But that's not really the issue I'm trying to present here. The FixItAndPassIt.org site is essentially three things: an invite to join the aforementioned Facebook group, a Donate page, and a bunch of links leading back to the Progressive Congress website, the 501(c)(3). Generally, the funds for that and the funds for these lobbying efforts (i.e. (c)(4) efforts) ought to be separated. Their 'About Us' page links back to the explicitly non-partisan Progressive Congress. Given that this calling effort is targeted to Democrats only, whatever else it is, it is not non-partisan. There also ought be a firewall between the funds because it pertains to the donors. Donations to the non-partisan 501(c)(3), Progressive Congress, are tax deductible. Donations to the lobbying group, Progressive Congress Action Fund, are not tax deductible. If someone goes to Fix It And Pass It website, clicks on 'about us', then clicks the donate button from that page, their money could not be used to fund this project. This whole mixing and overlapping of the two organizations and presenting them as one (whether intentionally or as the result of pure sloppiness) is rather dangerous organizationally. It makes the operation look unprofessional at best and an attempt to put together a site in a hurry so money can start being collected at worst.
I am sure these people - Darcy Burner, Noelle Bell and Eve Gittelson all believe in what they are doing. After all, who doesn't want health care reform? However, I will point out that one of the key contributors to the "Fix It And [then] Pass It" project, Eve Gittelson, believes that President Obama does not care about the 45,000 people dying each year due to the lack of health insurance every year. Gittelson agrees with a poster on her Facebook group devoted to this purpose saying this.
Be that as it may, people are being asked to give money to a project sponsored by a public entity, and no one knows who sits on the Board of that entity (the Action Fund, not the non-partisan non-profit). The associated non-partisan non-profit has on the Board highly regarded people like the co-founders of MoveOn.org and the publisher of Daily Kos. But we have next to no information about the Progressive Congress Action Fund, the organization created for political and lobbying involvement. We know Darcy Burner is its Executive Director and two bloggers are 'key contributors' to the most recent project. But that's it. So I have taken the initiative to call the number listed in the press release announcing this project:
Doug Gordon (202) 494-5141I left a message with my number and my email address in which I listed my concerns as above, asking the specific questions:
- Would donations to the non-partisan C3, Progressive Congress (NOT the Action fund) be used for FixItAndPassIt.org efforts?
- Does the non-partisan non-profit and the Action Fund have the same Board of Directors? If not, who are in the Board of Directors for the Action Fund (the 501(c)(4))?