Act Blue characterizes itself as a method “to raise money for the Democratic candidates and committees”. It persuades activists to funnel money through its accounts by claiming that Act Blue increases political accountability through connections between activists and politicians themselves. Act Blue claims,
“Before ActBlue, grassroots fundraisers were rarely recognized by campaigns. But with ActBlue, campaigns and the public can see who’s raising, so fundraisers get the credit they deserve. And that visibility is turning into access, and access is turning into accountability. ActBlue is helping new leaders to leverage their networks into real Democratic power that inﬂuences elections and shapes policy.”
If what Act Blue claims about its work increasing accountability is true, then the New York Life insurance company ought to soon be especially accountable to progressive activists. After all, Act Blue is set up to New York Life’s political action committee.
Such donations are not set to take place directly, of course. That would be obscene. Instead, the money will be funneled through U.S. Representative Carolyn Maloney.
Act Blue has made it possible for grassroots activists to make donations to Carolyn Maloney’s political action committee – Carolyn’s PAC. Carolyn’s PAC, in turn, does give to some Democratic candidates, but also has given to other sorts of recipients. Among them is the New York Life Insurance Company Political Action Committee, to which Carolyn’s PAC has given $5,000.
Why would Carolyn Maloney donate $5,000 to an insurance company’s PAC? Could it have anything to do with a donation for the same amount given to Maloney’s campaign coffers by George Nichols, a lobbyist working for the New York Life Insurance Company? Could it have something to do with the $32,500 she has received from New York Life Insurance over the last six years – and more even money before that?
I can find no source that explains this transaction. Will Carolyn Maloney itself reveal its motivation?