Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says people need to be sure they're giving to a legitimate Sandy Hook charity by doing research before writing a check.
"It's outrageous and it's despicable," says Jepsen about the fraudulent organizations and e-mails that claim to collect donations for victims after natural disasters and mass shootings. "Vigilance is the bottom line."
But Jepsen also points out that there are people who have good intentions and want to help, but don't understand the process for starting a charity and may not be acknowledging the wishes of the victims' families.
Reporter's Note: Every single day that he has been in office, I have written a letter to President Obama. It is possible that this is illegal…but I don’t know.
Dear Mr. President,
I find myself torn a bit this afternoon. On one hand, I think that you and your Republican pals are closing in on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff, albeit by fits and starts. Then on the other hand, I think…maybe not.
I want to have faith that it is the former. However, I also have the distinct impression that both sides are suffering from a version of buyer’s remorse before the deal is even done.
You know what I’m talking about. It’s like buying a house. No doubt sometime in the past you have had to do that dance. You make an offer, the other side makes an offer, back and forth you go, concessions and demands are added and subtracted, and finally you reach an agreement. The problem comes if you get to the agreement too fast. Invariably that makes each side fear that maybe they gave up too much, too quickly.
And so it is with these negotiations, I fear.
Your Democrats, flush with their most recent election successes, are not much in the mood to give up anything. Many of them are eager to show just how tough they can play with the GOP. And who can blame them?
Republicans, however, are perhaps just as enthused about showing that they were not entirely defanged by this last round of voting. They don’t want to even appear weak in this deal.
So each time you and Boehner start closing in on an agreement, your parties both start getting twitchy, each side fearing that the headlines will come out and it will look like the loser in the negotiations. Truth be told, if they can calm down enough to approve a deal and stave off calamity, I suspect voters will give both sides credit. But as you know, D.C. spends an awful lot of time worrying about blame. And that appears to be at least part of what is at work now.
Beyond that: How’s work? I remain pretty busy with the year closing out and dreadfully behind on my holiday preparations, but hopefully I’ll pull it all together in the final days. Speaking of which, if the Mayans are right about tomorrow, I guess this will be my last letter. Ha!
Alexis Haller fights online after a website was set up in the name of his nephew, Noah Posner, who died in the Sandy Hook shooting.
Haller tells Anderson he's spent so much time hunting down these fake sites, that "...instead of doing things with our family, I am running around trying to protect the family."
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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