As I mentioned in connection with another story, the knee-jerk reaction to set up a GoFundMe page for anyone who has suffered adversity is one of the sillier by-products of the digital information age and crowdfunding in particular. While I can appreciate the heartfelt good intentions that underlie most of these gestures, the message almost seems to be that the answer to all life’s woes is to throw money at a victim whether he is needy or not.
The problem with raising the collection plate for political heroes in particular is exemplified by a story at Yahoo! News that reveals that a GoFundMe page was set up on behalf of Justice Brett Kavanaugh and his family, who endured a season of hell at the hands of conniving Senate Democrats and their water carriers in the mainstream media.
The page was organized by blogger John Hawkins who runs Right Wing News and is a friend of this site. John explains that he created the page “at a crucial point in the confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh. The mainstream media was doing everything in its power to destroy him; Democrats were going all-in to stop him and whether he’d be confirmed or not was really up in the air.”
The page got the job done, raising close to $600,000 as of this writing. John is to be commended for his good work and good heart. There’s just one problem. Justice Kavanaugh is unable to accept the funds. John explains:
[A] former law clerk told me that because of judicial ethics restraints, Justice Kavanaugh and his family cannot accept or direct the funds. With that in mind, here is the official statement I received, which I assume more than a few lawyers were involved with crafting:
Justice Kavanaugh did not authorize the use of his name to raise funds in connection with the GoFundMe campaign. He was not able to do so for judicial ethics reasons. Judicial ethics rules caution judges against permitting the use of the prestige of judicial office for fund-raising purposes. Justice Kavanaugh will not accept any proceeds from the campaign, nor will he direct that any proceeds from the campaign be provided to any third party. Although he appreciates the sentiment, Justice Kavanaugh requests that you discontinue the use of his name for any fund-raising purpose.
A decision was therefore made to divert the funds (less any refunds claimed by individual donors) in equal amounts to three charities — The Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), the Tuition Assistance Fund, and the Victory Youth Center — that “help the sort of kids Brett Kavanaugh has been working with.”