The Democratic Party is resorting to highly deceptive fundraising tactics in order to inflate their election budgets – and they are targeting the elderly over the internet to do it.
The party is shameless in utilizing various tricks, which include fake offers to “match donations” when someone donates to their various political action committees or candidates, as well as pre-checked boxes that automatically enroll a donor in repeating that donation monthly.
While some moderate to savvy internet users will usually catch the pre-checked box, elderly people are often beginners in using the internet and will miss clues – which turn a one-time donation into a repeating one until they realize the mistake they made on their credit card bills and rush to try and get a refund.
This happens much more than someone might think at first. In fact, the average age of ActBlue (a Democratic fundraising platform) donations in California was 65 years old. Additionally, over four times as much money by people over 70 years of age was refunded than all adult donors under the age of 50.
Susan Kraus, an 81 year old woman in New York, was one of these donors who was victimized, when her son discovered she has made 175 different donations to ActBlue, coming out to $4,500.
“That’s impossible,” Kraus told The New York Times. “Never. I don’t know how that happened. But it wasn’t me doing it.
“It’s almost like they were duplicating it,” she added. “Like there were tricks.” So far, her son has only been able to retrieve $2,500 of the funds.
The Democratic Party does not stop with those deceitful tactics. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the fundraising arm of the party, is widely known for sending out mass email campaigns that display subject lines such as “Final Notice #58388499”. This trick is used to worry elderly people that they are about to default on a bill until they enter their credit card information and make yet another donation.
Another less known trick the party uses is hiding the “Unsubscribe” button for email fundraising campaigns in plain text, which, along with a small font type and placing the button at the bottom of the email in an effort to hide it, makes it near impossible for elderly individuals (who many times have decreased vision) to find and click. The result of this means that the at-risk population is consistently spammed with emails that increase the chance of them donating.
The Democratic Party uses the funds obtained from donors to market unpopular propositions to the public, spending millions of dollars to get the legislation through. This process can allow a small group of special interests to influence major initiatives happening around both California and the country at large.
For example, in the 2020 election, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy, an interest group formed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, donated over $11 million dollars to Prop 15, the largest property tax hike in California’s history. His group also donated $2.25 million to oppose Prop 20, which sought to bring serious offenders of the law to justice.
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