Below are answers to common questions.
Why do you ask for donations?
The only path to actual change in our political and election processes is to learn about the organizations fighting corruption and actually start supporting them in any small way possible. We could simply sell hats and tee-shirts like eveyone else, but our primary motivation help citizen from all walks of life see past the nonsense of red vs. blue and direct our collective energy on being the change we all want to see. We collect small donations, match them with our own money and send checks each month to the nonprofits that have received donations. Alone we have little to no impact, together anything is possible.
If you wish to make a larger donation, please go directly to the organizations website.
These small donations are not tax deductible. We must record them as income and pay taxes accordingly. We pay the Shopify credit card processing fee, so 100% of your donation goes directly to the organization. Since we are a for profit business, we must charge sales tax on donations if you are located in Washington state.
We encourage you to get involved with the organizations and provide further support as they are absolutely critical to bringing substantial changes in the way America elects our representatives, how their campaigns are financed, and how in the end they vote on issues critically important to the working and poor.
The ongoing total of all donations are posted on the front page of our website.
We will provide a list showing the name and email address of all who donated to each organization so they may share additional information with you in the future.
What does nonpartisan mean?
This term can be confusing so let us try to explain what it means. We intentionally did our best to filter through hundreds of organizations and look into their founders and major donors. Clearly the nonpartisan label can be slapped on any organization pitch and the meaning can vary a lot as every organization has their own bias no matter how hard they wish to claim otherwise.
For the intentions of MAKE AMERICA PLAID AGAIN, we define Nonpartisan Organizations as organizations that do NOT specifically endorse or support any political party or political candidate. This means they don't send checks or people or other resources to the DNC or RNC or any of the candidates running for any office and they use their time, energy and funding to address the issues they state are the reason for their existence.
This does not mean the founders or staff or donors are somehow free of political bias and no matter what organization we look at, somebody can find something about someone who favors the Democrats or the Republicans or the Green party or leans left or right on some issue that is outside of the primary work of the organization. This truth applies to every organization and sadly, we have become blind to the propaganda and fallacious arguments that make massive spectacles out of small issues to derail actual progress. Both parties are disgustingly guilty of this finger pointing behavior.
That said, we accept the stated vision, mission, and goals of the organizations we support as well as the inevitable leanings each will have. This is because we are focused on supporting systemic changes in our political and election processes that make them open, transparent, fair and just for all American's, not red or blue American's as it should be. We don't root for a sports team because we know the game is fixed, we root for the team that plays the best and doesn't cheat simply because winning is everything.
MAKE AMERICA PLAID AGAIN will not endorse or contribute any funds to any political candidate from any party.
What does nonprofit mean?
This is another confusing term. A nonprofit organization is actually one of twenty-nine different classifications that the IRS determines based on the stated purposes of the organization. Essentially, being a nonprofit simply means they do not operate to generate profits to then distribute to shareholders as regular corporations do. However, this does not mean they can't generate hundreds of millions of dollars or provide large compensation packages to their founders and directors or spend large percentages of the monies donated on fancy offices, entertainment, advertising and other expenses that do not directly benefit the people or entities they claim is their purpose of formation.
The most commonly known is 501(c)(3) which is a code granted to organizations with one or more of the following stated tax-exempt purposes:
Charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals.
These organizations are tax-exempt and your donations made directly to them are tax-deductible.
Of the ten organizations we support, two are organized as 501(c)(3)
- Brennan Center for Justice
- Fair Vote
The next group are organized as 501(c)(4) and they come in two flavors.
Social welfare organizations: Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, and
Local associations of employees: The membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person(s) in a particular municipalities.
They are to be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements). It may further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status.
The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity.
Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not tax deductible.
Six of the organizations we support are 501(c)(4) Social Welfare organizations and they are:
- All On The Line
- Common Cause
- Move to Amend
- Public Citizen
- Represent Us
- Sunlight Foundation
While some of the above organizations may be viewed as leaning left, the bottom line is they are working on systemic changes that moves the balance of power towards the average citizen and away from the corporations and super wealthy. Laws cannot be changed without elected officials willing to vote in favor of the proposed changes. Nearly the entirety of our Congress was elected solely from major donations of large corporations, wealthy individuals, and the support of Super PACS which pay for all the horribly divisive attack ads we all have to suffer through every election season.
Of course changing campaign financing and election laws will not be of much interest to most of the incumbents sitting in office today. Thus, we will find more left leaning and progressive individuals willing to refuse corporate and Super PAC money leading the way to freeing our political and elections processes from the corruption of big money.
Lastly, we support two 527 tax-exempt organizations, otherwise known as PAC's or political action committees. These advocacy groups are not regulated by the Federal Election Commission. The following two PAC's are working on stopping the unlimited flow of money from the upper classes into the political process.
- End Citizens United
- Wolf PAC
At the end of all of this, it must be said that there is nothing "conservative" about defending corporate rule over the voice of the people and there is nothing "liberal" about wanting to end the corrupting influence of big money. The vast majority of American's on the left and the right agree that the influence of big money on every aspect of our political process is the cause of the worst social inequity since the Great Depression and the division of the people since the Civil War.
Does MAKE AMERICA PLAID AGAIN endorse or support political candidates?
This is a sensitive question because if we say anything other than no, there is a high potential for getting people thinking we are favoring one party or another. The trolls of division never rest.
The whole point we are trying to make with Plaid is that we all need to collectively focus on enacting laws that favor the will of the people, not the will of the corporate donors. We all need to hold our representatives on both sides of the aisle accountable for their votes.
Wearing a plaid hat helps raise awareness, watching a video and donating a few bucks will engage citizens in the topic of anti-corruption; but, in the end we need politicians who agree to vote in favor of anti-corruption laws at every level of government. Therefore, we will promote all political candidates from any party that pledges to vote in favor of any and all anti-corruption bills that are called for a vote.
We may from time to time add or remove organizations from our support list without notice.