May 16 (UPI) -- A political fundraising site has banned Republican candidates from its platform in an effort to fight "Trumpism."
Crowdpac, a Palo Alto, Calif-based political technology company, states its mission is "to help more people participate in the political process through running for office," by giving them a way to raise money through grassroots efforts on its platform. And although the company's co-founder and CEO Steve Hilton is a vocal supporter of President Donald Trump, Crowdpac's platform has been popular among candidates opposed to Trump, too, making it appear to be a non-partisan way for candidates of varying ideologies to participate in the democratic process.
But the non-partisan essence of Crowdpac changed Tuesday when the company announced Hilton would step down and the site will no longer allow Republican candidates to use the platform. The ban will last until "we can figure out how to systematically confirm that those campaigns and candidates align with the values of our community in a way that Trumpism does not," Crowdpac's acting CEO Jesse Thomas said in a Medium post.
"Over the past couple of months, we've heard from many quarters of the Crowdpac community that, in light of Steve Hilton's punditry, the use of our platform is seen as an endorsement of President Trump and his political movement," Thomas wrote. "This isn't even close to true, but it has created unnecessary drag for many of our users working to raise funds and build support for their campaigns on our platform."
Thomas continued: "The truth is that the actions of President Trump and his movement run counter to our values and the values of the vast majority of our users. We believe that it should be easier for people to vote, not harder. President Trump and his allies are working to undermine the democratic process by putting barriers in the way of Americans they think might vote as Democrats. Voter ID laws, sham voter fraud commissions, and other proposed laws and policies designed to hinder participation run directly counter to the goals and mission of our business."
Thomas also pointed out that Republicans' recent efforts to gerrymander districts runs counter to Crowdpac's mission.
On Twitter, Hilton, who also hosts a television program on Fox News, amicably parted ways with his former company.
"Officially left my start-up @Crowdpac today. Proud of what the amazing team has built; loved working with you + so grateful to our investors," he wrote. "Now Crowdpac's leadership will align with its community - wishing @JCathan the best! I'll be working on new ways to boost #PeoplePower."
The reaction to Crowdpac's decision was mixed but not necessarily partisan.
Nick Troiano, the executive director of the non-partisan political organization Unite America and a former independent candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania, criticized the move.
"Very disappointed @Crowdpac is suspending all GOP campaigns from its platform, as it apparently adopts a business model of the #resistance while saying 'we value diversity,' BS," Troiano said on Twitter.
Many Republicans indeed took offense.
"Folks we are at a scary point in our nation where orgs like @Crowdpac are shutting down small independent & Republican Candidate funding due to 'Trumpism,'" tweeted Eric Cruz, a Republican candidate for Senate in California.