A Seattle man who gave money to Hillary Clinton’s nonprofit organization went through weeks of hassle before he was finally able to cancel his $10.48 monthly donation.
Corey Koscielnak says he needed to file a complaint with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office after weeks in which the website for Onward Together did not allow him to cancel his donation.
Koscielnak says that he first tried to resolve the issue by phone, to no avail.
‘I don’t expect it from anyone, corporation or not,’ Koscielniak told The Seattle Times.
‘But what surprised me is, the Democratic Party is supposed to stand for other people and not be part of this larger industrial complex.’
A spokesperson for Clinton, Nick Merrill, said that Onward Together has now added a feature on its web site that allows donors to cancel their donations.
Corey Koscielnak says he needed to file a complaint with the Washington state Attorney General’s Office after weeks in which the website for Onward Together did not allow him to cancel his donation
Onward Together is a nonprofit social-welfare organization founded by Clinton that is tax-exempt
‘We have rectified it, but we will make sure this doesn’t happen again, with anybody, in the future,’ Merrill said.
Merrill said that Clinton’s organization plans to reach out to Koscielnak.
Despite the unpleasant experience, Koscielnak says he does not blame Clinton personally.
Koscielnak voted for Clinton in the 2016 elections. In total, 87 per cent of Seattle residents who voted in the election cast their ballots for the Democrat.
The election of Donald Trump motivated Koscielnak to be more engaged politically.
In the last year, he has made donations to Democratic candidates and causes, including the organization Act Blue.
One of the groups that he donated to was Onward Together, a nonprofit social-welfare organization that is tax-exempt.
Onward Together, like many other nonprofits, is listed as 501(c)(4) in the federal tax code.
This means they have tax-exempt status so long as their primary operations are not political in nature.
But nonprofits also do not have to disclose their donors, who can give large sums to 501(c)(4) organizations, who then give to political action committees that spend money on elections.
According to Merrill, Onward Together helps progressive groups and does not shift its donations to campaign ads.
In 2017, Onward Together gave $1million to various progressive causes, according to Merrill.
Onward Together backs ‘organizations that have proven success in organizing around our shared progressive values, mobilizing voters, or running candidates for office,’ according to its website.
Koscielnak said he decided to cancel his donation because Onward Together provided little information about how the money was spent. Hillary Clinton is seen above in New York on Friday
These groups include Color of Change, Emerge America, Indivisible, Swing Left, and Run for Something.
Koscielnak said he decided to cancel his donation because Onward Together provided little information about how the money was spent.
He then looked through the group’s website for a ‘cancel donation’ button but couldn’t find one.
‘Onward Together (OT) accepts payment information, but provides no ability to alter or cancel donations once the initial donation is received,’ he wrote in his complaint to the Attorney General’s Office.
‘I started contributing in May 2017, but have never received a receipt for my monthly contributions.’
He then dialed a phone number that was listed on the site.
‘The person who answered my call (Kelly) said that she can cancel payment for me, and that they’ve received several callers expressing frustration with their process,’ Koscielniak wrote in the complaint.
‘She told me they will not put a contact # or address on their website due to security reasons. This feels both deceptive and unethical.’
While Merrill says Koscielnak’s donation has been canceled, Koscielnak says he won’t know for sure until he gets next month’s bank statement.