Skip to comments.Warning - Possible Fraud Alert (Pro-Life Campaign Committee)
Posted on 12/29/2002 9:07:17 PM PST by ThePythonicCow
Rochester Area Right To Life
"Deceptive" Groups Raise Money From Unsuspecting Pro-Lifers
Minneapolis, MN -- The Minnesota-based pro-life group Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life is urging pro-life advocates in Minnesota and nationwide to be aware of groups MCCL says claim to be pro-life but don't do any pro-life work.
"Drawing on the concern so many Americans have for unborn children, groups around the country are raising significant donations with claims of pro-life work that is not being done," MCCL said in a recent report.
According to MCCL, one such group, using the name "Elect Life," has raised more than $3,000,000 from unsuspecting pro-life families through telemarketing calls that sometimes are pressuring or offensive.
While "Elect Life" claims to support pro-life candidates and to be working in Congress on a partial-birth abortion ban, neither is apparently true. According to documents on file with the Federal Election Commission, the telemarketing firm, Arizona-based Capital Communications, kept 94% of the money raised and the organization's president paid himself more than $115,000 in salary and fees.
As for "Elect Life's" lobbying claims, representatives of several major pro-life groups that conduct Washington-based lobbying efforts on behalf of life issues have never seen any representative of "Elect Life" lobbying on any of a number of pro-life issues -- including partial-birth abortion.
Last year, the New York Post ran an expose article highlighting the organization. Yet the phone calls to unknowing pro-life families continue and some pro-life families have begun receiving phone calls soliciting money for another "pro-life" group whose authenticity is also questionable.
Several pro-life organizations in states around the country have reported calls from their members who report the same telemarketing firm, Arizona's Capital Communications, has called soliciting funds for the "Pro-Life Campaign Committee."
Telemarketing scripts and materials mailed to those making pledges over the phone are nearly identical to scripts and materials used with "Elect Life" and other supposedly "pro-life" groups for which Capital Communications has done telemarketing. In each case, the scripts tell callers the organization is working to elect pro-life candidates and lobby on partial-birth abortion.
As with "Elect Life," no leading pro-life organizations in Washington have heard of the "Pro-Life Campaign Committee" or seen evidence of its efforts.
In one instance, the attempt to legitimatize the "pro-life" groups involve clear instances of falsehood, according to representatives of two pro-life organizations.
Telemarketing phone calls and materials sent to donors from both "Elect Life" and the "Pro-Life Campaign Committee" include claims that these organizations "work closely" with legitimate pro-life groups. "Elect Life" materials put the organization alongside National Right to Life and the New York State Right to Life group in Albany, New York. Although both NRLC and New York Right to Life work closely with a number of pro-life organizations, according to spokesmen for both groups neither organization has ever "worked closely" with "Elect Life" on educational, legislative, or political efforts.
In Minnesota, MCCL says a group calling itself the "Minnesota Life Committee" is using similar tactics.
MCCL reports that the "Minnesota Life Committee" calls pro-life households and "takes credit for lobbying efforts and advertising campaigns by other organizations." According to MCCL, "they specifically claim that they played a major role in passing the Woman's Right to Know bill through the Minnesota legislature last year, but there is no evidence that the group sent a lobbyist or had anything to do with the bill's passage."
MCCL also reports that "lawsuits and complaints from ethical pro-life organizations have forced the group to twice change its name, but it continues to use deception in raising and diverting money from generous citizens who believe their dollars will be used to protect and honor life."
Unfortunately, say spokesperson from several pro-life organizations, donations to legitimate pro-life groups have been and will continue to be affected and the work that could be done to protect unborn babies from abortion is severely hurt.
MCCL and consumer groups that track nonprofit organizations encourage anyone receiving phone calls from pro-life groups for donations to be wise and alert.
If you receive a call from a group that sounds suspect, contact The Pro-Life Infonet at email@example.com or another pro-life organization you trust. We can help you determine if a group is authentic and deserving of your contribution.
Source: Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, Pro-Life Infonet; May 29, 2001 as quoted in Pro-Life Infonet 5/30/01 #2442. The Pro-Life Infonet is a daily compilation of pro-life news and information. To subscribe, send the message "subscribe" to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Infonet is sponsored by Women and Children First (http://www.prolifeinfo.org/wcf). For more pro-life info visit http://www.prolifeinfo.org and for questions or additional information email email@example.com
When I agreed to pledge some money, he handed me over to a second man, to collect the details of my pledge. The second man asked me to expedite the pledge by putting it on my credit card immediately.
At that point, I said no - send me something in the mail. I don't give out credit information to cold callers. Though the two person handoff routine, for a brief second, almost got paste my usual paranoia.
They did send an invoice for the amount I had pledged, and I did a web search. My payment was to be sent to the Pro-Life Campaign Committee, Washington, D.C. The Invoice and return address were both addressed from a P.O. Box in Purcellville, VA.
I found nothing to encourage trust, and a couple of old items, such as the one I quote above, that suggest distrust.
The first sentence must refer to the Catholic Church, obviously.
I'd have hoped, if it was a straight up organization, that I would have found some search hits that were more positive.
All I need to know, hang him.
I will direct my pro-life donations to a legitimate group.
An oddity I noted---The Pro-Life Campaign Committee mispells my name and town exactly the same way as the Republican National Committee does.
for full details.