Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Border wall GoFundMe organizers plan private build as donors offered refunds

GoFundMe Will Refund All Donations Made to Florida Veteran’s ‘Fund the Wall’ Campaign GoFundMe Will Refund All Donations Made to Florida Veteran’s ‘Fund the Wall’ Campaign
Ellis Copeland | 13 January, 2019, 07:18

Business Insider reports that when the campaign was started, founder Brian Kolfage promised all donations would be used to pay for a border wall between the US and Mexico once the $1 billion goal was reached.

"Another issue is that Air Force veteran Kolfage, a triple amputee who writes on his website that he lost both his legs and one arm during a September 11, 2004, rocket attack on Balad Air Base in Iraq, has created a nonprofit corporation in Florida - We Build the Wall, Inc".

The federal government won't be able to accept our donations anytime soon. "We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action", he said via GoFundMe in a January 11 update.

He added in a Business Wire interview: "Rather than subsidizing the federal government, which has betrayed the American people by obstructing President Donald Trump's agenda, "We Build the Wall" is taking the President's signature campaign promise into our own hands".

Because organizers changed the nature of their campaign, GoFundMe said donors would have to opt-in in order to reroute their contribution to the new venture.

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As of Friday, the campaign raised just over $20 million, but it's not all that Kolfage hoped for. I am honoring that commitment today. You will receive your refund a few weeks after the 90 days expires and GoFundMe will notify you once your refund has processed. On Friday, he announced the donations would be funneled to a nonprofit called "We Build the Wall, Inc." which has a prominent list of advisers on its advisory board, including businessman Erik Prince and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. The media is falsely reporting all money is being refunded and it's over.

President Trump is still demanding that Congress fund his wall and partially shut the government down on December 22, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay. "We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action", Kolfage said. He also introduced a new 501 (c)(4) non-profit Florida Corporation named We Build the Wall, Inc., where donors can redirect their refunds to if they still wish for their money to be used, in one way or another, to build a wall.

Even though the federal government is unable to accept financial donations with strings attached, last month congressional Republicans introduced legislation that would allow the US Treasury to accept donations from the public earmarked for the border wall, according to BuzzFeedNews.

"However, that did not happen", Whithorne said.

In a statement, GoFundMe cited Kolfage's initial statements on the fundraising page as proof that the initial campaign had failed to achieve its goal.

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