Want 20 Bucks? This GOP Candidate Is Giving Out Gift Cards In Push To Make The Debate Stage

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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North Dakota’s Republican Gov. Doug Burgum is doling out $20 gift cards to donors in attempts to meet the debate stage requirements in August, according to the campaign.

The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) debate criteria includes a 40,000 unique donor threshold that candidates must meet, along with a polling requirement and loyalty pledge. Burgum‘s campaign is “giving Biden Economic Relief cards” to 50,000 individuals who contribute as little as $1 to meet the RNC’s donor criteria and ease “Bidenflation,” according to the governor’s Twitter.

“Doug knows people are hurting because of Bidenflation and giving Biden Economic Relief Gift Cards is a way to help 50,000 people until Doug is elected President to fix this crazy economy for everyone,” campaign spokesperson Lance Trover told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “It also allows us to secure a spot on the debate stage while avoiding paying more advertising fees to social media platforms who have owners that are hostile to conservatives.”

The donors will receive their $20 via a Visa or Mastercard gift card, Burgum wrote in a tweet. (RELATED: North Dakota Gov Rolls Out $3 million Ad Buy In Key Early Primary States)

Some campaign finance experts questioned the legality of Burgum’s move, with lawyer Paul S. Ryan telling Politico the governor would be “using these individuals as straw donors,” which is illegal. Saurav Ghosh, the director of federal campaign finance reform at the Campaign Legal Center, disagreed.

“Campaigns generally have a tremendous amount of flexibility as far as how they spend their money,” Ghosh told Politico.

In addition to meeting the donor threshold, the RNC is also requiring candidates sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee and poll at or above 1% in at least three national polls, or the contenders could garner 1% in two national polls and 1% in one key early primary state poll, according to the committee’s website.

The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for the 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between June 10 and June 26, indicates that Burgum has 0.1% support, compared to former President Donald Trump’s 53% and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 20.9%.

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