Update: They have changed their name but not their scummy practices, Base Connect is now known as ForthRight Strategy. It is run by all the same people, with all the same clients.
Their new contact information is email@example.com (bounced back on 4/7/15) (202) 457-1254 my guess is that Kimberly Bellissimo new email is firstname.lastname@example.org. It is a valid email but I have not sent anything to it.
When they ignore you, file a complaint with the DMA, the FTC and your state’s Attorney General. Catalog Choice and PaperKarma do not work on them. Do not waste your time. Go straight to filing complaints.
Base Connect executives have argued that as much as 35 or 40 percent of the money paid to their firm goes directly to postage costs. But even assuming that is true, the firm is still taking five or 10 times as much money in fees as the amount going out to help campaigns — and the donors are still seeing virtually none of their money helping candidates.
The Dally Caller: The Direct Mail Fundraising Racket: Is It Ethical?. Kim B’s baww response. And finally the original reporter’s rebuttal.
reached out to Republican candidates to make the case that Base Connect, one of the firms with which Mackenzie has been associated, will not provide a good return on investment and has suggested he’d withhold endorsements from candidates who retain the firm.
So if you use Base Connect/ForthRight Strategy you will not get support from the rest of the Republican establishment.
Open Secrets contacted me for this article about Scott Mackenzie. My favorite quote is “A charity that reported such high fundraising costs relative to contributions made would face a serious risk of an IRS audit.” But the FEC doesn’t have the authority to audit scam PACs.
USA Today contacted me for their second article about Scott Mackenzie and VIGOP.
Their clients include:
This has got to be one of the worst designed mailpieces I have gotten in a while. Someone put the main text of the donation page over a ghosted graphic of The Constitution. That makes the page impossible to read for people with bad eyesight. Like the elderly, the very people this mailpiece is aimed at.
Disabled Police Officers of America Inc., no website
Disabled Police Officers of America Inc. is one of the worst charities in America according to the Tampa Bay Times. Along with shaming the charities they also shame the direct marketing firms that collect the money like Base Connect.
“Since 2010, the Conservative Strikeforce has raised nearly $10 million. More than $9 million of the loot was paid to the fundraisers. That means candidates got less than 8 percent of the money donors sent in.”
Opt-out here email@example.com and call (888) 295-6480
Other clients that I either haven’t gotten or didn’t take a photo of:
Veterans for Victory, dead website
Open Secrets page
Republican Member Senate Fund, no website
Open Secrets page
This is not a complete list of the clients of Base Connect. It is only the ones I could find prof of.
And a big thank you to Dan for getting Kimberly Bellissimo’s email and sharing it with me.