Running for governor, former Alaska Gov. Bill Walker did the unthinkable this week: He asked people to donate to his campaign with the promise that he would forward a whole $1 out of every $10 donated to relief efforts for Western Alaska, through the Alaska Community Foundation.
It’s as though he had not discovered people could donate directly to the American Red Cross, the community foundation, or other disaster relief providers who are already helping the people impacted by the Sept. 17 storm.
Walker, whose net worth is said to be millions of dollars, could easily write a $100,00 check himself to a relief fund, and could at least take the charitable deduction on his taxes. Those who donate to the Walker-Drygas campaign will not be able to take such a write off.
Walker’s strategy of mocking the governor for missing debates during the emergency response appears to have backfired. Walker’s emissary Scott Kendall bashed the governor for not declaring a disaster before the storm hit. He’s running behind in the polls, and now he’s using human suffering as a reason to donate to his campaign. There’s no handbook that tells candidates not to do this, because evidently no campaign advisor has ever thought any campaign would be so tacky.
Robert Maguire, research director at the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told CNBNC that people need to do their diligence.
“Some of these campaigns and committees have gotten really good at making emotional appeals that apply to donors’ preexisting political beliefs,” Maguire was quoted as saying on “American Greed.” “Sometimes that can sort of short circuit the part of your brain that says, ‘Wait, I should be doing a little research before I give this money’.