A huge non-profit is campaigning for Biden in Georgia
Georgia has a central place in this election. If both Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue lose in the run-off election on January 5, then the Senate is tied at 50-50 with Kamala Harris delivering the tie-breaking vote if Biden wins (aided perhaps by Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski). The Democrat candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, are getting some extra help from an unexpected source: A Boston-based non-profit mortgage company is aggressively campaigning on their behalf.
Bruce Marks is the Founder and CEO of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA”), a Boston-based non-profit (501(c)(4)) mortgage lending company. NACA has 360,000 members and, in Georgia, over a hundred vans for taking people to the polls for the entire voting period. NACA also has thousands of paid canvassers that it has put through Marks’s “Canvasser Bootcamp.”
My first encounter with Marks and NACA was in 2008 after the housing market collapsed. Marks was holding seminars in churches and community centers telling people how to save their homes.
I attended, along with hundreds of others. There was standing room only. NACA had advertised that homeowners in trouble, real estate brokers and agents, and mortgage brokers would all be welcome. Marks and his team presented an admirable program for helping lower-income people avoid foreclosure. It didn’t work for me, though, so I lost sight of the organization.
A few days ago, I was still recovering from the shock that President Trump had seemingly lost Georgia and was mystified about how that could have happened. Then, when I was going through my emails, I discovered one for a NACA webinar almost lost in the clutter of my inbox.
The header on the email was “Mobilize Georgia – Canvasser Opportunity.” Curious, I signed up for the webinar and found out why Trump may have lost – and learned that Republicans might lose the Senate on January 5th if we don't get busy.
The webinar had an Amway-like fervor for Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. NACA’s team is clearly energized thanks to Trump’s alleged loss in Georgia. With voter registration only closing on December 7, and the vote happening on January 5, NACA’s people are taking advantage of every minute.
NACA showed off its late model busses during the webinar, all with huge signs offering free rides to the polls followed by their phone number. You can get a glimpse of these busses on NACA’s home page:
NACA offered canvassers a $12.50 starting pay after they attended six days of boot camp. NACA also got local TV stations to report during their news broadcasts that NACA will be offering free rides to the polls.
Despite its aggressive efforts to get out the vote, this group is going under the radar here in Georgia. People seem unaware that they are very well funded and that Bruce Marks, the CEO, has the education and experience to push this effort as far as it will go.
Marks has an M.B.A. in finance from New York University and a B.A. in economics from the University of Connecticut. He worked as a Congressional Liaison for the Department of Energy in Washington DC. Then he worked as a regulator for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Domestic Applications.
NACA’s threat is very real. While many Republicans are down and dispirited, the Democrats are energized. We must do more than cast our own votes. We must get others to vote, too! We must deliver a 52-48 Republican margin so that Trump can do more or -- if the unthinkable happens -- Joe Biden can do less.