Black Lives Matter is on every major news outlet as protests for the killing of George Floyd are continuing across the country. Amid the publicity, the group is telling supporters to go to their website and donate to help their efforts against police brutality.
However, as former intelligence officer and conservative writer Jason Buttrill points out, Black Lives Matter uses Act Blue to process its donations.
According to a fundraising table Buttrill shared on social media, hundreds of millions of dollars processed through Act Blue has been handed over to the Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, and Elizabeth Warren’s campaign.
Just in 2020, these presidential campaigns received just under $400,000,000 in total through Act Blue.
Other recipients included: Pete Buttigieg’s campaign ($78,100,960), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ($55,684,603), Amy Klobuchar’s presidential campaign ($43,167,720), Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign ($31,705,527), and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($31,067,413).
Just under $30 million went directly to the Democratic National Committee.
Black Lives Matter is not a front, however, as some conservatives have claimed.
Conservative Candace Owens, for example, has claimed money given to Black Lives Matters is funneled to Democratic presidential candidates.
“Wow this video is really important and every person needs to watch and share it. Black Lives Matter donations go directly to a superpac called ‘ACT BLUE’ that has given hundreds of millions to Democrats running for President,” she tweeted.
“How is this legal? #BLM is LITERALLY a shell company,” Owens added.
Fox News host Tomi Lahren similarly tweeted: “When you donate to BLM you’re donating to the Dems. You’re a pawn in their power grab but you’re too ‘woke’ to actually wake up!”
When you donate to BLM you’re donating to the Dems. You’re a pawn in their power grab but you’re too “woke” to actually wake up!
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) June 11, 2020
This does not appear to be the case.
Media Matters, a leftist outlet, reports the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics clarified the funds donated through Act Blue goes to the respective organization and is not funneled to other organizations.
“ActBlue is a fundraising platform used by Democrats & progressives. Like WinRed on the right, many candidates use it to process donations but that money isn’t pooled to be shared across candidates or groups,” the group tweeted. “A donation to BLM through ActBlue goes just to BLM, not any other group.”
ActBlue is a fundraising platform used by Democrats & progressives. Like WinRed on the right, many candidates use it to process donations but that money isn't pooled to be shared across candidates or groups. A donation to BLM through ActBlue goes just to BLM, not any other group. https://t.co/rb5sF7VbwA
— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) June 11, 2020
However, TIME reports Act Blue can and does allow donators to split donations “between up to more than 70 groups at once, including community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers.”
And, according to Act Blue’s own re-designation of contributions under their terms of service, the group clarifies at least one instance where they are allowed to re-distribute funds to another group:
In the event that a campaign or committee (a) fails for 60 days to cash a check from ActBlue which includes your contribution (after ActBlue makes repeated attempts to work with the campaign to ensure all checks are cashed), or (b) affirmatively refuses a contribution earmarked through ActBlue, your contribution will be re-designated as a contribution to ActBlue. Contributions to social welfare organizations which are similarly not cashed or affirmatively refused will be kept by ActBlue and used generally to support its social welfare activities. Contributions to charitable organizations which are not cashed or affirmatively refused will go to ActBlue Charities.
The FEC needs to look into this immediately.
— Jason Buttrill (@JasonButtrill) June 11, 2020
Politico reports some Democratic mega-donors are planning to meet “behind closed doors next week in Washington with leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement and their allies to discuss funding the burgeoning protest movement.”
From the report:
The meetings are taking place at the annual winter gathering of the Democracy Alliance major liberal donor club, which runs from Tuesday evening through Saturday morning and is expected to draw Democratic financial heavyweights, including Tom Steyer and Paul Egerman.
The DA, as the club is known in Democratic circles, is recommending its donors step up check writing to a handful of endorsed groups that have supported the Black Lives Matter movement. And the club and some of its members also are considering ways to funnel support directly to scrappier local groups that have utilized confrontational tactics to inject their grievances into the political debate.
Ooh the money funnels to the Democrats… Makes sense. https://t.co/vRfSxMCpPC
— Anna Khait (@Annakhait) June 11, 2020