KARE 11 Investigates: Unauthorized charges by Clinton campaign?
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. – A Minnesota woman and her son claim Hillary Clinton’s campaign is making unauthorized charges to her credit card, and in spite of dozens of calls to the campaign, they can’t get it to stop.
“I always did vote democrat,” said 81-year-old Carol Mahre of Maplewood as she burst into laughter. “It’s not a laughing matter,” she added “but it’s better than crying about it.”
What has the widow and former MN election judge deciding between laughter and tears is the string of charges to her credit card made by “Hillary For America” - Hillary Clinton’s election campaign.
“I thought oh what the hell I’ll give them $25,” she told KARE 11. “You know I’m not rich, so I sent them $25 and then they started just taking it out,” said Mahre as she described donating on the official Clinton campaign website back in March.
She says she intended to make a one-time donation, but when her credit card bill arrived she discovered repeated charges.
“They took out $100 more than what I donated,” she said.
Mahre had her son Roger, an attorney, help her dispute the unauthorized charges on her credit card. Roger Mahre said over a period of three days in late April and early May, he placed dozens of calls to Hillary for America before someone finally answered the phone.
“I finally got through,” said Roger. “When I talked to the person at the other end and explained what was going on he seemed nice enough.”
Roger says the Hillary campaign representative promised to cancel the charges that weren’t authorized and make sure that no further payments were taken from Carol’s credit card.
“I asked him for email confirmation of that and he said he would get it to me,” said Roger “and I have never seen anything.”
Fast forward a month and the Mahre’s got their next credit statement. It showed two additional $25 charges by Hillary for America.
“So I got back on the phone again,” said Roger as he rolled his eyes.
Each time he called he says he got an automated recording telling him all operators were busy and to call back.
“Instead of trying to get something productive done I’m sitting here trying to resolve a Hillary for America problem,” he said.
Fed up after making what he estimates were 100 phone calls to the campaign over a period of several days, Roger filed a fraud report with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office and asked KARE 11 for assistance.
“There comes a point where I just can’t waste my entire day trying to resolve a fraudulent charge on the credit card, which is exactly what it is,” he said. “They’re taking advantage of my 81-year-old mother and that’s not right.”
On May 27, KARE 11 emailed the Hillary Clinton press account. Six days later, there’s been no response. KARE investigative reporter A.J. Lagoe also tweeted to Hillary for America’s Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri and Press Secretary Brian Fallon. They’ve also failed to respond.
Carol says the billing problem isn’t enough to turn her into a Republican. But while her son Roger continues to dial the campaign line, Carol is threatening to skip doing something she’s done every four years since Eisenhower won reelection in 1956.
“I’m not going to vote if this keeps up,” she said, choosing once again to laugh instead of cry.