On last Friday's Democracy Now, both Juan Gonzales and Max Blumenthal discussed Pat Robertson’s “charity” Operation Blessing. FEMA chose to publicize Robertson’s Operation Blessing as one of their top three organizations collecting funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Years ago, Robertson was forced to reimburse $400,000 to his own charity.
He claimed that he was collecting this money to pay for planes to fly relief goods to Rwandan refugees in
The American Red Cross addresses attempted fraud on their website by listing their authorized internet donation sites (CONVIO, MSN, Network for Good, Yahoo, Amazon.com, and Apple I Tunes): “All official sites collecting money on behalf of the American Red Cross should link to one of the approve sites listed below.” Further down the page, in bold print, the American Red Cross emphasizes: “If the web address you are about to make a donation through does not exactly match one of these websites, do not donate through that website.” 
On his website
Frontpagemag.com, David Horowitz took it upon himself to collect money
for the American Red Cross. “Americans of all backgrounds,
races, religions, and political persuasions now have an opportunity to
join together to help their fellow Americans rebuild their shattered lives
and salvage one of this country's most historic cities. We do so this time
with the added imperative of healing our own homeland and kinsmen -- of
all backgrounds, races, religions, and political persuasions.” It is odd
that Horowitz would show this much regard for people affected by the
hurricane (the majority being poor and African-American) when he is known
for espousing hatred for immigrants and multiculturalism. He has
vigorously campaigned against reparations for African Americans. And
political persuasion doesn’t matter to him? Anti-war protestors are
terrorist supporters, as far as Horowitz is concerned. Horowitz has
viciously attacked Cindy Sheehan in recent weeks, calling her setting up
“Please take a moment,” Horowitz with his newly-found compassion pleads, “to click the link below and make the most generous contribution you can to the American Red Cross.” Click on the link to give money on Horowitz’s site and you will not see a link to the American Red Cross’s donation page or any of its approved collectors. On the web page is a form to fill out name, address, and credit card information and various suggested amounts that go up to $5,000 dollars. Located at the bottom is not a mailing address for the Red Cross or their toll free number (1-800-HELP-NOW) but one sentence: “Paid for by the Center for the Study of Popular Culture. All contributions are processed through an encrypted, dedicated, secure server.” The CFSPC, a right-wing foundation Horowitz co-founded to fund his reactionary attacks on reparations, the anti-war movement, and now, as Bill Berkowitz has recently pointed out, immigrants. Horowitz’s organization is not only paying for the fees it is supposedly accruing by supposedly collecting money for the American Red Cross, but the CFSPC paid ten percent of its over $3 million budget to Horowitz in 2003 according to the own organization’s IRS forms.  Horowitz’s CFSPC is alleging that they are paying for the collection of the donations, but who is doing the collecting?
The link for Horowitz’s collection web page is here. Type in just www.donationreport.com, and you will arrive at eDonation.com: a password-protected website that describes itself as a member of The Donatelli Group.
Hockaday Donatelli Campaign Solutions is a political consulting firm that is “the primary segment of the larger Donatelli Group, which includes an Internet fundraising site, eDonation.com.”  HD Campaign Solutions have worked for the campaigns of Republican candidates such as George Bush and John McCain and many state Republican Parties.  “We bring a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience not found in any other Republican voter contact and communications firm,” Campaign Solutions’ website boasts. While the American Conservative Union, the Oregon Restaurant Association, and the National Pork Producers Association are present in Campaign Solution’s list of past and present non-profit clients, the non-partisan American Red Cross is nowhere to be found.
Other political websites on both the left and the right have provided venues for people to donate money for victims of Katrina. But they are not having political consulting firms do it for them: they are providing links directly to their charities of choice for people to donate money. The liberal website CommonDreams.org has links to both the American Friends Service Committee and ACORN. The right-wing website Townhall.com provides links to two faith-based organizations (Salvation Army and Samaritan’s Purse) as well as an authorized collector of Red Cross funds (Yahoo.com). There is no confusion as to which organization is getting the donated money. 
Why wouldn’t David Horowitz just link to the American Red Cross’s donation web page or the web page of one of the Red Cross’s authorized affiliates? It would certainly be easier and cheaper for him to do so than for his organization to pay for a slick right wing consulting firm to collect money for him.
The American Red Cross has stressed that no one should use any site to donate to the Red Cross for victims of Hurricane Katrina that is not authorized by the organization. Horowitz and his buddies at The Donatelli Group are NOT authorized to collect funds on behalf of the American Red Cross. Why Horowitz and company would set up such a questionable operation and set themselves up as middlemen is unknown to me. Maybe you all should ask him: (323) 556-2550 or email@example.com.
is a writer and activist living in
Other Articles by Brandy Baker
See “Valid Donation Sites Approved by the American Red Cross.”
 See Bill Berkowitz’s “David Horowitz Tackles Immigration,” Dissident Voice, September 9, 2005.