If you decided to donate to the Clinton Foundation or any of its multifarious tendrons before Nov. 8, 2016, sorry — there are no refunds.
I know for most Albanian billionaires hoping to score lucrative unobtainium contracts in the hills of West Virginia, that’s probably a crushing blow.
For the little donor — those of you who actually thought that a small bit of cash sent Bill and Hillary’s way each month would help out — well, suckers. But it’s probably not as much of a disappointment as, say, someone who thought they were going to get America to sell half of its oil fields for 50 percent below market value to the Chinese.
However, now that the Clintons are more or less gone from the national political stage, maybe you want to cut back. Tough luck. In fact, Hillary Clinton’s newest PAC doesn’t have a way to cancel monthly donation pledges, as one 29-year-old recently found out.
“Corey Koscielniak admits that $10.48 is ‘a really small amount’ over which to get frustrated,” the Seattle Times reported Saturday. “But Koscielniak’s decision to cancel a recurring monthly donation of that sum to Hillary Clinton’s nonprofit organization Onward Together turned into an odyssey that’s lasted several weeks.”
Onward Together was the “leadership” PAC that Hillary founded after her loss in the 2016 presidential election, because a) it shows she’s moving on from her loss together, with you and b) the Clinton Foundation has roughly the same brand reputation among Americans as Volkswagen diesels have among environmentalists.
However, there was a little bit of a problem with canceling his recurring donation. For monthly donors, Onward Together is a bit like the Hotel California: you can write a check any time you like, but you can never leave.
“The organization’s webpage didn’t allow him to cancel, and a phone call to the group didn’t seem to resolve things. The situation prompted Koscielniak to file a complaint with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office,” the Seattle Times reported.
“The experience also gave the 29-year-old Clinton voter a brush with the opaque world of nonprofit, quasi-political organizations that disclose little about their operations.”
“I don’t expect it from anyone, corporation or not,” Koscielniak said about the lack of transparency.
“But what surprised me is, the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for other people and not be part of this larger industrial complex.”
Several hours later…
Back. Sorry. Was almost admitted to the hospital for a respiratory crisis after laughing too hard. Thankfully, I stopped when my wife showed me what my new deductible was under this Obamacare policy, so now I’m not out a cent. Thanks, Democrats! I think.
In his complaint to Washington’s Attorney General’s Office, Koscielniak claims that “Onward Together accepts payment information, but provides no ability to alter or cancel donations once the initial donation is received.”
“I started contributing in May 2017, but have never received a receipt for my monthly contributions.”
“The person who answered my call (Kelly) said that she can cancel payment for me, and that they’ve received several callers expressing frustration with their process,” Koscielniak wrote in the complaint. “She told me they will not put a contact # or address on their website due to security reasons. This feels both deceptive and unethical.”
“The Attorney General’s Office has no legal authority to compel Onward Together to respond to inquiries. But after receiving Koscielniak’s complaint, it emailed the organization on March 22 and asked for a response within three weeks. On April 10, the office sent a follow-up inquiry,” the Seattle Times reported. “On April 17, Onward Together withdrew another $10.48 from Koscielniak’s account. The next day, while on the phone with a reporter, Koscielniak used the new website feature to cancel his donation — again.”
Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s communications director and a man whose job responsibilities are a lot different than he imagined they’d be 18 months ago, said that they’ve now added an option where you can stop giving your money to Onward Together on the group’s website, just well over a year after they added the option where you could start giving your money.
“We have rectified it, but we will make sure this doesn’t happen again, with anybody, in the future,” Merrill said. He added that he hoped to reach out to Koscielniak, much as he had been hoping to be reaching out to the president of France at this point in his career arc. While the last part wasn’t actually said by Merrill, we all know he was thinking it.
The general tone of the Seattle Times’ article is that this is indicative of the dark web of money around unregulated political action committees and that it’s time for Americans to take a stand and demand more regulation.
However, as someone who’s given recurring donations to a number of political foundations and candidates, I’ve never heard of one that made it impossible to cancel on their website and kept actively siphoning money from me.
Maybe I’m just dealing with the wrong sort of — wait, I mean the right sort of — organizations.
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