By SUZANNE DOWNING
The Federal Election Commission owes Americans an explanation.
In late March, muckraking journalist James O’Keefe of O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) knocked on the doors of a few older and unemployed Americans, to ask them about their campaign donations, which were nothing less than extraordinary: Some were donating thousands of times, adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
O’Keefe videotaped their reactions as they learned their names were possibly being used by the fundraising company called ActBlue to create plausible paper trail for donations to various Democrat political campaigns and causes. The people O’Keefe interviewed were stunned.
He spoke with one woman from Maryland who allegedly contributed $18,000 to Act Blue through over 1,000 individual contributions.
The woman appeared puzzled when she learned FEC records show she was donating constantly. She said she doesn’t have the means to be that generous: “I wish I could have donated $18,000,” she said on camera.
Love him or hate him, O’Keefe is onto something: The ActBlue fundraising platform may scrape names from a single or several donations people make and then attribute other, continuous donations to them.
Although it’s painstaking work, you, too, can discover this odd donor pattern if you look through the FEC database. But the FEC apparently never saw anything untoward about obsessive-compulsive political donations by unemployed older Americans.
O’Keefe’s investigation was replicated by private investigator Kyle Corrigan of Brightline Investigations in Wisconsin. He interviewed a gentleman who had no clue he had been credited with 11,000 donations over seven years by ActBlue. He said he may have donated once a month, but that was it.
Must Read Alaska combed through the ActBlue contributions to Alaska Democrat Rep. Mary Peltola for the 2022 cycle and found the same curious pattern of multiple older unemployed people in several non-Alaska states donating numerous times in small amounts, day after day.
It defied logic. In the short campaign season from the special election primary in August, a few donors made donations nearly every day to Peltola’s campaign — mainly in $10 or $25 amounts.
One New Mexico man donated to ActBlue at least 310 times in November of 2022, Must Read Alaska discovered – over 10 donations a day. That same person donated to Peltola’s campaign through ActBlue almost every other day starting in Sept. 15, 2022, and sometimes twice a day.
A review of Rep. Peltola’s 2023 first-quarter campaign earnings at the FEC turns up the same pattern from some of the same unemployed Americans who appear to have given compulsively to her campaign last year.
Why would unemployed elderly donors sit at a computer and make $10 or $25 donations every day to an unknown Democrat candidate in a red state like Alaska?
After the O’Keefe story broke on March 28, however, the FEC was silent as a graveyard.
Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson immediately asked for answers. He could get nothing. Last week The Daily Caller News Foundation published a letter sent by Sen. Johnson to the FEC, asking why his March request for an explanation of the ActBlue fundraising mill is not being treated expeditiously. The FEC had first promised it would provide him a briefing, then said it would not. The agency said it would provide an explanation for why it will not brief the senator, but then gave Johnson the cold shoulder.
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio also demanded answers.
“Two weeks ago, alarming reports emerged of fraudulent donations being reported to the FEC by ActBlue,” Rubio wrote to the FEC. “These reports indicate that numerous individuals, including senior citizens, have purportedly donated to ActBlue thousands of times a year. However, according to recent investigative reports, many of these individuals had no idea that their names and addresses were being used to give thousands of dollars in political donations, with most of these ‘donations’ going to ActBlue.”
Not only is the election accountability agency dragging its heels, but legacy media has ignored the revelation that ActBlue might have a little money-laundering issue.
Editors and reporters don’t like to admit that O’Keefe has discovered some uncomfortable information about the candidates and causes that they typically protect. O’Keefe uses brazen tactics that the Left has perfected – and he’s using those tactics on leftists themselves. What’s more, O’Keefe is not at all friendly to the mainstream media, so he’s ignored. They hope he’ll just go away.
For its part, ActBlue has not made any public statement about the straw donor allegation.
The trifecta of silence is deafening. Like the cops from “Men in Black,” we have a federal agency, the media, and the company itself saying, “Move along, nothing to see here.”
The well-oiled components of the Democrat narrative find nothing odd about an elderly unemployed American supposedly donating $230,000 in 31,000 separate contributions to ActBlue over three years. Nothing odd at all, right?
Suzanne Downing is publisher of Must Read Alaska.