Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Political Fundraising Scam?

What the ever-loving fuck is this about?

I've been receiving a lot of SPAM messages from people claiming to be political fundraisers or candidates in elections - some halfway across the country.  You contribute to one campaign, and even though they say they won't sell your name to a mailing list, they do - or people get ahold of it from public record, I guess.

Anyway, I get all these messages saying "Deadline TONIGHT!   We have to raise $1M by midnight tonight or Donald Trump becomes the next President!"  I am not sure what these artificial deadlines are all about, other than to instill a sense of urgency in the recipient.

In a way, I hope these missives are fraudulent, because if they are real, well, my faith (what little there is) in the Democratic Party is shot.  And no, this doesn't mean I'm turning Republican - they lost me a long time ago - long before they became the party of Q or the "GQP" as some are now calling it.  I guess today it is all about raising money so the political consultants can buy a new Audi A8.

The latest plea was comical - I get a message saying the deadline for candidates to register to run for State legislature is tomorrow and would I like to run?    Sure.  I am certain I can get the requisite number of people to sign the petition, come up with the filing fees, fill out the forms and do this all in less than 12 hours.  What the ever-loving fuck is this all about?

I am not sure, other than it is another plea for money.  And frankly, I think these money pleas are getting out of hand.  The real issue in the 2022 midterm election and the 2024 Presidential election is not paying for yet more attack ads, but in getting out the vote.  It seems Democrats have been laying down and just letting Republican legislatures run right over them, in terms of passing new restrictive voting laws that reject absentee ballots for arbitrary reasons, or closing polling places in minority neighborhoods, and of course, redistricting.

Yes, they have fought some of these things in court - here's a clue, the mid-terms are months away.  Sadly, even if a court overturns some of these new laws, odds are, it won't be until after November.  Already we saw 27,000 absentee votes tossed out in Texas, and I am sure that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I read something online from a voter who was turned away from the voting booth because his registration was out of date - his address was listed for another district.  He was offered a provisional ballot (which would have counted, once he updated his voter registration) but he turned it down, with the "logic" that, "they probably wouldn't have counted it anyway!"

That is the issue in the 2022 election - getting voter turnout and getting people to vote in spite of these obstacles.   There should be a concerted door-to-door "get out the vote" effort, with volunteers going from door to door (or calling or texting or whatever) encouraging people to get their voter registration updated.  I went down to the Office of Voter Registration the other day when I realized they had my old P.O. box number (and old phone number) on my voter registration.  I could update some of this information online, but not all.  Oddly, when I asked for a new voter registration card, they could not provide one - and the one I ordered online never arrived.

But I am fairly certain that my registration is correct, and I will test this out in May with the upcoming primaries.

Sadly, a lot of people don't take their voter registration very seriously.  Hell, a lot of people don't take their car registration seriously.  These are the same people who get pulled over for expired tags and have a driver's license with an address they left three years ago.  Yea, it is a "hassle" to update these things.  It is a bigger hassle to get a ticket or worse - tossed into jail when they used an expired tag as an excuse for a Terry-type stop and find drugs in your car.   Sadly again, it is the same people who blow off their basic responsibilities that tend to have drugs in their car.

Which is why, in a nutshell, marijuana is still illegal in many States (and at the Federal level) despite legalization being overwhelmingly popular.  The GQP gets re-elected because they get out the vote, while Democrats just complain about how unfair the system is.

I noted before how the Democrats made a poster-child out of this 78-year-old woman from upper Michigan, who didn't have a birth certificate or driver's license and thus could not vote.  They funded a million-dollar ad campaign to try to overturn the new voting laws in the State.   Seems to me, for a lot less money, they could have gotten that lady a copy of her birth certificate and then driven her down to the DMV for an identity card - and motor-voter registration.  In fact, the money spent on ad campaigns complaining about the unfairness of it all could have been better spent on just registering people to vote.

It takes effort to vote.  You have to register, which means you have to have your personal documentation in order.  Slackers and ne'er-do-wells obviously aren't going to do this - and maybe that is a good thing?   Our forefathers limited voting to white males who owned property.  Yes, that was unfair to women and people of color, but on the other hand, the property-ownership thing was a way of weeding out the slackers and do-nothings from electing representatives who would just vote to give away money (or whose votes could be bought with a glass of whiskey).   The latter isn't a joke - when we lived in Alexandria, the local museum had an exhibit of the expenses George Washington spent on whiskey, beer, and other intoxicating liquors, which were given out for free at campaign rallies.  The Father of our Country wasn't above bribing voters with booze.

Sadly, this will not change anytime soon.   The political consultants are resigned to losing the mid-terms and would consider it a victory if they didn't lose too many seats.  And with a major recession and spiraling gas prices on the horizon (if not already here) many a "low information" voter will vote for change - any change - as they think the President has a dial on the wall of the Oval Office that sets gas prices.  Why doesn't Biden turn the dial back down?  He must be dense.  But of course by 2024, oil from Iran and Venezuela will be flowing and the world price will drop (as it did recently when UAE dumped a load on the market) and the new President will take credit for it and the low information voters will believe it.

Um, maybe that is why the Democrats like to complain about voter suppression, but do nothing about it.  After all, low-information voters come in all shapes and sizes, and if you help that 78-year-old lady from Michigan get her voter registration, odds are she'll vote for Trump.  Hell, she was dumb enough not to be able to figure out how to get a copy of her birth certificate, right?

But getting back to these scam texts and e-mails, the best way to avoid handing money to the wrong people is to go to the site of the candidate you support (and make sure it is indeed their site) and donate directly.  Otherwise, you may be handing money to a PAC or some other organization with a sound-alike name whose agenda is unknown.

For example, "GA Dems" - who the hell is that?   If it was the Democratic Party, why not say so?  And who goes around asking random people - via text - to run for office?

Scam.  Scam.  Scam!