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VIEWS AND VOICES
Where's the money going?

September 30, 2005 | Page 8

RECENTLY ON Democracy Now!, Juan Gonzales remarked about opportunists who take advantage of the tragedy following Hurricane Katrina: "We're going to be having to watch more and more of these hypocrites who say one thing to the public, but then end up doing another thing in reality."

The American Red Cross addresses attempted fraud on its Web site by listing its authorized Internet donation sites (CONVIO, MSN, Network for Good, Yahoo, Amazon.com and Apple I Tunes): "All official sites collecting money on behalf of the American Red Cross should link to one of the approve sites listed below," the Red Cross's Web page reads.

Further down the page, in bold print, the American Red Cross emphasizes: "If the Web address you are about to make a donation through does not exactly match one of these Web sites, do not donate through that Web site."

On his Web site, frontpagemag.com, David Horowitz took it upon himself to collect money for the American Red Cross: "Americans of all backgrounds, races, religions and political persuasions now have an opportunity to join together to help their fellow Americans rebuild their shattered lives," the site reads. "We do so this time with the added imperative of healing our own homeland and kinsmen--of all backgrounds, races, religions, and political persuasions."

It is odd that Horowitz would show this much compassion for poor people affected by the hurricane (the majority being African American) when he is known for espousing hatred for immigrants, multiculturalism and African Americans. Horowitz has led a nationwide attack against reparations for African Americans and made the racist comment that the movement for reparations is "an extravagant new handout that is only necessary because some Blacks can't seem to locate the ladder of opportunity within reach of others, many of whom are less privileged than themselves."

And political persuasion doesn't now matter to him? Antiwar protestors are terrorist supporters, as far as Horowitz is concerned. He has viciously attacked Cindy Sheehan in recent weeks, calling her setting up Camp Casey "hateful."

"Please take a moment," Horowitz with his newly found compassion pleads on his Web site, "to click the link below and make the most generous contribution you can to the American Red Cross."

But click on the link to give money on Horowitz's site, and you will not see a link to the American Red Cross's donation page or any of its approved collectors.

On the Web page is a form to fill out name, address, and credit card information, and various suggested amounts that go up to $5,000. Located at the bottom is not a mailing address for the Red Cross or their toll free number, but the following: "Paid for by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. All contributions are processed through an encrypted, dedicated, secure server."

The CFSPC is a right-wing foundation Horowitz co-founded to fund his reactionary attacks on reparations, the antiwar movement, and now, as Bill Berkowitz has recently pointed out, immigrants. Horowitz's organization is not only paying for the fees it is supposedly accruing by supposedly collecting money for the American Red Cross, but the CFSPC paid 10 percent of its over $3 million budget to Horowitz in 2003, according to organization's own IRS forms.

Horowitz's CFSPC is alleging that they are paying for the collection of the donations, but who is doing the collecting? Horowitz's collection Web page is a page of eDonation.com: a password-protected Web site that describes itself as a member of the Donatelli Group.

Hockaday Donatelli Campaign Solutions is a political consulting firm that is "the primary segment of the larger Donatelli Group, which includes an Internet fundraising site, eDonation.com." HD Campaign Solutions have worked for the campaigns of Republican candidates such as George Bush and John McCain and many state Republican Parties. "We bring a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience not found in any other Republican voter contact and communications firm," Campaign Solutions' Web site boasts.

While the American Conservative Union, the Oregon Restaurant Association and the National Pork Producers Association are present in Campaign Solution's list of past and present non-profit clients, the non-partisan American Red Cross is nowhere to be found.

Other political Web sites on both the left and the right have provided venues for people to donate money for victims of Katrina. But they are not having political consulting firms do it for them--they are providing links directly to their charities of choice for people to donate money.

Why wouldn't David Horowitz just link to the American Red Cross's donation Web page or the Web page of one of the Red Cross's authorized affiliates? It would certainly be easier and cheaper for him to do so than for his organization to pay for a slick right-wing consulting firm to collect money for him.

Why Horowitz and company would set up such a questionable operation and set themselves up as middlemen is unknown to me. Maybe you should ask him: Call 323-556-2550, or e-mail [email protected].
Brandy Baker, Baltimore, Md.

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