If your great grandma got ripped off, maybe you can get some of it back.
From AARP's "Bulletin" May 2005
The College Republican National Committee, which came under fire during the 2004 presidential campaign for aggressive fundraising tactics that targeted older people, has terminated its long-standing relationship with the company that generated the high-pressure appeals and has invited unhappy donors to request refunds.
The CRNC, which is not affiliated with the Republican National Committee, raised more than $12 million in the last election cycle. While the Washington-based organization claims 120,000 members on more than 1,100 college campuses, more than two-thirds of the money came from people who identified themselves as retired ($8 million) or homemakers ($780,906), according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington nonprofit group. The Seattle Times reported last year that the median age of the CRNC's 50 top donors was 85.
Among the donors who want refunds is Monda Jo Millsap, 68, of Van Buren, Ark. Last year, after being told that her money was need to help re-elect President Bush, she emptied her savings account and took out a loan to send nearly $60,000 to the CRNC. "I wanted to help ," she says. "But I didn't want to lose as much as I lost."
In all, Millsap sent in 185 checks, ranging from $3 to $1,500, in response to appeals from "Republican Headquarters 2004," " Republican Election Committee" and other names used by the CRNC in addition to its own.
Since 2002 the CRNC has raised more than $20 million, with almost all of it going to pay for more fundraising. More than half has gone to Response Dynamics, direct-mail company in Vienna, Va., and four affiliated firms.
In March, the CRNC announced that it was ending its 13-year relationship with Reponse Dynamics, effective June 1.
"When the situation arises where there's a person who's given more than they can afford or who is confused, we want to be able to refund that money," Doug McGregor, the CRNC's executive director, says. "We will do what we can to honor those requests."
by - Susan Q. Stranahan