In the last two days I received fifteen email appeals for money to help re-elect U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock in the Georgia run off election Dec. 6. None of them were from the Warnock campaign, which is its own kind of curious.
It seems everyone has a hand in the Georgia cookie jar. Most of the pitches have variations of Warnock’s name in the FROM line – Raphael Warnock, Reverend Warnock, Rev. Raphael Warnock, Rev. Warnock, but never Senator Warnock.
A deeper look at the legal disclaimers at the bottom of the emails revealed the pitches were from the Georgia Democratic Party, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the Democratic Legislative Leadership Committee, Georgia Democrats, STOP Herschel Walker (Warnock’s Republican opponent), someone named Cliff Schecter, which is still another story, and assorted others.
Some of the emails promise to give half the money collected to the Warnock campaign. Others tell me they will use the money to get out the vote in Georgia or for TV commercials, radio advertising or social media to back Warnock.
I fell into the trap a couple of weeks ago when I thought I was contributing to the Warnock campaign only to realize after that I gave the money to the Georgia Democratic Party. I kept a closer eye on things after that. As the days ticked by, I waited for an appeal from the actual Warnock campaign. After all, Jennifer and I made donations to federal races in 2020, including Warnock’s own special election race. We should be prime targets for the campaign this year. But it never came.
A basic tenet of political fundraising says you ask first for a contribution from those who already gave because they’ve demonstrated an ability and a willingness. I finally got tired of waiting, tracked down the Warnock campaign website and made an unsolicited contribution.
Then there is the matter of ten emails from Cliff Schecter. I don’t know him. Never heard of him before the last few days. He’s with a company called Blue Amp Action in Norwood Ohio. His first ask said the money would be split evenly with the Warnock campaign. It said nothing about what would happen with the other half. Subsequent pitches said the funds would go to get out the vote for Warnock
Mr. Schecter has other interests beside helping Senator Warnock. In several emails he told me how I could help two congressional candidates in California. The election was over and the ballots still were being counted. My contribution, Mr. Schecter said, would help hire the staff and attorneys to over see the counting.
Now there’s an idea, I joked to a friend. Why don’t I form a federal political action committee. I’ll call it Californians to Help Our Friends in Georgia (CATHOFIG). I could offer up my 52 years of campaign experience to make sure Democrats win this vital election. I could send some of the money to the Warnock campaign and keep the rest as a consulting fee. Maybe I could target a few Facebook ads into Georgia. I didn’t do that, of course. But there wouldn’t be anything illegal about it as long as I filed all the required finance disclosure forms.
For the record: I’m writing this Thanksgiving morning and I haven’t received a single appeal from anyone yet today. Strange. They’re all automated, done by computers. So the asking could continue unabated while Georgia Democrats, STOP Herschel Walker and all the rest watched football and ate turkey. Could it be that decorum has ruled, at least for today. I’m sure they’ll make up for lost time tomorrow.