U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign has been riding the waves of success in recent weeks. Besides seeing a jump in the polls, Warren’s campaign raised an impressive $19.1 million in the second quarter of this year. However, her campaign is now under fire for allegedly misleading two people into believing they were receiving paid internships.
The individuals were applicants of the far-left presidential candidate’s volunteer fellowship program. In a surprising interview with the left-leaning Daily Beast, the Warren supporters claimed the application process was both “exploitive” and “deceptive.”
The Daily Beast reported, “They said they were pushed toward unpaid positions over paid ones, misled over the availability of financial assistance, and asked to sign highly restrictive nondisclosure agreements that worker advocacy groups concede are irregular. Both applicants verified their accounts with emails and text messages from the Warren campaign.”
The media outlet noted, “Like other Democrats running for the White House, Warren’s campaign offers paid internships. But unlike many others, the campaign also offers volunteer fellowships and volunteer fellowships for academic credit.”
Jonathan Nendze, a senior at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, was accepted into the volunteer fellowship program. Describing it as a “great scam,” Nendze revealed that the unpaid volunteers were expected to “function as a paid intern.” The college student insisted, “What was sold to me was very different than it actually was.”
Nendze contended, “The way they always communicated it was always fellow/intern, like they were synonymous. Their application kind of took advantage of people who were really eager to get experience.”
The Warren supporter maintained the campaign was intentionally sketchy when talking about the opportunity for payment during the application process. Nendze stated, “I had no information about where to go, if I was being paid. If they had told me upfront that I was unpaid, maybe I would have been able to prepare better.”
Although he was accepted into the campaign as a volunteer, Nendze was still required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. According to news outlet Breitbart, this is an odd request for an unpaid volunteer.
The non-disclosure agreement required the college student “not [to] communicate with any member of the press” and prohibited Nendze from making a statement that “may impair or otherwise adversely affect the goodwill or reputation” of the 2020 presidential candidate or her entities.
A second volunteer welcomed into the fellowship program, who only wanted to be identified as Cole during his interview with the Daily Beast, reportedly believed the campaign would provide him with housing. When Cole brought up his concerns, Grace Smith, the Polk County field organizer, allegedly remarked, “There’s this great housing program.” Purportedly, the campaign’s regional organizing director, Anna Kucher, sent out an introductory e-mail to the new recruits. However, the communication didn’t provide any specific information about housing.
According to the Daily Beast, “About two weeks later, she sent a follow-up note. ‘I know you are all anxious to receive your housing details, and I will be sending out emails on a rolling basis based on when you submitted your request from Today – Thursday,’ she wrote on June 10. ‘Don’t worry about not having a bed to sleep in, we have enough hosts confirmed and are just putting together the puzzle pieces of folks timeline here in IA, allergies, etc. Once you receive your host contact info, it’s very important that you reach out to them immediately within 24 hours to confirm logistics and details of your arrival!’”
With a mere week left before the volunteer fellowship was supposed to commence, Cole still didn’t have any concrete information about where, or if, he would be housed. So, he decided to opt out of the program. He told the Daily Beast, “Before you start a campaign you should have these basic processes done. To be treated the way I was is disheartening.”
Warren is one of the most progressive Democrats vying for the White House in 2020. In June of this year, the Senator ironically celebrated her birthday at a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in South Carolina.
The event reportedly focused on protecting and expanding women’s right to abortions according to TheBlaze. Without shame, Warren said, “What better way to celebrate my birthday than right here with Planned Parenthood?”