Florida's Sen. Bill Nelson seeks hurricane donations...through a lefty ActBlue middleman
Never let a crisis go to waste, as Chicago muscle Democrat Rahm Emanuel once put it. And, well, Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida is right there onboard with a scheme to funnel hurricane relief through a radical leftist pass-through organization. One can only ask why.
According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon:
Sen. Bill Nelson (D., Fla.) on Wednesday sent out an email encouraging people to donate money for hurricane disaster relief with a list of nonprofit groups that provide aid, but he did not disclose that the links for each group direct users to the website of ActBlue, an organization that helps Democrats raise money and saves donor emails for future fundraising efforts.
So instead of just posting links to the groups he'd encourage charity donations to in the wake of the terrible Hurricane Michael, which devastated his state's panhandle, he'd like you to funnel it into the capable hands of ActBlue Charities, which extracts a standard 3.95% fee from you for the privilege of delivering your money. The actual charities listed look pretty standard.
Supposedly, going through ActBlue is free to the charities themselves that sign up. ActBlue's blog says this:
ActBlue Charities is open to any c3 organization that is willing to engage in grassroots fundraising, and whose activity doesn't contradict ActBlue Charities' policies and values. Those values include (but aren't limited to) social equality, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, racial justice, diversity, freedom of speech, and respect for scientific inquiry, discovery, and data.
Charitable organizations will pay our standard 3.95% processing fee on contributions, but other than that, every single one of our tools – including training and support – is free. We're usually able to set charities up in a single day. No contracts, no hidden costs.
But how much of the money makes it to the charities themselves is an open question. In reading the fine print, one learns that it's only possible to learn how much of the actual donated money itself gets to the charities by writing letters to the Florida authorities and asking. Here's what's at the bottom of Nelson's donation form:
A copy of our latest financial report may be obtained by emailing email@example.com or calling (617) 517-7600. Alternatively, our report detailing our programs, a financial summary, and the percentage of contributions dedicated to our charitable purpose, along with a copy of our license, may be obtained from the following state agencies[.]
Funny how these web-savvy hipsters can't be bothered to post links about how much of the donated money they collect actually goes to the charities. And note that nowhere on these sites does any of them say 100% (minus the 3.95% fee, supposedly for credit card costs).
Note also that the fine print at the bottom has a strict accounting call that the donor must be 18 and the cash must be one's own cash or authorized by an entity, and you can't be putting up the cash on behalf of someone else. Such a rule doesn't seem to make sense for a charity. It actually sounds like campaign finance rules, which is odd, given that these are supposed to be charities. If you go to the individual charities themselves to donate, it's doubtful there are such rules.
Meanwhile, Nelson couldn't be bothered to provide those direct donation links on his site, because he wanted it all to go through ActBlue, which has been described by RealClearPolitics as a pass-through platform that "strikes gold for liberals."
Nelson's post listed real disaster relief charities, but most of the ActBlue's sponsored charitable groups, according to InfluenceWatch, are "charities" with names like this:
Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
National Immigration Law Center
Voices for Progress Education Fund
One can only wonder, at a time like this, and with Nelson locked into a fierce re-election battle, why he would want politics to get involved in any way with helping Florida dig out from its natural disaster. Things like that are supposed to be non-political, and injecting ActBlue into this is very political. Nelson would have been fine if he had just posted links to charitable organizations dedicated to hurricane relief on their own. But he somehow slipped in that Democratic middleman group for what appears to be some kind of political opportunism.
Did he do it because he wants money from those guys? ActBlue has been pretty impressive in getting the campaign coffers of Democrats in tight races filled. Was he hoping for, or making, a one-hand-washes-the-other deal? It doesn't seem to make sense to promote a middleman in the need for hurricane relief otherwise. Did he see an opportunity to make political hay?
What is shows is that Nelson is no moderate, as he portrays himself. He's in deep with the craziest of the radical Democrats, and he can be expected to do their bidding faithfully. The rest of us just turn up our noses in disgust, annoyed that he would use the occasion of a devastating hurricane to funnel money to the left.