Shaky Foundation?

I mentioned today’s topic in yesterday’s post and now want to go into it in a bit more detail. Let’s explore.

In Tuesday night’s Vice Presidential Debate Republican Mike Pence raised the issue of the Clinton Foundation. His argument was based on a demonstrably false assertion, but that is par for the course for the Trump-Pence campaign. The politically unwise (I’m in a kind mood today) move was bringing up foundations in the first place since the Donald J. Trump Foundation is suspect to say the least. That is an area I wouldn’t want to go into if I were advising the Trump campaign. Yesterday I even pondered if it was a sabotage move on the part of Pence to set himself up for a 2020 run.

Pence asserted that only 10 cent of every dollar donated to the Clinton Foundation is actually used in charitable endeavors. Democrat Tim Kaine immediately said the numbers were reversed and that 90% of donation dollars end up aiding a charitable cause. As it turns out Pence was blatantly and one has to surmise viciously incorrect while Kaine was guilty of a rounding his numbers. The Clinton Foundation is a legitimate charitable organization that does good around the world. It has an A rating from the American Institute of Philanthropy which has only one higher rating (A+). 88% of donations go directly into its charitable work with 12% covering overhead and operating expenses. The area where many charities become scams is that the fundraisers get most of the money. The Clinton Foundation spends 2% (part of that 12% number) on fundraising.

There is no documentation of Donald Trump donating any personal funds to the Donald J. Trump Foundation since 2008. There are several instances where it appears Trump has used the Foundation as his personal slush fund. There are the purchase of a Tim Tebow helmet and a portrait of the Donald each for five figures. There is the $25,000 donation to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi (R) at the same time she dropped an investigation into Trump University. Who can forget the two occasions where the Donald J. Trump Foundation made six figure donations to effectively settle civil fines against Trump and/or one of his enterprises?

Just in the last few days New York’s Attorney General (Trump’s home state) issued a cease and desist order to the Donald J. Trump Foundation because they have never obtained the legally required certifications to solicit donations. A condition of obtaining and retaining that certification is that the organization submits to an annual audit that among other things checks for any self-dealing by a principle or director of the foundation.

Much like not releasing his tax returns, Trump doesn’t want the actions of his foundation to be public. Due to some great investigative reporting mainly by David Farenthold of the Washington Post we have an idea of what Trump is hiding; think how much more might be revealed by audits and disclosures.

While the Donald Dome appears to be made of glass – and we all know the old adage about glass houses and throwing stones – apparently Trump wants it to be one way glass that prohibits anyone from seeing in. Mike Pence just put a big crack in it and if Sunday night’s moderators, Anderson Cooper of CNN and Martha Raddatz of ABC, do not explore the relative merits of the Foundation they are doing America a disservice!

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