House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is facing criticism over a fundraising strategy seen by some as unethical.
According to Axios, she has been promising to match contributions made to her campaign committee, but so far has apparently paid nothing toward fulfilling that vow.
“For these final 24 hours”
Although politicians on both sides of the aisle use misleading solicitations, the recent revelations suggest her campaign behavior was beyond the pale.
Between January and March, Pelosi’s congressional campaign sent dozens of emails promising to add her own funds to match the donations made by her constituents and supporters.
“This is so critical, I’m personally 4x-matching all gifts for these final 24 hours,” one such email proclaimed.
During the three-month period, Pelosi rep0rotedly raised more than $4 million, with more than half of that amount coming from those who contributed less than $200.
Such small-donor supporters are specifically targeted by deceptive fundraising efforts, but Federal Election Commission reports have caught Pelosi in an apparent lie. According to the documents, she has not matched any contributions since January. In fact, records indicate she has never done so.
No explanation given
Federal law limits how much individual Americans can donate, but candidates have no such limits on the amount they can contribute to their own campaigns. Furthermore, as one of the wealthiest and most powerful elected official, her net worth would also seem to permit her to make good on her promise to donors.
According to another Axios report, the Justice Department has taken an interest in schemes by politicians and committees claiming to match donations, many of which also involve little if any actual matching funds being contributed.
Pelosi’s latest effort to solicit donations by promising a match included solicitations sent out as recently as last week, at which time Axios first reached out to her campaign for a statement.
The abrupt halt to the messages suggests that the House speaker stopped after getting caught. One can only imagine what the many individual donors who sent their money to her would make of the latest reports.