Some conservatives have accused a Democrat senator known for slandering Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s wife of using the devastation and horror spawned by Hurricane Michael this week to assist a left-wing fundraising platform capture the email addresses and phone numbers of his constituents.
In an email sent Wednesday, the same day that the category four hurricane made landfall along the Florida Panhandle, Sen. Bill Nelson urged his constituents to donate to relief efforts by clicking over to ActBlue.com, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
ActBlue, a federally registered political action committee that was launched in 2004, has called itself “the online clearinghouse for Democratic action.”
“ActBlue is a nonprofit, building fundraising technology for the left,” the organization says on its website. “Democratic campaigns get more donations through ActBlue than any other platform.”
“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,” the website adds, noting that the organization has raised $2,862,403,745 for “Democrats and progressive causes” in 14 years.
Nelson also shared a link to ActBlue on his Twitter feed:
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. https://t.co/RFd59Dty4q pic.twitter.com/1MARpUE6C4
— Nelson for U.S. Senate (@NelsonForSenate) October 10, 2018
While ActBlue’s donation page is legitimate, it’s odd that Nelson would link his constituents to a left-wing fundraising platform instead of just linking them directly to relief organizations like the American Red Cross, the Big Bend Homeless Coalition and the Florida Disaster Fund.
But it may also be significative of something more sinister. Note that to submit a donation through ActBlue, you must share your full name, your email address and your cell phone number, i.e., the very information the organization uses to raise money for Democrats.
Below is a snapshot of the organization’s donation form:
Because of this discrepancy, some now believe that Nelson purposefully linked his constituents to ActBlue to help the left-wing organization capture the personal information of his constituents and thus build up its donor list for its ongoing Democrat fundraising campaigns.
“Bill Nelson has reached a new low in a desperate attempt to save his political career,” National Republican Senate Committee spokesperson Camille Gallo reportedly said in a statement.
“While Floridians were trying to save their homes and lives, Bill Nelson used this tragedy as an opportunity to save his taxpayer-funded job by shamelessly using disaster relief efforts to bolster his fundraising operation.”
Social media users feel similarly about his odd email and tweet:
WHOA. This is worse than bad.
Dem FL Senate candidate Bill Nelson is directing people to ‘ActBlue Charities’ instead of to a legit relief org’s site.
In other words, he’s sending people to a far left Dem activism site under the guise of hurricane relief. https://t.co/a9CkwnqNPX
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 13, 2018
So, not so much a call for hurricane relief as it is relief for your campaign and left wing causes. Disgusting!
— SilverPatriot (@SilverPatriot1) October 13, 2018
Worse than the Clinton foundation
— 𝔻𝕒𝕧𝕚𝕕𝕠𝕤 🇬🇧 𝕃𝔽ℂ 💎 (@dabu289) October 13, 2018
What Act Blue gets out of this is a list active citizens, i.e., ones who will likely vote. Getting this data is a gold mine, and voter lists are worth lots of money.
— Nattie Roman (@TsarKastik) October 13, 2018
Shame on him!! Figures….he’s a Dem!
— Shushu (@Shushu18302034) October 14, 2018
Wow you are horrible. I hope you enjoy being jobless.
— poor king Kelly (@kellyknowsdaway) October 13, 2018
Thief. This is about the lowest of lows.
— tim bates (@batestimbo) October 13, 2018
It gets worse. According to John Cardillo of Newsmax, ActBlue funds it own operation by charging a “small” fee for all donations processed through its portal.
“They take a cut to process the donations as opposed to going directly to the charities’ sites where nothing is skimmed off the top,” he noted on Twitter.
Check out ActBlue Charities IRS 990s.
They take a cut to process the donations as opposed to going directly to the charities’ sites where nothing is skimmed off the top.
Using your “logic,” I should sue you for libel.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) October 14, 2018
This means Nelson may have not only helped ActBlue build its donor list but also earn money to pay its employees. At this point, to say this looks bad for the senator would be a gross understatement.
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