General Question

crazyguy's avatar

Is Biden really outraising Trump in election contributions?

Asked by crazyguy (363points) 1 week ago

According to the HILL he is – see https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/514779-biden-campaign-dnc-raise-3645-million-in-august

According to FOX News he is, but perhaps not as legally as he would have you believe – see https://www.foxnews.com/politics/exclusive-data-shows-that-half-of-2019-donations-to-actblue-came-from-untraceable-unemployed-donors#

I had never heard of ACTBLUE before. When I read the story I signed on to ACTBLUE with a fictitious first name (CRAZY) and a fictitious last name (GUY), a fictitious address and wasted $5 on a contribution using a legitimate credit card. The donation was accepted without any questions.

What if a foreign entity did the same thing?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

I just donated a buck to Donald using his official site with a fake address and virtual card number. They wanted to know my employer but there is a big “I’m Retired” button I clicked and then the employment part went away.

So yeah..

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crazyguy's avatar

Wow! Then why did we make such a big deal of a few hundred thousand dropped by some stupid Russians on Facebook ads?

Darth_Algar's avatar

They know if the card is legit or not and whether or not it’s actually registered to a US address. Your ploy isn’t nearly as clever as you seem to think it is.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@crazyguy Those stupid Russians got more than their money’s worth with the election of Trump.

janbb's avatar

Trump had a fund raising dinner in my area at which the maximum donation was $250,000. I think it’s late in the game for Trumpers to be screaming about unfairness in donations.

LostInParadise's avatar

I never heard of ActBlue before either. I would imagine that the donations it received are not counted as part of Biden’s campaign funding. The last I heard, the Republicans have not told how much they raised, which leads me to believe that they did not do nearly as well as Biden.

janbb's avatar

I have donated through ActBlue many times. It is a long time collection organization for largely progressive causes. Totally legit.

hmmmmmm's avatar

I can confirm that all of my donations to Dem candidates have gone through Actblue. Legit.

chyna's avatar

@crazyguy Thank you for contributing to Biden!

Darth_Algar's avatar

ActBlue is an online fundraising platform utilized by many Democrat campaigns at the national, state and local level. The Republicans have their own online fundraising platform called WinRed.

A few differences -

ActBlue was established in 2004. WinRed was established in 2019.

ActBlue is non-profit. WinRed is for-profit.

ActBlue publicly discloses information about campaign donations. WinRed does not.

Democrat candidates are not pressured by the DNC into using ActBlue, though at this point most choose to. The RNC has pretty much given WinRed a monopoly on Republican fundraising. To the point where it will withhold party support from candidates who do not use WinRed.

crazyguy's avatar

Thanks for your answers, guys.

Darth…Yes the card I used was legit. Except it is registered to a differenct person than I showed.

Stanley: What is amazing to me is that the Russians were able to get their objective rather easily for a small amount of money. Perhaps we should learn something from them!

janbb: so?

Lost: You are absolutely correct. The GOP did not do as well as the Democrats. Perhaps, because of Actblue.

janbb: Did you happen to spot any safeguards against foreign entities’ contributions?

Hmmm…: Does the fact that you have used it for your donations make it legit?

chyna: Thanks. Hopefully my $5 won’t put Biden over the edge.

Darth: Actblue asks for employer info. It does not give you an option to say you are retired, unlike Winred.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “Yes the card I used was legit. Except it is registered to a differenct person than I showed.”

And the issue here is what, exactly?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “Does the fact that you have used it for your donations make it legit?”

Yes. I can see all of my donations on fec.gov.

But I suspect we have different definitions of “legit” in this context.

crazyguy's avatar

Darth: To me the ONLY issue is the prevention of making political contributions by unidentified (possibly foreign) others’ money.

Hmmm: To me “legit” means “conforming with election contribution laws” – I have no idea how you define “legit”. The question I have is if there are no confirmed ties between the credit card and the person making the contribution, how do you assure that the person making the contribution is using his/her own money?

hmmmmmm's avatar

@crazyguy: “To me “legit” means “conforming with election contribution laws” ”

To me, “conforming with election contribution laws” has no connection to fairness, corruption, or anything resembling a functioning democracy.

“Legit” in the context of contributing to a rancid system = I contributed and I can see my contributions over the years at fec.gov. That’s it.

@crazyguy: “how do you assure that the person making the contribution is using his/her own money?”

Right. How do you have any idea who is sourcing any campaign contributions at any level to any candidate. Ever. Through any platform. And does that even matter when the whole thing is a joke?

crazyguy's avatar

hmmm: Wow! You are much more of a cynic than I am. I believe that Americans and organizations they form attempt to follow the laws. However, you believe that every law is an invitation to fraud.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy “To me the ONLY issue is the prevention of making political contributions by unidentified (possibly foreign) others’ money.”

That’s a possibility with any means of donating. We know, for instance, that Russia used the National Rifle Association to funnel money into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

crazyguy's avatar

Darth: Election law requires donors to disclose their employer. If half the Democratic donors are “unemployed” they seem to be keeping something hidden. What do you think that is? Perhaps the Russians used the NRA because they could not find enough individuals willing to “donate” on their behalf.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

So your stated concern was foreign money being funneled into campaigns, which, apparently, you use people’s employment status as an indicator of. Yet when given an actual example of foreign money being funneled into a political campaign your repose is basically “eh”. I suspect foreign money isn’t genuinely your concern at all, but rather that people might be donating more to the other guy instead of your guy.

crazyguy's avatar

Darth, I have tried damned hard to stay neutral on this topic. Are you saying there is nothing wrong with the current state of affairs where about half the donors to ACTBLUE do not disclose their employer as required by law?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

What? You think unemployed people can’t vote or contribute? Or do you just think they shouldn’t be allowed to?

Darth_Algar's avatar

And, donations through WinRed show just as many, if not more, listed as “retired/unemployed/self employed” as through ActBlue*. You can check this stuff out for yourself, if you actually care.

(*Going by a cursory look over the first few pages of individual donations. Though admittedly, I’m not going to sit here and sift through tens of millions of listed individual donations, and I highly doubt that “Take Back Action Fund” has ether.)

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

I doubt this was crazyguy’s intention but his post inspired me to donate to Biden. Considerably more than five bucks, too, and I even used my real name. I know crazyguy’s intent is to try to cast doubt on anyone he isn’t supporting, not to mention organizations that might support the “wrong candidate” in his mind, so just doing my part to make up for someone trying to cheat by using a phony name.

crazyguy's avatar

@Darth_Algar I do not know what you have been smoking, but…

Here are the actual numbers:

ACTBLUE: 48.4% of donors did not list an employer.
WINRED: 4.0% of donors did not list an employer.

@AlaskaTundrea I am glad I was able to show you the right way!

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

And your point is, you cheated, hence everyone does?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

Please show the methodology used to arrive at those numbers.

AlaskaTundrea's avatar

He does have one thing right. Even according to Fox, Biden is winning the donation battle. I’m not sure crazyguy is having any success trying to turn this into a negative for Biden but, hey, to quote his hero, “It is what it is”.

crazyguy's avatar

@AlaskaTundrea My point, actually, is that about half the donors to Actblue pretended to have no employer. And this was at a time when our unemployment rate was 4%.

@Darth_Algar I did no calculation. Got the numbers from https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/sep/13/actblue-donations-half-unemployed-givers-analysis-/

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

That article simply references the Take Back Action Fund, which is making the claim but, as far as I can find, shows no methodology for how they arrive at it.

In a nutshell: it appears to be little more than speculation.

crazyguy's avatar

@Darth_Algar I am not sure what methodology is needed to calculate a percentage. What I remember from my high school math is you calculate a percentage by counting up the number of donors who do not list an employer and then divide by the total number of donors. You multiply the resulting fraction by 100 to get a percentage.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@crazyguy

And, again, you can draw the same conclusion about WinRed. The information is there, publicly available for you to look if you’re really concerned about this. But you’re not, are you? Your real concern is that people are donating to the wrong candidate.

crazyguy's avatar

@Darth_Algar I have no idea what you are talking about. I provided the numbers for both actblue and winred. On winred the percentage of donors who did not list an employer was 4%!

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