By STACY CHEN, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — Pence defends campaign rallies amid pandemicThe vice president said they still “want to give people the freedom to participate in the political process.”
A group of Democratic activists and organizations have partnered to launch a super PAC called Defeat by Tweet, which aims to use President Donald Trump’s Twitter habit against him.
Powered by Momentum, an app that allows automatic donations to vetted nonprofits, Defeat by Tweet lets users pledge a donation between 1 cent and 10 cents for every time Trump tweets to his 82 million followers.
Each contribution will be made in the president’s name and go directly to the Justice Fund, a group of 15 Black-led political organizations with the intention of thwarting Trump’s reelection chances. Organizations like Color of Change PAC, The Collective, Black Voters Matter Fund and other similar political and social justice reform groups, especially those focused in swing states such as Michigan and Arizona, will be included in the campaign.
“This is a way for us to add direct consequences for his actions,” Xander Schultz, the founder of Defeat by Tweet, told ABC News. “The more you spread hate, the worse your reelection odds will become.”
Trump averages 30 tweets a day, according to Schultz, and the platform will cap donations at $45 a month, or 900 tweets per month. If they get 1 million people to donate an average of 2 cents per tweet, Trump will be contributing $18 million monthly to the organizations listed in the Justice Fund.
This was a concept already in use on the Momentum app since 2019, where people can choose which charities they want to earn money every time the president tweets. But with this specific campaign they are focused on November’s election by lifting political groups led by people who historically didn’t have a voice, Nick Fitz, the founder and CEO of Momentum, said.
For Fitz, the most exciting part of this initiative is the prospect of mobilizing political participation. “Now that we gathered people who care, we can change how people think about politics and philanthropy” in the long term, Fitz told ABC News.
A Silicon Valley tech executive and long-time criminal justice reform advocate, Schultz was inspired to create the platform following nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. He hopes Defeat by Tweet can help recenter the conversation away from bigotry and funnel funds back into Black communities to help them harness their political power.
“I want people to feel empowered; we’re feeling hopeless right now,” Schultz said. He hopes to give power back to the people and help Trump “tweet to his own defeat.”
Schultz also works with Michael Novogratz, a former hedge fund manager and current CEO of Galaxy Investment Partners, who has pledged $1 million to the initiative.
“Getting out the vote is where change starts,” Novogratz said in a statement. “This is the most effective and fun way to support criminal justice reform — and watching the Orange One contribute to his own demise will be joyful.”
They hope to raise anywhere from $50 million to $100 million by November and plan on expanding the campaign further after Election Day.
The goal, however, is about more than just voting Trump out of the White House, Schultz said, it’s about utilizing this opportunity to “catch this momentum around Black Lives Matter and translate it into serious support for Black political power.”
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