House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) campaign committee has repeatedly deceived donors by personally promising she would match campaign contributions but has not matched a single cent, according to a report.
Pelosi has been using a popular deceptive tactic used in political fundraising to gather more donations. According to the report by Axios, the tactic that has been under intense scrutiny is to promise donation-matching.
Pelosi’s campaign has reportedly gone a step further by the speaker promising the contribution matching would come from her personal fortune. But, reports show Pelosi has not made a single contribution from herself.
According to Open Secrets, Pelosi has an estimated net worth of being somewhere in the nine figures. This means she has the means to match her funds like her campaign has been soliciting theoretically.
Reportedly, between January and March, “Nancy Pelosi for Congress” has allegedly sent over 50 emails pledging Pelosi’s herself would be “personally” matching the contributions up to a certain multiple. Axios analyzed her campaign emails which are being stored in an archive for political email, maintained by a group of researchers at Princeton University.
Axios reported what a typical email from her campaign would like: “This is so critical, I’m personally 4x-matching all gifts for these final 24 hours.”
The emails like this have reportedly been up until last week, according to the Defending Democracy Together Institute, which has another database for emails.
However, the report her campaign filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) showed the speaker had not donated any of her personal fortunes to match the contributions she promised, according to the report. In addition, the report shows Pelosi has actually never donated anything, ever.
Few representatives have been known to say the person matching the donations could mean some of the pledges would require the matchers to exceed the limits set for individuals by the FEC. Though, the individual candidate can provide their own campaign with unlimited funds. Some members have funded their campaigns themselves.
Last quarter, Pelosi had raised north of four million dollars. The report added, it is unclear how much the “contribution matching was able to generate, but the report said, over half of the emails were donations under $200.
The emails that solicit matching contributions typically attract small-dollar donations.
Axios was unable to receive a comment from a Pelosi spokesperson after multiple requests on if the funds to match the donations would be provided.
The report claims the donation matching emails are some of the most popular, which has come under scrutiny for moments like this where there is no sense on if the donations were actually matched. Recently the Department of Justice (DOJ) has investigated if the method is legal if donations have not been matched.