On Wednesday, Linda Sarsour, a controversial political activist, tweeted an appeal to her followers asking that they donate to an ostensibly noble cause—the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund. Unfortunately, this seemingly benevolent appeal is anything but.  Ms. Sarsour actually linked to a page that accepts donations for a fund called the Texas Organizing Project Education Fund (“TOP ED”).  TOP ED is a 501(c)(3) non-profit group that is wholly affiliated with a self-described progressive Political Action Committee, the Texas Organizing Project (“TOP”). Cause of Action Institute previously looked into TOP and TOP ED for their affiliation with the now-defunct ACORN group.

Ms. Sarsour’s disingenuous call to action through the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund is in fact a call for donations to TOP which received roughly 93% (or $1.5 million) of TOP ED’s gross receipts in 2015 through its cost-sharing agreement. In its Form 990 IRS filings, TOP ED notes that it shares “employees, facilities, and goods and services” with TOP, and does not pay its employees any salary.

At a time when Americans are pulling together to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey, it is appalling to see opportunists taking advantage of their generosity.  At this time of national tragedy, it is unconscionable that groups like TOP and activists like Ms. Sarsour would mislead Americans into thinking they are donating money to save hurricane victims when in fact the funds would go to an organization that promotes a political agenda.

Travis Millsaps is Counsel at Cause of Action Institute.