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Doug Burgum is paying people to donate to his presidential campaign
North Dakota Republican gives away $20 gift cards in exchange for $1 donations to make the debate stage
Money laundering? Bribery? In a move that will surely raise eyebrows across the political and legal spectrum, the presidential campaign of North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum appears to be paying supporters to become grassroots donors to his campaign. Burgum, who is independently wealthy, has struggled to break through in the Republican presidential primary. In order to make next month’s GOP debate stage, he’ll need 40,000 unique donors to chip into his campaign - a difficult task for the longshot candidate.
On Monday, July 10th, a tipster sent FWIW a screenshot of a WinRed donation page for Burgum’s campaign, promising $20 gift cards to supporters who contribute $1 dollar. It’s an unprecedented, almost desperate way for Burgum to recruit new donors. While the campaign says that the gift cards are intended to “ease the burden of Bidenflation,” it was initially unclear what type of gift card Team Burgum planned to send to supporters. Later, Burgum’s campaign clarified on Twitter that they would mail VISA or Mastercard gift cards to supporters’ addresses.
With the GOP debate rapidly approaching, “also-ran” candidates like Burgum will have to get creative to make the debate stage donor threshold, and others are experimenting with giveaways to build their list: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is giving away stickers, while businessman Perry Johnson is hawking $1 t-shirts.
One thing’s for certain: expect a lot more of this craziness over the coming weeks.