Fundraising Scams Becoming More Prevalent

It seems like every day there’s a new story about scammers taking people’s money by pretending to be helping a charitable group or worthy cause. This morning I read a disturbing article about a new scam using the death of a California Highway Patrol officer to steal money.

It got me wondering just how big a negative effect these scams have on regular fundraisers by giving all fundraising appeals a black eye.

Next time you mail a donation request letter, better include proof of your nonprofit credentials on the envelope. Otherwise, you’ll make it no further than the wastebasket!

Hillary’s Cleavage Becoming Fundraising Appeal

In a sign that political fundraising can’t get much stranger, Hillary Clinton’s campaign is turning a Washington Post article about her cleavage into a fundraising appeal.

Apparently, the Post’s fashion writer, Robin Givhan, noted that Clinton wore a black top with a low neckline during an appearance on the Senate floor. And of course, that turned into a brouhaha about the objectification of women and America’s cultural fascination with breasts.

Frankly, I don’t give a fig about Hillary’s cleavage, but you have to admire the fund raising savvy of her campaign adviser, Ann Lewis, who is urging potential donors to “take a stand against this kind of coarseness and pettiness in American culture.”

Why? Because controversy stirs emotions and gets people to take action to support their beliefs. And that’s what campaign fundraisers are paid to do – stir things up and get people donating to their candidate.

I don’t know if Hillary’s cleavage will become a hot button issue in this campaign, but we all know it’s an issue that appeals to women and women are a big part of the turnout in primary elections.

Look for Hillary to ride the cleavage coattails as far as she can.

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Hill & Bill Go Fundraising In The Hamptons


Hillary Clinton will be dragging hubby Bill on a blowout fund-raising tour of the Hamptons next weekend that could add $1 million to her presidential war chest.

Revlon mogul Ron Perelman will be hosting a Saturday-evening cocktail party where, for $1,000, guests can meet the dynamic duo and gawk at the tycoon’s luxury home and celebrity pals. For $4,600, the maximum contribution allowed under federal rules, guests can attend a dinner with the pair.

Democratic consultant Morris Reid will host a Friday-night barbecue, hoping to attract a younger, hipper crowd. A cool $250 secures admission, and $1,000 buys entrance to a special VIP function and a souvenir photo with the Clintons.

For $5,000, you can join the “host committee,” says Reid, “and get as much face and photo time with them as you want.”

Rudy Giuliani is also raising money in the Hamptons, co-chairing a Southampton hospital gala Saturday.

“You can be sure he will be inviting guests back for a hot dog and barbecue,” said Hamptons magazine editor R. Couri Hay.

GOP Fundraiser Features Automatic Weapons

MANCHESTER, N.H. — The city’s Republican Committee is planning a fundraiser that will pack some heat.

Manchester Republicans said they wanted something different from the usual chicken dinner for its fundraiser next month. Then, committee chairman Jerry Thibodeau, a hunter and skeet shooter, came up with the idea: “The thought just struck me one day: a machine gun shoot. What the heck?”

The event is planned for next month at the Pelham Fish and Game Club. Those who attend will get the chance to shoot Uzis, M-16 rifles and other automatic weapons after a they bulk ammo from Palmetto Armory. The club will have 20 safety officers on hand to load the guns and monitor shooters, said club chairman Bob Shaunessy.

Thibodeau said he thinks the fundraiser will be a fun social event that also will emphasize the party’s support for Second Amendment rights. Thibodeau said he fired a machine gun for the first time at 18 with his father, a World War II veteran.

“It’s a way of expressing yourself, I guess,” he said. “We all have a little testosterone in us, right?”

Many of those signing up are women.

“It’s very different,” said Kelly Hurst, the Manchester GOP’s executive director. Hurst said she carries a pistol for personal protection, but the chance to shoot a machine gun is very different.

“I don’t know when anyone else, man or woman, may get an opportunity to do this,” she said.

Manchester Democrats said they are upset by the Republicans’ shooting event.

Chris Pappas, chairman of the Manchester Democratic Committee, said it’s inappropriate to hold a fundraiser involving guns when violent crime is on the rise in the city.

He said the event is “not just in poor taste; it is downright offensive.”

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$64,000 Raised in Pants Fundraiser

$54 Million Pants Star in Fundraiser for Couple Cleaned Out by Legal Fees

A now-famous pair of pants was the star attraction at a fundraiser Tuesday meant to help pay the bills of a dry-cleaner couple caught in a legal stitch.

The $54 million pants, as they’ve come to be known, were the subject of a widely mocked lawsuit that garnered international attention. Now, they have their own security guard.

Groups advocating stricter guidelines for filing lawsuits and supporters of Jin Nam Chung and Soo Chung, the owners of Custom Cleaners, came from across the country to attend the cocktail fundraiser.

On display were what the Chungs say are the pants that Roy Pearson brought in, were misplaced, and were later found. The guests had appetizers and cocktails, and under the stern gaze of the security guard, some posed for photos with the pants.

The Chungs successfully defended themselves from the $54 million suit, which originally demanded $67 million, but they now owe about $100,000 in legal costs.

The American Tort Reform Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform put on the fundraiser in hopes of defraying the Chungs’ costs. The fundraiser netted more than $64,000, with more pledges still coming in, organizers said.

“Without your support, the Chungs could very well have gone bankrupt,” defense attorney Chris Manning told the crowd of about 150.

The Chungs also made a rare appearance to thank their guests.

The organizers said they also wanted to raise visibility for their mission to change tort law in the face of lawsuits that unfairly target small businesses.

“Our motto is the spirit of free enterprise,” said Lisa Rickard, president of the Institute for Legal Reform. “The Chungs epitomize that in our perspective. They’ve really been living the American dream, and that all came to a halt with the filing of this lawsuit.”

“It’s our hope to help them do a course correction and get back on track,” Rickard said.

Manning said that if the court grants the Chungs’ motion for Pearson to pay their legal fees, proceeds from the fundraiser that exceed the family’s costs would be donated to charity.