award, they pivoted and said winners would have to join the US Alliance for Election Excellence. Then CTCL asked for tax dollars for a membership fee to join the Alliance. And then it offered a scholarship to pay for the membership fee, so the grant would get converted to fees that would get funneled right back into CTCL’s coffers. After that, CTCL asked for time and in-kind contributions to the Alliance. Then it revealed a $500k grant that the registrars didn’t even know was coming.
That’s a lot of shifts in a short period of time, and not the way an honorable non-profit would ever function.
Furthermore, this kind of dark money grant has already been outlawed in 24 states and 12 counties.
It’s worth nothing that the Greenwich Registrar Fred DeCaro never asked CTCL for money. He never applied for a grant. The $500k “award" came entirely out of the blue. This is how the scenario played out in other “award-winning” cities, too, including one in Michigan which recently rejected CTCL's grant.
The Republican Registrar and Republican First Selectman Fred Camillo were notably absent from the Greenwich Republicans meeting on third-party funding of elections.
However, an internet troll did hack into the zoom and posted a crude drawing and inappropriate comments in the chat in an attempt to derail the’ meeting.
It didn’t work, and the call proceeded despite the troll.
Of course, the Greenwich RTM already voted to accept the CTCL grant in a contested vote. A motion to rescind the grant will be considered at the March 13, 2023, RTM meeting.
You can watch the replay here, though you may need to manually type in the passcode (do not copy/paste): ^8C2C=Mn