Thursday :: Oct 28, 2004

College Republicans Scamming Millions, Mostly From Seniors

by Steve

Im sure weve all seen local TV reports about how shady operators bilk senior citizens out of their life savings, and then take some comfort when we see local DAs or state AGs go after these outfits for fraud.

So perhaps its time to call upon New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to go after.....the College Republicans. If you want to see how Karl Roves former outfit has now evolved into something that scams senior citizens out of their life savings, read this nauseating investigation by the Seattle Times.

The College Republican National Committee has raised $6.3 million this year through an aggressive and misleading fund-raising campaign that collected money from senior citizens who thought they were giving to the election efforts of President Bush and other top Republicans.

Many of the top donors were in their 80s and 90s. The donors wrote checks sometimes hundreds and, in at least one case, totaling more than $100,000 to groups with official sounding-names such as "Republican Headquarters 2004," "Republican Elections Committee" and the "National Republican Campaign Fund."

But all of those groups, according to the small print on the letters, were simply projects of the College Republicans, who collected all of the checks.

And little of the money went to election efforts.

Of the money spent by the group this year, nearly 90 percent went to direct-mail vendors and postage expenses, according to records filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Some of the elderly donors, meanwhile, wound up bouncing checks and emptying their bank accounts.

"I don't have any more money," said Cecilia Barbier, a 90-year-old retired church council worker in New York City. "I'm stopping giving to everybody. That was all my savings that they got."

Barbier said she "wised up." But not before she made more than 300 donations totaling nearly $100,000 this year, the group's fund-raising records show.
Now, she said, "I'm really scrounging."

This year, as millions of dollars flowed in, College Republicans falsely claimed in letters that checks were only trickling in and that the group was in a constant budget crisis.

And the elderly continued to be a major source of donations.

There are far more retired people giving to College Republicans than to any other IRS-regulated independent political committee, IRS records indicate.

The Times was able to determine the ages of 49 of the top 50 individual donors to the College Republicans. The median age of the donors is 85, and 14 of them are 90 or older.

Now ask yourself how much fun it would be for Spitzer and other Democratic state AGs to go after and shut down this group as a fraudulent scam outfit while embarrassing Rove and the GOP at the same time.

The fact that the College Republicans split themselves off from the national party several years ago into a separate fundraising entity means that a Democratic AG can go after them on the basis of pursuing fraudulent practices without worrying about charges of partisanship.

Steve :: 12:16 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!