It’s oft been said lately that Democrats appear willing to do anything to win. Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, in a tough re-election battle against Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott, is taking that growing truism to heart — and to a new low.
Playing on Floridians’ and other Americans’ natural desire to help those in desperate need, Nelson tweeted Friday a pitch for helping people in the devastated Panhandle area of Florida and a link to where they can donate:
“The devastation from #HurricaneMichael is widespread across the Panhandle and Big Bend in Florida. Anything you can give to these nonprofit organizations will help people with needed relief.”
But the link goes to ActBlue, a partisan fundraising site for Democrats and leftist organizations. Nelson did not mention that, and passed it off to his Twitter followers as a “non-profit organization” to help people with hurricane relief.
But it does no such thing, as one might guess from its name. It is a crowdfunding site dedicated to Democrat causes, which it plainly in its “about” page:
“We develop top-of-the-line fundraising software and offer simple, intuitive tools to help campaigns and organizations connect with new and existing grassroots donors. As a result, nonprofits thrive and Democratic campaigns get more donations through ActBlue than any other platform. Together, we build powerful movements…
“That’s why a majority of Democratic Senate and House campaigns — along with the DCCC, DSCC, DGA, over one-third of statewide campaigns, and advocacy organizations around the country — have chosen ActBlue. Together, we’ve raised 2,878,410,604 dollars for Democrats and progressive causes in just 14 years.” (Emphasis added)
The link takes potential donors to hurricane victims to the ActBlue platform with options for at least some legitimate organizations, such as the American Red Cross. But of course ActBlue can take its cut,, and more importantly provide a rich trough for donor mining, with names, emails and other personal information — information that Nelson and other Democrats may be able to use to fundraise directly.
According to the conservative news site Western Journal, “ActBlue itself has become the anti-Trump weapon of choice for many Democrats recently, with contributions made through the site spiking during Trump’s time in politics. More than half of all donors gave for the first time in 2017, a year in which the site raised over $522 million for Democratic candidates and causes.”
That is well over twice what it raised in 2015, when it hit $207 million in a presidential election cycle.
It’s a safe bet that many people who click on that link to help victims have no desire to also be helping anti-Trump forces — and would never want any money or their personal information going to those places. But that’s exactly the case with Nelson’s tweet.
It’s always best to just go to the web site of the charity that you want to support and donate to them directly on their site.
This puts one in mind of pricing gougers and the unscrupulous “contractors” that invade an area after a natural disaster who sell water for $5 a bottle or gasoline or promise to fix property, but take money without doing anything for it.
All of these groups, and politicians like Bill Nelson, see in a natural disaster an opportunity for themselves.
Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.
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