buy the ticket, ride the ride https://t.co/pIsLnsNnGc
— kilgore trout, a student of martial arts (@KT_So_It_Goes) April 4, 2021
A reassuring indicator that The Former Guy is truly Former — The NYTimes is now willing to tell us that he (and his party) would happily steal the pennies off a corpse’s eyes:
… Facing a cash crunch and getting badly outspent by the Democrats, the campaign had begun last September to set up recurring donations by default for online donors, for every week until the election.
Contributors had to wade through a fine-print disclaimer and manually uncheck a box to opt out.
As the election neared, the Trump team made that disclaimer increasingly opaque, an investigation by The New York Times showed. It introduced a second prechecked box, known internally as a “money bomb,” that doubled a person’s contribution. Eventually its solicitations featured lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language.
The tactic ensnared scores of unsuspecting Trump loyalists — retirees, military veterans, nurses and even experienced political operatives. Soon, banks and credit card companies were inundated with fraud complaints from the president’s own supporters about donations they had not intended to make, sometimes for thousands of dollars…
The sheer magnitude of the money involved is staggering for politics. In the final two and a half months of 2020, the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts issued more than 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors. All campaigns make refunds for various reasons, including to people who give more than the legal limit. But the sum the Trump operation refunded dwarfed that of Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s campaign and his equivalent Democratic committees, which made 37,000 online refunds totaling $5.6 million in that time.
The recurring donations swelled Mr. Trump’s treasury in September and October, just as his finances were deteriorating. He was then able to use tens of millions of dollars he raised after the election, under the guise of fighting his unfounded fraud claims, to help cover the refunds he owed…
Unlike ActBlue, which is a nonprofit, WinRed is a for-profit company. It makes its money by taking 30 cents of every donation, plus 3.8 percent of the amount given. WinRed was paid more than $118 million from federal committees the last election cycle; even after paying credit card fees and expenses like payroll and rent, the profits are believed to be significant.
WinRed even made money off donations that were refunded by keeping the fees it charged on each transaction, a practice it said was standard in the industry, citing PayPal; ActBlue said it does not keep fees for refunded donations. WinRed’s cut of the Trump operation’s refunds would amount to roughly $5 million before expenses. (Archived versions of WinRed’s website show it added a disclaimer saying it would keep its fees around when refunds surged.)…
Republicans widely hailed WinRed as one of the standout successes of the 2020 cycle, and in a memo last October the company declared itself the “trusted, recognizable platform” for Republican giving. “Scam PACs, shady operators and outright fraud is unfortunately a common occurrence in the online political donation world — particularly on the right,” the memo stated. “WinRed helps civilize the Wild West of the G.O.P. donation ecosystem.”…
Now WinRed is exporting the tools it pioneered during the Trump re-election across the Republican Party, presaging a new normal for G.O.P. campaigns.
Today, the websites of various Republican Party committees and top congressional Republicans, including Representative Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, include prechecked yellow boxes for multiple or recurring donations…
I do remember Democrats, at the time, pointing out that this was ethically questionable, if not actually illegal. But it’s certainly a useful tool for a party that’s committed itself to fewer, but
dumber ‘more loyal’ members. (And that’s even before they sell their mailing lists to a bunch of non-political scammers!)
This is a perfect way to frame it. He robbed supporters blind so he'd have the raw cash when he needed it, expecting he could refund it when he didn't.
If it isn't a crime, it frigging should be. https://t.co/L77Vs0MXxU
— Zd (@Zeddary) April 3, 2021
you could have just donated to a soup kitchen. big sad for you. get rekt.
— Peloton InfoSec Analyst (Incident Response) (@CalmSporting) April 4, 2021