SEIU charity an oxymoron?

posted at 9:26 am on December 15, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

People gauge charities by the overhead used to get the dollars to the targeted problem.  Some charities lose only a small percentage of their revenue in costs, while others soak up a majority of contributions on internal costs.  Only those who commit outright fraud wind up spending none of their revenue on their stated purpose.

So what does that say about the SEIU’s low-income housing charity?

A nonprofit organization founded by California’s largest union local reported spending nothing on its charitable purpose — to develop housing for low-income workers — during at least two of the four years it has been operating, federal records show.

The charity, launched by a scandal-ridden Los Angeles chapter of the Service Employees International Union, had total expenses of about $165,000 for 2005 and 2006, and all of the money went to consulting fees, insurance costs and other overhead, according to its Internal Revenue Service filings.

Charity watchdogs say that nonprofits should never have zero program expenses in two successive years and that well-performing charities direct at least 70% of their annual spending to their charitable purpose.

“Of the 5,000-plus charities we’ve looked at, I don’t think we’ve ever seen one that didn’t spend anything on its charitable programs,” said Sandra Miniutti, vice president of Charity Navigator, an online rating service.

The SEIU didn’t want to discuss the issues surrounding the Long Term Care Housing Corporation, claiming that the charity had no connection to the SEIU.  However, the LA Times notes that the LTCHC shares offices with the SEIU local and has a number of SEIU officials on its board.  Two SEIU officers founded the charity, although both have since been booted from the union.

The Times has been on this case for several months.  Before the election, it reported on the charity’s founder, Tyrone Freeman, and his spending habits, when he ran the United Long Term Care Workers union.  Now the SEIU wants a million dollars in restitution from Freeman, and he faces federal and state investigations linked to his work at the union.

No one can quite figure out what Freeman did at the LTCHC, other than spend money.  Its only revenue came from the SEIU, and until 2007 it never spent a dime on its stated mission.  One has to wonder how the SEIU could have remained in the dark about its charitable arm for so long, unless it was a willful blindness and the unit had some other purpose.

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Now this is the type of charity to be a director of, one that gives all its money to the directors!

A liberal version of enterprise!

Mr. Joe on December 15, 2008 at 9:28 AM

You sound like a racist to me…”the defense”

right2bright on December 15, 2008 at 9:29 AM

Why no Ed, big labor unions that spend massive amounts of money trying to ensure the Employee Forced Choice Act gets passed could not possibly be corrupt, power-hungry, money-grubbing swine.

You’re insane.

BKennedy on December 15, 2008 at 9:31 AM

I’m sure the money went to housing . . .

Check out the mansions the people in charge are living in, now that’s “housing”.

Kind of like Jerimiah Wright’s pad in Chi-town.

NoDonkey on December 15, 2008 at 9:34 AM

But they mean well.

Akzed on December 15, 2008 at 9:36 AM

Sounds like LTCWC is in need of a federal bailout or our whole economy may go down.

a capella on December 15, 2008 at 9:39 AM

Just a little dessert for Obama…

Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — A federal grand jury is investigating how a company that advised Jefferson County, Alabama, on bond deals that threaten to cause the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, did similar work in New Mexico after making contributions to Governor Bill Richardson’s political action committees.

The grand jury in Albuquerque is looking into Beverly Hills, California-based CDR Financial Products Inc., which received almost $1.5 million in fees from the New Mexico Finance Authority in 2004 after donating $100,000 to Richardson’s efforts to register Hispanic and American Indian voters and pay for expenses at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, people familiar with the matter said.

right2bright on December 15, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Sharing office space says nothing at all. Just look at Obama and Ayers.

Phoenician on December 15, 2008 at 9:50 AM

I absolutely LOATHE SEIU. I am a government worker in California. I do not belong to SEIU, but under California law, the union is allowed to extort over $1,100 a year in “agency fees”.

SEIU is the most corrupt union in America. I hope that one day, when the Republicans take back Congress, they will pass a national right-to-work law that will bankrupt these thieves once and for all.

sdillard on December 15, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Sounds like Tyrone took the old saying “charity begins at home” too literally.

tru2tx on December 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM

No one can quite figure out what Freeman did at the LTCHC, other than spend money.

Yes, but he did it so well.

And just think, this is the political culture the POTUS-Elect learned his craft in. Yikes.

kingsjester on December 15, 2008 at 11:00 AM

Charity begins at home the union hall, yaknow.

normsrevenge on December 15, 2008 at 11:15 AM

Andy Stern hand picked Tyrone Freeman to lead the SEIU local according to SEIU members of the local. The SEIU members claim that Mr. Stern used the same old tactics he’s been using in all of his appointments.

Regardless of how they joined the union and what they’ve done for the union members, the member that increases the membership in the greatest volume receives the blessing of Andy Stern.

They say he’s all about quantity, and careless about quality.

gabriel sutherland on December 15, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Just another crooked union scheme to fleece their members and line the pockets of the elite few….

DL13 on December 15, 2008 at 11:32 AM

They only have 100% overhead costs. What’s the problem? tic

roninacreage on December 15, 2008 at 11:41 AM

They only have 100% overhead costs. What’s the problem? tic


gabriel sutherland on December 15, 2008 at 11:48 AM

I wouldn’t call the the “elite” few, it’s more like the “thug, mafia” few.

reshas1 on December 15, 2008 at 11:52 AM

I just watched America’s Newsroom on Fox and they were talking to a Union worker, UAW #652 hall in Lansing, MI. He was doing the woe is me story and in the background was a picture of Obama on the wall, in 8X10 and that is FEET, not inches.. I couldn’t believe it, and they want my tax dollars to bail the members out????? I am DISGUSTED.

reshas1 on December 15, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Apply the federal tax laws to this organization. Revoke its tax-exempt statut retroactively, requiring it to file corporate tax returns and pay income tax for its open years of operation. And nail the directors for using the entity for private inurement.

In short, fix their fricking wagon.

BuckeyeSam on December 15, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Does anyone else but me find it interesting that they don’t have an email address or feedback page?

Fuzzlenutter on December 15, 2008 at 1:17 PM