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Election Integrity News Blog


Evidence Converging ... Nonprofits Interfering in ElectionsThree dramatic new examples within days

KRISTINE CHRISTLIEB | Septembe 13, 2023

Election integrity investigators are closing in on get-out-the-vote nonprofits. The tide may have turned in mid-August with years of research and reporting beginning to pay off.

  • August 8, The Gateway Pundit kicked things off on Steve Bannon’s War Room with new details about a 2020 “incident” involving thousands of fraudulent voter registration applications in Michigan.

  • August 14, Missouri Congressman Jason Smith (R-MO), Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent an open letter to 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 organizations inquiring about nonprofit electioneering and asking for their input, as well as the public’s, by September 8.

  • August 15, The Daily Caller reports exclusively on a fact-filled investigation from the Capitol Research Center (CRC): How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections.

Individually, these developments are devastating; taken together, they are potentially game-changing.

Send Burners, Guns, and Money

In October 2020, a female walked into the Muskegon, Michigan, city clerk’s office and dropped off 8-10,000 voter registration applications.

City Clerk Ann Meisch examined the applications and noticed many had the same handwriting along with questionable addresses. She contacted city police, who contacted Democrat Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, who then ordered the Michigan State Police to work with her investigators on this alleged case of voter fraud.

State police produced a 58-page report, a report that had not been made public until The Gateway Pundit broke the story on August 8. It revealed GBI Strategies, a private company owned by Gary Bell, was behind the massive voter registration operation.


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Investigators found GBI Strategies was working out of a number of temporary locations. At an office near Muskegon they found semiautomatic guns, silencers, pre-paid cash cards, burner phones and … incomplete voter registration applications.

One bio described Bell as a Washington D.C.-trained expert in “campaign management, organizing and canvass operations, data management and voter contact … [with] years of experience in developing proper targets … often leading hundreds of field managers and thousands of canvassers in get-out-the-vote operations, voter registration efforts and issue advocacy efforts.”

Bell moved into Michigan leading an army of workers under contract to hit certain target voter registration goals.

Parker Thayer, author of Capitol Research Center’s report on nonprofit involvement in U. S. elections, said a nonprofit called the Voter Registration Project (VRP) paid GBI Strategies millions of dollars to handle these kinds of labor-intensive activities.

Thayer told Trust But Verify, “VRP was desperate to meet quotas, they needed to please their donors; but COVID-19 made the work even harder, so VRP turned to one of the most partisan consulting firms, GBI Strategies, to do the job.”

In Thayer’s report, he points out the importance of voter registration efforts when funneled through nonprofits. They are more cost effective because donors receive a tax deduction for their “gifts” to 501(c)3s, and they also increase the likelihood that these individuals will actually vote. There is something about registering to vote that increases an individual’s likelihood to cast a ballot.


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In Michigan, GBI Strategies’ quality control failed and was unmasked by Muskegon’s city clerk. Attorney General Nessel likes to brag that the system worked and the fraudulent applications didn’t make it to the voter rolls.

But once the case was turned over to the FBI, nothing happened. No one was ever arrested.

House Ways and Means Committee on Alert

On August 14, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jason Smith and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman David Schweikert (R-AZ) published an open letter, requesting information about “the political activities of tax-exempt organizations under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code.”

Because the House Ways and Means Committee has purview over the federal tax code, it oversees regulation of tax-exempt organizations.

While it is not clear what specifically prompted the letter, its opening paragraph may provide some insight. Smith and Schweikert write: “The Committee has learned that a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) recommended donations to 501(c)3 organizations as ‘the single most effective tactic for ensuring Democratic victories.”

The Super Pac to which Smith and Schweikert referred is Mind the Gap, an organization co-founded by Stanford law professor Barbara Fried, mother of crypto-currency criminal Sam Bankman-Fried.

It is illegal for 501(c)3 organizations to engage in partisan activities, but that is what the Mind the Gap strategy memo was specifically recommending — to ensure “Democractic victories.”

Smith and Schweikert said they embarked on the inquiry because they believe activities that were once “considered nonpartisan have been made partisan,” and legislation and regulation have not kept up.

So there is some degree of likelihood there will be future legislation/regulation to rein in Democrats’ Wild West, get-out-the-vote tactics.

Capital Research Center Names Names … and How They’re Related

Parker Thayer’s CRC-sponsored report How Charities Secretly Help Win Elections is the Rosetta Stone explaining a little-known side of U.S. election politics.

“This story raises the most serious legal questions for the charitable sector in a half-century.”

As Thayer told Trust But Verify, “All the documents, all the information was already out there, we just connected the dots.”

Thayer shows these “not-really-nonpartisan voter registration campaigns — funded by private foundations and carried out by charities — have been the favored tactic of the Left since at least the 2008 election.”

The 2010 book The Blue Print: How the Democrats Won Colorado suggests the tactic goes back to 2004. So for nearly 20 years, Democrats have been exploiting their favored status with the IRS and running rough shod over federal regulations prohibiting partisan electioneering.

It was Thayer who discovered an unedited version of the Democrats’ partisan plans to target “non-white voters” to “change the composition of the electorate” and the outcome of elections.

As early as 2015, Democrats were planning to target not only non-white voters but also women and younger voters in battleground states like Michigan.

According to Thayer, “This story raises the most serious legal questions for the charitable sector in a half-century.”

The report also connects these activities with the Obama administration. Thayer traces the nonprofit family line from the Obama-era Project Vote, an affiliate of the ACORN activist network, to its kissing cousin Voting for America which was renamed the Voter Registration Project, the group that contracted with GBI Strategies which submitted phony voter registration applications in Muskegon, Michigan.

Between 2016 and 2021, $154.4 million in tax deductible, charitable gifts went to the Voter Registration Project.

Thayer concludes his report by claiming the Democrats’ 2015 plan “was, and is, the largest and most partisan ‘charitable’ voter registration effort in American history.”

[NOTE: None of these stories have been reported in the philanthropic press.]

Calendar of Events:

Citizen Research Project | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. (ET)

  • Election Technology | Jim Womack, NCEIT

  • Introduction to Election Integrity Infrastructure | Kerri Toloczko and Ned Jones, EIN

  • Vote By Mail / USPS | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Legislative Development | Kathleen Harms, TN

  • Ranked Choice Voting | Melody Clarke, EIN

  • Voter Roll Maintenance | Cleta Mitchell, EIN

  • Vulnerable Voters | Kerri Toloczko, EIN

    • Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

    • Kerri Toloczko: Join us on Tuesday, September 12th when we continue to discuss the importance of protecting minority voters through our Vulnerable Voters calls.

  • Media Training | Kerri Toloczko, EIN

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