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OPINION
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The ‘Octuple Match’ Scam

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If you want to give your money to politicians go ahead and do it. I honestly don’t care what you do with your money, it’s yours to set on fire if you so choose. But I do have a problem with political campaigns and organizations lying to people to get into their wallets, often their credit cards, because they lie to do it.

There is no rich donor or group of donors willing to double, triple, quadruple, or whatever multiplier you can come up with for your donation to a campaign or political party. They’re not sitting in the weeds ready to exponentially increase the impact of your donation to any organization either. They don’t exist. It’s a scam. Think of it this way – if there’s some billionaire who says “I’ll match every gift up to a total of $1 million to this charity I care about deeply myself on Saturday if everyone else in the country collectively gives $1 million to them by then,” how big of a jackass would that person come off as if by the end of the week they’d only raised $10,000? Do you think that rich guy would only cut a check for $10,000 and no one would think he was a cheap bastard and a fraud? No, that person, if they’re legitimate and not a douchebag, already committed the million dollars, and the idea of a “matching donation” is simply being used as a motivator for others. I don’t understand that type of motivation – give or don’t, don’t base your actions on those of others – but it must work somewhat, or else they wouldn’t do it. If charities want to make it into a fake game, who cares? When that game comes to politics, I do care.

First off, there are limits to how much individuals can give to candidates and parties. That means a lot of the “matching” simply can’t happen. It’s a damn lie. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee doesn’t have any problems lying. They sent out an email Saturday reading, “Today, President Obama is returning to the campaign trail to rally Democrats in the ultimate swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan! So we’re jumping into action to join our beloved President in the fight to defeat radical Republicans by UNLOCKING the 300%-MATCH until midnight. Can we count on you to rush $3 to help us protect our House Majority for YEARS to come? We’re calling on just 440 grassroots Democrats to step up so we can make President Obama proud before he takes the stage.”

What is this “UNLOCKING” bit? Do they have a magic unicorn who eats dollar bills and then poops out three of them? If so, let’s unleash that sucker on the debt! 

But they don’t. They aren’t even trying to pretend there is some rich donor anxiously waiting by their phone with their checkbook ready to cut a big donation at the end of their fundraising window, they simply say your donation will miraculously multiply because they say it will. It will not.

This should be illegal. If you lied to someone and sold them something you said would cure whatever ails them, some kind of snake oil, you’d be charged with fraud, and rightly so. But if you do it in the name of a political campaign you’d get a big cash bonus from your boss if it worked. 

Not to be outdone, the Democratic Governors Association unleashed the rarely seen “QUADRUPLE-MATCH!!!!!” Their email, sent the day before the DCCC, reads, “Dem heroes like Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Stacey Abrams and so many more have tried to reach you. This is the final weekend to have your donation QUADRUPLE-MATCHED up to our $650,000 goal before Election Day in 11 days! So, please, will you chip in $3 – or whatever you can today – when your donation will go 4X further? This is our FINAL end-of-month deadline. Let’s make it count.”

They’re only going to feed their magic unicorn until it poops out $650,000, for reasons known only to them. I promise you, no political campaign or party organization will EVER turn away donations at any point, whether some arbitrary goal was met or not. 

The worst part about all of this is they’re targeting suckers, small-dollar donors who don’t know any better. More than likely, these people are sitting on a pile of disposable income, so they put whatever contribution they make on their credit cards. At 20%-25%, the cost of those donations adds up fast. Maybe that’s what they mean by quadrupling your money. 

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