One NGO revealed an incongruous fact that promises to unleash a political scandal: half of the contributions received by a well-known platform that channels donations to the Democratic Party were from “unemployed” people. The finding was released by Fox News on Sept. 12.
A preliminary report from the Take Back Action Fund has found that 48.4% of all donations received by ActBlue in 2019 were made by people claiming to be unemployed or did not list an employer.
The disclosure comes less than two months before the presidential election and against a backdrop of growing concern about potential foreign interference in the electoral process.
Action Fund President John Pudner questioned the veracity of these donations and called the fact a loophole that must be closed in the interest of electoral integrity.
“After downloading hundreds of millions of [dollars in] donations to the Take Back Action Fund servers, we were shocked to see that almost half of the donations to ActBlue in 2019 claimed to be unemployed individuals,” Pudner commented according to Fox.
Pudner explained that when political donations are made, the law requires the donor to report their occupation and the name of their employer. However, in the case of this important Democratic fundraising platform, more than 4.7 million donations came from people who claimed not to have an employer.
“Those 4.7 million donations totaled $346 million ActBlue raised and sent to liberal causes,” said Pudner. Take Back Action Fund is a non-profit organization that aims to “educate the public on conservative solutions for political reform.”
According to its website, ActBlue was created in 2004 and is projected to be a “powerful online fundraising platform available to Democratic candidates and committees, progressive organizations, and nonprofits.”
“We operate as a conduit, which means donations made through ActBlue to a campaign or organization are considered individual donations,” explains the progressive organization.
But critics, including the Action Fund, argue that the platform allows for unchecked credit card donations—such as prepaid cards—so that anyone from any country in the world can donate virtually anonymously.
“It is hard to believe that at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate was less than 4 percent, that unemployed people had $346 million dollars to send to ActBlue for liberal causes,” said Pudner.
Worse yet, the 2019 trend seems to be sharpening this year. According to an Action Fund study of January through August 2020 data, “unemployed” grants through ActBlue climbed to 50.1 percent.
Pudner warned that this disclosure may represent a warning sign that some campaign donations may be illegal contributions from foreign interests trying to influence the Nov. 3 election in the United States.
In fact, the ActBlue “unemployed” donation figure stands in stark contrast to the analogous figure for WinRed, a fundraising platform created last year by the Republican Party.
According to the Action Fund, an analysis of the 4.9 million donations that WinRed received in 2019, totaling $302 million, found that only 4% came from people who indicated that they did not have an employer or were unemployed. According to the NGO’s data, so far in 2020, the rate is 5.6%.
“ActBlue’s insistence on refusing to allow banks to verify their donations is an invitation to foreign programmers or others to send money through them using fake American names,” said Pudner.
“We encourage them to start letting banks verify the identity of donors to stop the potential for millions of dollars to influence our election,” concluded the Action Fund president.