(The Center Square) – Republican Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick said his threat of stopping all business his office conducts with JPMorgan Chase resulted in the nation’s largest bank changing its application of its terms of service for a subsidiary.
The Defense of Liberty Political Action Committee used WePay, a payment processing subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase, for ticket purchases to a speaking event by Donald Trump Jr. on Dec. 3 at the St. Charles Convention Center. Jim Lembke, a former Missouri Senator, told KFTK radio on Tuesday about $30,000 in ticket sales were returned to purchasers.
“We get an email from WePay saying they’re shutting down the sale of tickets and refunding all of those tickets to the people that had bought them and wouldn't be able to do business with us anytime in the future because of hate, violence, racial intolerance, terrorism and the financial exploitation of a crime,” Lembke said. “We can't figure that out.”
Fitzpatrick, who is running for state auditor, wrote a letter to Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, on Tuesday stating the Defense of Liberty PAC didn’t violate WePay’s terms of service.
“While as a private business you are free to choose who you want to do business with,” Fitzpatrick wrote, “it will be the policy of the Missouri State Treasurer's office that the state of Missouri will not do business with JPMorgan Chase, or any other financial institution that discriminates against customers based on mainstream political ideology, so long as that discrimination continues.”
Fitzpatrick’s two-page letter touts the 10-year history of Defense of Liberty events, highlighting speakers Candace Owens, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Congressman Jason Smith. He concluded the bank’s policy is to discriminate based on political ideology.
“By doing so, your institution is discriminating against ideology that was supported by half the country and 60% of voting Missourians in the last election,” Fitzpatrick wrote.
In a news release, Fitzpatrick stated JP Morgan Chase will clarify the terms and conditions for service by WePay and reinstate the Defense of Liberty account. In a response from the company, quoted by Fitzpatrick’s release, “After further review, we determined that the Defense of Liberty PAC didn’t violate the Terms of Service.”
“I am glad that JP Morgan Chase quickly recognized their mistake and has committed to reviewing their internal policies and procedures,” Fitzpatrick said in the release. “I am looking forward to receiving information about concrete action the bank plans to take to prevent future discriminatory actions.”
Fitzpatrick didn’t mention Donald Trump Jr. in his news release. The Defense of Liberty’s website wasn't updated on Thursday with information the Donald Trump Jr. event was cancelled.
"We are currently using the same ticket vendor but a different credit card processor," Paul Curtman, founder of the Defense of Liberty PAC, said in an email Thursday afternoon. "The event is being rescheduled from Dec. 3 to a point in time soon after the new year."