View Full Version : College Rep. Nat. Committee exploits elderly

10-30-2004, 09:43 AM
Apparently the College Republican National Committee has been scamming the elderly (mostly 80+ years old, including Alzheimers patients) using high pressure scare tactics to get them to contribute repeatedly, sometimes several times a day. These contributions often add up to thousands of dollars and 83% is spent on "operating costs." More details below.

To be fair this is NOT the RNC. But it is the real national umbrella for College Republicans on campuses around the country. And the RNC still links to the CRNC on their website.

http://www.herald-sun.com/durham/4-537760.html (Congrats to my local paper The Durham Herald, for their investigative reporting into this.)

An 86-year-old widow who lives on a fixed income in Burlington and reads her mail with a magnifying glass has little understanding that she's given the College Republican National Committee 40 donations since January worth $1,789.

In Chapel Hill, an 82-year-old widower living in a retirement community is surprised to learn he's given to the same group 52 times for a total of $2,266, all since January.

North of Winston-Salem, a 79-year-old woman can hardly believe that she's made 72 donations this year totaling $1,533, frequently writing checks every few days.


But the pattern of donations to the CRNC is unlike other similar groups in North Carolina, a pattern that CRNC appears to repeat across the country.

The organization is a so-called 527 group, named after a provision in the IRS code. Such groups aren't regulated by the Federal Election Commission and can raise unlimited amounts of money for issue-advocacy political work so long as it isn't coordinated with a particular campaign. This year 527s have raised about $500 million nationally. The CRNC is the 14th-biggest fund-raiser in the country.

The CRNC solicits under a variety of names that some seniors said persuaded them that they were spreading their money among different organizations. As a result, many donors gave several times a week, sometimes writing four or five checks in a single day. Although the checks are made out to different names, such as the National Republican Victory Campaign and the Republican Elections Committee, they all flow into the CRNC's bank account.

Of the CRNC's 2,756 North Carolina donations during the current election cycle, 2,387 of them -- or 87 percent -- came from people who listed their occupation as retired. The real CRNC percentage is probably even higher, because some donors list their former employers even though they no longer work.

By comparison, two well-known 527 groups, the anti-Kerry Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and the anti-Bush MoveOn.org, received 29 percent and 13 percent of their North Carolina contributions from retirees, respectively.


Moreover, of the $18.8 million the CRNC has spent since 2000, $15.6 million -- or 83 percent -- has gone to direct-mail companies, postage and mailing list companies, according to the Center for Public Integrity, another nonpartisan organization that monitors political spending.

In some of those letters, the CRNC tells donors that they will be sending "heartfelt" greeting cards to Laura Bush, or that if they don't give within 96 hours, the organization will have to close. Other letters urge donors to respond quickly because Democratic spies could be trying to infiltrate the operation, even opening its mail.


When told the $1,789 tally of her generosity, the 86-year-old Burlington woman at first denied the information.

"I don't have money like that, sir. I can't do things like that," she said. "My doctors' bills is high and my living expenses ... they had to use somebody else's account and put it under mine."

But after thinking abou and t it and looking through her checkbook, she acknowledged that it could be right.

"I didn't realize it was that much. If I had to stand on a Bible I couldn't realize it because my health has been so bad," said the woman, who said she's blind in one eye and uses a magnifying glass to read the letters. "I didn't keep up with how much I was giving."

Like many of the repeat donors, however, she defended the contributions after reviewing her checkbook.

"If I have to do without something, I'm going to try to save the country," she said. "I believe in God and I was determined to help save Christianity. I know Kerry ... is against God."

Really, really sad that any group would stoop to this. I hope there is some law being violated here (like lying to get money?) so the ringleaders can be punished...

10-30-2004, 10:32 AM
old people still send money to Jimmy Swaggart. this is nothing new.

but you're right, thier tactics were at least under-handed, though probably not illegal.

as a proud Republican I will just say if those old folks go broke there is always Alpo /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


11-01-2004, 06:29 AM
We went to see Michael Moore at Fairmont State College
last week and the exploits of their young republicans was

11-01-2004, 06:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> We went to see Michael Moore at Fairmont State College
last week and the exploits of their young republicans was
despicable. <hr /></blockquote>

what did they do?

11-01-2004, 06:55 AM
Cussing, obscene gestures, tried to drown him out.
He handled it well, made them part of the show.