House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has sent at least fifty fundraising emails from January through March, pledging that she would personally match contributions up to a certain multiple, with one email offering to do a 4x match up to a certain point. Yet according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Pelosi has not donated any personal funds to her “Nancy Pelosi for Congress” campaign – not a single dime.
“This is so critical, I’m personally 4x-matching all gifts for these final 24 hours,” one of the emails read.
While candidates can donate unlimited sums to their own campaigns, they face limits to donations to other candidates. Pelosi could only match donations to Democrat candidates of $2,800 per election and $5,000 per year. Last quarter, Pelosi raised over $4 million, with half of her emails being donations of $200 or less. Her reported net worth in 2018 was $114.66 million.
Even though donation-matching is one of the most popular fundraising gimmicks, obtaining money by “false or fraudulent pretenses” could potentially violate the federal wire fraud law. The Department of Justice has recently begun to investigate the legality of the situation if donations are matched.
Pelosi’s office has been contacted to show any proof or matches or determine when match donations would be made, but her campaign has not responded to the inquiry. According to the Defending Democracy Together Institute emails database, Pelosi’s personal matching offers continued through last week. The last one came the same day that Axios first asked her campaign for a donation-matching comment.
Pelosi could get a large campaign finance violation depending on the matches and what she has promised, but election campaign fraud and deceptive political fundraising tactics are just another “sweep under the rug” for the Democrats. The 2020 election cycle was the most expensive in U.S history, with candidates and donors spending $14.4 billion.
The four Georgia Senate runoff candidates, in particular, broke spending records. Democrat spending in the Senate races did not pay off as they expected. Challengers Amy McGrath, Jaime Harrison, Theresa Greenfield, and Barbara Bollierout outspent their Republican opponents by a combined $125 million and lost their elections.
Campaign finance attorney Jan Baran claimed that the DOJ should regulate fundraising emails that utilize the donation matching strategy in election cycles “You can do that if it’s true, but usually fundraising professionals who send out that type of message know it’s not true, and if you intentionally misrepresent something to take somebody’s money away from them that’s going to be fraud,” she said.
House Speaker Pelosi has not only used shady fundraising practices to run the House like an autocrat but also claims to be “fighting for the people” along the way. It’s clear that her practices are about becoming an elite and high-net-worth individual rather than acting as a public servant to the American people. For Pelosi, it’s always about Pelosi.
“Pelosi promised” is nothing more than an oxymoron. Breaking your promise to put up matching funds is a step further. But we shouldn’t be surprised by anything Nancy Pelosi does.
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