When my partner Ray got the pitch from Mitch Stewart of Organizing for America on Monday, he had other things to do with his discretionary money, but the first paragraph got him:
Every single day, special interests spend a staggering $1.4 million lobbying Congress to shut down the President’s agenda for health care reform.
Certainly he could afford the $5 the president was asking for. In fact, he gave $10. But the next morning, he found the account he uses for web purchases overdrawn. The DNC had not only authorized $10 twice, they had authorized $500.00 as well. For three days, despite scores of phone calls, the transaction had neither been reversed nor had anyone at the DNC or Blue State Digital acknowledged the error.
Blue State Digital, founded in 2004 by four former Dean staffers, at first denied any involvement or responsibility. But the emails and the donation page point to them, so they finally resorted to the claim that their involvement was none of our business.
The DNC at first claimed donor error, then flatly denied that no more than one transaction took place. The bank produced documents complete with Terminal IDs, sequence numbers and switch timestamps proving the DNC in fact made four transactions, but refuses to remove the hold unless the DNC advises it in writing to do so.
Its the ultimate Catch-22, with all the trappings of the kind of government bureaucracy the right tries to scare up as a bogeyman to keep health care private. “Do you trust the government,” they ask, “to provide your medical care?”
Late this afternoon, the DNC did apologize, and tried a new story. It was an address mismatch that caused the transactions to fail. That never stopped Blue State during the campaign, and there were lots of donations with the same exact data.
Nor could they explain how an address issue turned $10 into five hundred but they attempted, without success, to reverse the charges; the charges that yesterday didn’t exist. Because of their previous denial, Ray’s now canceled the card and faxed a flurry of dispute documents back and forth to the bank. The DNC is still trying to decide whether or not it requested and received an auth code. Their spokespeople don’t seem to know.
Ray thinks the government needs to guarantee every American health care, and there should at least be a public option. He’s spent a lot of time in verbal gunplay on Facebook with our insurance industry friends, but his powder is no longer dry.
In frustration he finally wrote the White House (the BlueState-served webpages hide out behind a link to www.whitehouse.gov). Its not easy to argue that a group of people can tackle something as difficult as multi-billion dollar health care when they can’t figure out why a $500 charge attempt got made for a $10 donation, and claim its none of your damn business when you inquire about it.