By Ben Jacklet
Attorney General John Kroger has banned a major national telemarketing firm from operating in Oregon.
The Milwaukee, Wisc.-based firm, Community Support, drew numerous complaints for its aggressive cold calls on behalf of nonprofits such as the National Vietnam Veterans Foundation, Inc., United States Navy Veterans Association, Firefighters Support Foundation, Inc., Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and Cancer Center for Detection and Prevention.
According to a release from Kroger's office, many of these charity groups raise money on behalf of popular causes but provide very little actual support to these causes, with the bulk of the money- over 80 percent in some cases - going towards telemarketing, administration and executive salaries.
The state sued Community Support last May and followed up today with an agreement filed in Multnomah County Court. Next Kroger plans to lobby the legislature to end the Oregon tax deduction for donations to charities that spend less than 30 percent of the money they raise on the issues and people they claim to represent.
Sadly, the agreement has no impact whatsoever on the annoying fundraisers who stalk pedestrians in downtown Portland.
Ben Jacklet is managing editor of Oregon Business.