Rosie O’Donnell will hopefully be riding heroically at the vanguard when Donald Trump finally gets taken down, but before that happens she has an overblown scandal to deal with. As uncovered by The New York Post (via Deadline), O’Donnell has apparently made a number of “illegally over-sized campaign donations” to multiple Democratic politicians recently, passing the $2,700 limit that a single person can donate to a single candidate on “at least five” occasions.
Recipients of O’Donnell’s touching generosity include Doug Jones, who ran against accused child molester Roy Moore in Alabama, as well as Pennsylvania Representative Conor Lamb, California’s Adam Schiff, and Illinois’ Lauren Underwood. The New York Post says O’Donnell gave contributions to all of their campaigns that exceeded the $2,700 limit, and she apparently used multiple different addresses and variations on her name to do it. Still, O’Donnell says she was up to “nothing nefarious” and that she assumed the campaigns would automatically reject donations past the legal limit.
She explains that she’s a regular user of fundraising platform ActBlue, and she told the Post that she has a habit of trying to calm her anxiety late at night by giving money to “those opposing Trump [and] his agenda.” She simply assumed that ActBlue would stop her from giving more money than she’s allowed to, but evidently that’s not the case. Here’s the thing about over-donating, though: The money can just be refunded or repurposed for a future election, so these candidates can just sit on her donations until the next time they need it. That means it’s unlikely that O’Donnell or these campaigns will actually be punished for this.
Now, we always try to take a balanced approach to both sides of the political divide here at The A.V. Club, but this seems like the kind of thing that’s only a big deal because it involves a famously liberal celebrity giving money to Democratic politicians. If a right-wing celebrity were doing this for Republican politicians, they’d be granted a position in Trump’s cabinet or—at the very least—a cushy time-slot on Fox News. Batman breaks the law every night, but the people who try to stop him are almost always villains because he does what he does for a good cause. Is Rose O’Donnell any different?
We’re not saying that she didn’t do anything wrong, because the fact that she can get away with this suggests that the whole system is pretty fucked up, but we are saying that she’s no different from Batman.