James O’Keefe rocked the journalism world when he was ousted from his own media company, Project Veritas, last month amidst tensions with the board of directors. O’Keefe was not down for long, however. In March he launched O’Keefe Media Group (OMG) and on Tuesday the new endeavor scored its first big story.
OMG took a look at Federal Election Commission (FEC) data regarding popular Democrat fundraiser group ActBlue. Their investigation found what O’Keefe calls “a bizarre amount of data” on donation activity from individual donors, particularly senior citizens. According the FEC data, some individuals are recorded as making thousands of donations a year, adding up to huge amounts – $200,000 or more in some cases.
To reiterate, that is not thousands of dollars in donations a year, that is thousands of small donations a year, adding up to tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars under various sole individuals.
Using the publicly available data, O’Keefe headed to Maryland to track down some of the donors from that state and confirm with them if they had indeed been making thousands of small donations a year to ActBlue.
For example, one senior citizen was recorded as making over 1,000 individual donations in the year 2022 for a total of a little over $18,000. That would mean she was donating to ActBlue three times a day for an entire year. When asked if she had purposefully donated so frequently to the organization, the Maryland senior told O’Keefe that while she had donated a few dollars here and there, she absolutely had not donated that much money, nor that many times.
ACTBlue is what I donate to politically sometimes, and I do not make that many contributions. I wish I could donate 18 thousand to Biden’s presidency. Like I said I donate five dollars once in a while, because I give to various other charities.
The woman seemed almost tickled at the idea that she might have that much money to spend on a political candidate.
An Arizona resident, age 80, was recorded as having made 18,672 individual contributions for a total of $170,221.37. The data shows her making contributions up to ten times a day at times. When approached by an OMG reporter, the woman expressed shock at the amount, and claimed she most certainly did not make those donations and was completely unaware that donations were being made in her name with that frequency and for that total amount.
OMG’s investigation was prompted by a lawsuit submitted to the U.S. District Court of Maryland by the Gibson Group and Maryland 2020 Watch. OMG says they have uncovered similar potential laundering schemes across the country.
ActBlue describes itself as “the home of small-dollar donations.”
We want as many groups as possible to be able to create strong grassroots fundraising programs. Our platform is 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. And we operate as a conduit, which means donations made through ActBlue to a campaign or organization are considered individual donations. You can read more about our structure here.
We take care of building fundraising tools and technology so the groups using our platform can focus on engaging and communicating with their supporters — we don’t fundraise, donate, or send texts or emails on behalf of any group. And as a nonprofit ourselves, we’re funded by our own amazing small-dollar donors!
O’Keefe’s media company is encouraging “brave citizen journalists” from all over the nation to make similar inquiries in their own states and follow up with interviews. They can submit coverage the OMG website for review.
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