Nueces County Commissioners are going to take an item on Wednesday that could show just how deep special interest money is in play in local politics. The question stems around the ratification of an agreement with Crosswind Media & Communications, LLC for promoting safe voting during the COVID-19 pandemic to increase voter confidence in the safety of the process. But where that money is coming from is now the center of attention.
The money is portrayed to be CARES Act funding to help promote the safety aspects of getting out to vote. But budgetary information shows that the grant money is actually coming from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a group that has drawn extreme criticism from even the most objective of news outlets recently.
The county would make a purchase from Crosswinds Communications (which also has interests in local governmental agencies such as the Port of Corpus Christi) in the amount of $271,500. That money would be paid for from a grant received from the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL).
In a confidential memorandum from October 9, 2020 from Crosswinds the company claims that money would be used to:
• Educate Nueces County voters about the safety and security of voting during the pandemic.
• Make voters confident that they will be safe when voting
• Demonstrate Nueces County transparency and accountability as it relates to voter safety.
• Demonstrate voting is safe and reliable.
Their budget includes things like a $129,000 ad buy to help people understand how to vote safely and another $12,000 to write “editorial content” for media outlets. That all sounds harmless enough until you look at where that money comes from and who the Center for Tech and Civic Life is funded by.
Federal filings show that The Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) is a Chicago, Illinois-based, hard-left wing, election reform advocacy group formed in 2012. The organization pushes for far-left voting policies and election administration and has manipulated counties across the country that Democrats feel are “flippable” counties and districts.
According to further research the CTCL has a very broad and sneaky reach into local elections offices across the nation and is funded by many far-left wing donors such as the Skoll Foundation, the Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.
The trio who founded the group were all former co-workers at the New Organizing Institute (NOI). Not shockingly enough, the NOI was described by a Washington Post reporter as “the Democratic party’s Hogwarts for digital wizardry,” was a major training center for left-wing digital activists. That “wizardry” seems to now be well into play right here in our own backyard in Nueces County.
The group has a network of hundreds of election offices across the nation and works to train election officials, and provides courses to election offices and travels to offices (for a fee of $5,000) to help local officials collect data, build websites, and develop messages to motivate voters. The center also operates ElectionTools.org, which provides free templates and forms for use by election officials. All of their services fit well within the scope of what Crosswinds Communications, the county’s communications contractor is proposing to do.
Crosswinds Communications proposed in the confidential memorandum to assist the county with a Bilingual Vote Safely mailpiece, Public Service Announcements and Media Relations programs to educate multicultural audiences. All things that the CTCL do very well and send their funds to do.
The memorandum was signed by the President/CEO of Crosswinds Communications, Thomas Graham and Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales.
When it comes to the connection and controversy behind the funding source that is apparently trying to be disguised as a quiet and simple little grant, is that conservative groups across the country have filed lawsuits seeking to block these private federal election grants designated for places like Nueces County claiming the money constitutes bribery to boost voting in progressive or progressive leaning communities.
One of those lawsuits filed in Wisconsin clearly noted that under federal election law, the cities of Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Green Bay and Madison are not states and that local governments have no legal authority to accept and use private federal election grants such as the one being considered on Wednesday by Nueces County Commissioners.
The tactic is often seen as making a withdrawal at a “Dark Money ATM” and it seems that Nueces County is being rooked into the scheme and the county’s communications consultant and far-left Democrats could benefit the most if Republicans fall short on getting out their voter base and if Commissioners let them do it.