If you visit the web site Specter for the Cure and go to its donation page, you might get the impression that Arlen Specter has started a medical research fund, and you can donate to it and help medical research.That is not the case at all.
The wording on the page is extremely vague, but any money you donate will not go to cure cancer or any other disease, but rather to help re-elect Arlen Specter.
Here is the text:
Senator Arlen Specter intends to build a bridge over the “valley of death.” Senator Specter has launched “Specter for the Cure,” a bold new initiative to reform our governments medical research efforts, cut red tape and unstrangle the hope for accelerated cures.
The centerpiece of Specter for the Cure is the Cures Acceleration Network (“CAN”) — a new institution, answering to the President of the United States, the sole mission of which is to turn medical research into disease cures.
In 2010, Arlen Specter will seek re-election to the United States Senate. Without Arlen Specter back in the Senate to see it through, Specter for the Cure could be lost to the ordinary politics of Washington that kills real change. With his unsurpassed record of support for medical research, helping to return Senator Specter to the Senate is a powerful statement on behalf of those suffering with disease.
Become a member, today, of Specter for the Cure. All lawful contributions, of any amount, will be gratefully welcomed. Those who sign up to donate a minimum of $10 each month for ten months, will receive members only information on the Senator’s effort to transform medical research and accelerate cures.
Tell the Congress, the President, and the world, that the time to accelerate cures has come. Together, we “CAN” do it.
So what does it mean to become a member of “Specter for the Cure?” It does not say anywhere explicitly in the text that your donation goes to re-elect Arlen Specter and not to medical research, but Specter’s spokesman tells me that is the case. You have to go all the way to the bottom of the page to find clues — the donation requirements on the site match FEC requirements in terms of the legal amounts listed and the required information the site collects on donors. It states at the very bottom that the site is “Paid for by Citizens for Arlen Specter.”
Unless you are already familiar with political donations, you might find this confusing. Specter’s spokesman tells me that it is quite clear already, and it becomes clearer once you actually enter your credit card number and submit it.
Update: I missed this note on the site from the Star-Telegram.