Millions of donations from ‘unemployed’ to liberal causes spark accusations of foreign influenceby Emma Colton
Almost half of the donations received by ActBlue, a massive liberal fundraising platform, in 2019 were from “unemployed” donors.
“Our biggest concern is foreign money. Do you really believe that half of the people who are giving money through ActBlue don’t have a job?” John Pudner, the president of Take Back Action Fund, which conducted the research, told the Washington Times. “To me, that just seems absurd.”
The conservative nonprofit analyzed data from the Federal Elections Commission and found that 48.4% of donations last year were from the unemployed, Fox News reported.
"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 said. "The name of employers must be disclosed when making political donations, but more than 4.7 million donations came from people who claimed they did not have an employer. Those 4.7 million donations totaled $346 million ActBlue raised and sent to liberal causes."
The data also found that in 2020, there was an uptick of "unemployed" donations to ActBlue to the tune of 51%.
"It is hard to believe that at a time when the U.S. unemployment rate was less than 4%, that unemployed people had $346 million to send to ActBlue for liberal causes," Pudner said. He added that "4.7 million donations from people without a job ... raised serious concerns."
ActBlue said that donations from people considered “unemployed” are legitimate because many contributors are homemakers or retirees. The organization works as a "powerful online fundraising platform available to Democratic candidates and committees, progressive organizations, and nonprofits that share our values for no cost besides a 3.95% processing fee on donations."
Pudner, however, said the platform is open to credit card donations that aren’t verified, which could lead to foreign donations without paper trails, according to Fox News.
"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, and we encourage them to start letting banks verify the identity of donors to stop the potential for millions of dollars to influence our election," Pudner said.
The research also appeared to grab the attention of President Trump and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican.
“Wow – this sounds fishy as hell. Nearly 50% of liberal donors using @actblue were untraceable and listed as unemployed (with a 4% national unemployment rate),” Graham tweeted on Saturday with a link to Fox News’s report.
Trump responded to Graham’s tweet: “Fake Liberal Democrat Donors. Money laundering anyone?”