Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Politicians Can't Keep Their Hands Out Of THe Till

by Gary Snyder

In a recent study, we have found that over 80 elected officials---from both parties---and hundreds of questionable practices that abused a relationship with a charitable organization…all-amounting to an eye-popping $270,000,000. They accrue the benefits from the federal, state and local treasuries. Beneficiaries include:
§  wives and husbands
§  sons and daughters
§  fathers and mothers
§  brothers and sisters
§  sisters and sister-in-laws
§  grandchildren
§  nieces and nephews
§  lovers and girlfriends
§  staff

 Here is an example of one recently from the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

A top-ranking Ohio senator used his power to sponsor legislation that allowed a tourism agency to give more than $400,000 to a nonprofit organization he helped found in his home county. Sen. Chris Widener – the powerful Senate Finance Committee chairman who will 
be the second-highest ranking state senator next year – was a founder, member of the operating board and guarantor of a loan for the nonprofit. Widener’s deep ties to the nonprofit, which he helped launch to build a livestock exposition center in Clark County, include the loan he and other nonprofit founders backed as guarantors and the fact that Widener’s private firm was the paid architect and construction manager for the project. 

His firm was paid about 5 percent of the project’s cost, which was estimated between $4.5 million and $5 million.

Nonprofit Imperative gathers its information principally from public documents...some of which are directly quoted. Virtually all cited are in some phase of criminal proceedings; some have not been charged, however. Cites in various media: Featured in print, broadcast, and online media outlets, including: Vermont Public Radio, Miami Herald, National Public Radio, Huffington Post, The Sun News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Wall Street Journal (Profile, News and Photos), FOX2, ABC Spotlight on the News, WWJ Radio, Ethics World, Aspen Philanthropy Newsletter, Harvard Business Review, Current Affairs, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, St. Petersburg Times, B, USA Today Topics, Newsweek.com, Responsive Philanthropy Magazine, New York Times...and many more Nonprofits: On the Brink (2006) Silence: The Impending Threat to the Charitable Sector (2011)
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