Updated: Jan 18
Photo: Congressman Mike Gallagher, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer known for apprehending terrorists in Iraq, talks about the need to stand up to China as Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan.
By Jack Anderson
Coincidentally as Nancy Pelosi’s plane landed in Taiwan in defiance of Chinese threats, RealClear Politics lauded Take Back Action Fund’s work to cut off a potential avenue for Chinese government programmers to use ActBlue’s portal to influence America’s elections.
There is no comparison between the bravery required to land in Taiwan in defiance of Chinese threats and the simple practice of making sure the Chinese are not rewarding politicians who do not stand up to them with campaign contributions using the ActBlue loophole, but the latter was the reason Take Back Action was formed after researching this loophole with the organization of Peter Schweizer, the author of Red Handed: How American Elites Get Rich Helping China Win.
Take Back Action Fund President John Pudner went on Fox News to point out that almost half of all ActBlue donors were listed as unemployed. The group “raised $3.8 billion for more than 21,000 Democratic candidates, committees, and organizations in the 2020 cycle.” The RCP piece documents the current legislation.
Click for the history of the formation of Take Back Action specifically to lobby to require verification of these contributions, through the current effort to combine it with other measures to stop foreign influence on our elections.
“We just want to make sure that ActBlue and anyone else requires the same thing that every vendor does when you buy a TV set online or anything else – that it’s not a fraudulent donation or coming from an illegal source like the Chinese,” John Pudner of Take Back Action Fund, a conservative election reform advocacy group, told RealClearPolitics.
That feature of campaign finance law, Pudner and other critics say, opens up an unrestrained spigot for illegal donations. Foreign donors or fraudsters easily deploy so-called robo-donations, computer programs that use false names to make hundreds of donations a day in small increments to evade reporting requirements. A Missouri woman named Mary Biskup appeared to give more than $170,000 in small credit card donations to Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, but when asked, she said she never donated a dime. Another contributor had given donations using her name without her knowledge.
We’ve been here before. John Pudner’s group started circulating a white paper advocating for the extra credit card security on Capitol Hill several years ago. Back then, he says, campaigns for roughly 150 Republicans and 150 Democrats were not using CVV security steps to verify their donations.
“So, it was not intended to help either side, just remove a set up that would make it easy for Chinese programmers to run money under American names to either side,” he said. “We continue to emphasize that our purpose is not for ActBlue to stop raising money but to simply put the same [security process in place] that virtually everyone else in the country uses when you buy anything.”
For more on TBORA's efforts on prohibiting foreign donations into elections, please click here.