November 21, 2003
Your regularly scheduled dose of Tomfoolery

There's a letter to the editor in the Chron today about Tom DeLay and giving to charity that merits reprinting here:

Politics of Tom DeLay's charity

[Regarding the Chronicle's Nov. 14 article, Some doubt DeLay's sincerity with charity:] U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's use of charitable fund-raising tied to the Republican National Convention should be decried by charities and foundations around the nation. It looks and smells like circumvention of the intent of campaign finance regulation, cloaked under the guise of charity for children.

If a charity is used as a means of purchasing access to and influence with political leaders, that ultimately undermines the confidence and faith of donors and donees in the accountability of the nonprofit sector.

And it doesn't take more than a few bad apples in the world of charities and foundations to harm the best efforts of the vast majority trying to do good.

It is particularly regrettable that the Republican congressman from Sugar Land would test the boundaries of charitable accountability at a time when that very issue is under scrutiny on Capitol Hill.

In January, DeLay sent out a statement on the letterhead of the Majority Leader's office condemning nonprofit organizations as cheerleaders for big government and liberal advocacy.

In this case, he seems quite willing to use the mantle of nonprofit charitable status so long as the connection is the Republican Party and the outcome is one of attracting donors to Republican officials and lawmakers.

Rick Cohen,
executive director,
National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy,
Washington, D.C.

Emphasis mine. I believe we can now officially declare Tom DeLay's personal mantra to be "Do as I say and not as I do." The aforementioned Chron article was noted by me here.

Another venture of DeLay's has drawn the following comment from the Quorum Report.


Sharp eyed reader caught this

Back on November 13, we ran an MSNBC story in our News Clips about Majority Leader Tom Delay using a telemarketing approach for fundraising.

"A pre-recorded message says, 'This is Congressman Tom DeLay. Im asking you to serve as an honorary chairman on our business advisory council, and you will be recognized with our national leadership award.'

.... Then came the pitch from the telemarketer: 'Were asking each chairman for a one-time gift of $300 or $500 for the ad. Can we count on your support?' "

Dubious perhaps, but not illegal.

The rest of the entry is behind their paid firewall, but I'll go out on a limb and guess that their "sharp eyed reader" (who was not me, in case you're wondering) asked the same questions I did about some of the recipients of this "award". If so, I hope someone's asking these questions of the FEC, and that we eventually see a report which says that they're looking into it. All they really need to do for evidence is scan the Indian media, which keeps producing stories about fellow countrymen who have been so "honored" by our fearless majority leader. Any time now, guys!

(The latter link comes via AJ Garcia, who also sent me the India Times story, for which I forgot to give him credit when I posted it. Sorry, AJ!)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 21, 2003 to Scandalized! | TrackBack