Misrepresentations from Move America Forward/Troopathon call charity into serious question

posted at 10:41 am on August 5, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

As a donor and sponsor of Troopathons going all the way back to my days at Captain’s Quarters, this exposé from ProPublica and The Daily Beast disappoints profoundly. We helped raise money to take care of the troops on the front lines, and we were hardly alone; lots of people joined in, including celebrities from the political and entertainment worlds in order to send care packages through Move America Forward to men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq. If the investigation by ProPublica is correct, though, a significant amount of the money raised went into the pockets of organizers rather than into those care packages:

Charities like Move America Forward, which accept tax-deductible donations, are not allowed to engage in partisan politics like other nonprofits, such as trade associations and social-welfare groups. Charities are also not allowed to pay excessive fees or wages to staffers or consultants, according to federal tax rules.

But an examination of Move America Forward’s tax returns shows that it is deeply intertwined with Russo’s political enterprises and businesses, paying millions of dollars to him and his consulting firm.

According to its five most recent tax returns, Move America Forward paid out more than $2.3 million to Russo or Russo, Marsh and Associates for services including “program management and advertising.” That’s about 30 percent of the charity’s overall expenditures over that time.

“It was just so shady,” said Kelly S. Eustis, a former consultant for the Tea Party Express, also known as Our Country Deserves Better. “With PACs, I know it’s dirty money–it’s politics. But this is a charity that’s supposed to be helping the troops.”

Russo is Sal Russo, the man behind Tea Party Express. TPE was one of the organizations accused by the Washington Post and the Sunlight Foundation in April of raising money mostly for itself. The report showed that TPE took in almost $3 million while spending just a little over $200,000 in ads, bus tours, and direct donations to candidates. Russo explained that most of the rest went to staffing for those tours and rallies:

Russo said that figure was misleading because most of the payments to his firm were reimbursements for the cost of staffing the elaborate bus tours and rallies that the group holds around the country.

“Everything goes on our credit card,” he said. “Sometimes there’s up to 45 people that we’ve got to feed and house.”

It may be more difficult to explain this:

In its 2004 application for tax-exempt status, filed under penalty of perjury, Move America Forward told the IRS that it would not directly or indirectly share facilities, equipment, mailing lists or other assets with any political organization.

Yet Move America Forward shares its Sacramento office suite with at least two of thethree PACs set up by Russo, Marsh, as well as The Campaign Store, DonationSafe and Frontline Strategies, a political consultant firm where Callahan is a partner.

According to the charity’s 2012 tax return, Move America Forward paid about $82,000 in rent that year. The PACs reported paying no rent for the same period, according to filings with the FEC. The office’s property manager confirmed to ProPublica that the rent for the office is now about $83,000 a year, plus fees for use of the common area, indicating that in 2012, the charity likely covered the rent for all of the suite’s occupants.

“That office rental arrangement is clearly inappropriate,” said Bruce Hopkins, a nonprofit lawyer in Kansas City, adding that the charity was subsidizing the PACs. “I can tell you right now, the IRS would be all over that.”

In his email in March 2013, Callahan said Frontline Strategies paid Russo, Marsh and Associates to sublease office space. Neither Russo nor Gonzalez responded to questions about the rent agreement.

The money flows back to Russo’s inner circle in other ways, too, according to reporter Kim Barker:

In May, one button on the charity’s website sent donors to the website of a company that processes credit-card donations called DonationSafefounded by Callahan. Move Forward America doesn’t reveal how much it pays DonationSafe to process donations, but the company has received substantial fees for similar work for Russo-affiliated PACs. The Conservative Campaign Committee, then known as the Campaign to Defeat Barack Obama, paid DonationSafe almost $267,000 for credit card processing in the 2012 election cycle, when the PAC brought in $3.9 million.

Callahan, who has also worked for Russo, Marsh, and consulted for the Tea Party Express, did not reply to ProPublica questions about processing work related to Move America Forward.

Another donation button on Move America Forward’s website allows donors to send money for individual care packages or packages for an entire battalion. When a ProPublica reporter donated $24.99 to send a single package in May, her credit card bill showed the money went to a limited liability company called The Campaign Store. So did another donation made to the Troopathon event.

Russo is the president of The Campaign Store, which described its business as “retail political products” in a 2007 filing with the California Secretary of State.

There are also questions raised about the pitches MAF used to get donations for their care packages. Barker details several examples where MAF appropriated the photos, stories, and even donations of others to claim them as their own assistance. One pitch promised to send care packages to Afghanistan for a battalion that was actually far from the front lines in Okinawa.

If true, this saddens, angers, and sickens me — and I’m sure I’m not alone. How true is it? I’ve asked MAF for a response, and as of this writing, I have not received a reply. I would love to believe that it’s not true and that all of those resources went to where they were intended; I’m sure some of them did, so that’s at least some comfort while we wait for a full accounting from MAF and TPE.

Hopefully, that will come soon. After having asked CapQ and Hot Air readers for their support and participation in Troopathons over the years, I felt strongly that I needed to alert you to these developments quickly regardless. If these allegations turn out to be true, I apologize for being misled.

Update: Leon Wolf has more thoughts on our sister site RedState:

The basic thrust of Barker’s article is that Move America Forward, a charitable organization that purports to collect care packages to troops and which regularly hosts a Troopathon fundraising drive that is headlined by prominent conservatives, is being run improperly in a number of particulars. The overall insinuation and tone of the article is that Move America Forward does either little or no actual charity work and is in fact merely an improper conduit to make TEA Party consultants and/or their PACs rich. The folks who have a vested interest in discrediting the TEA Party have taken these insinuations and innuendo and are presenting them as what the article actually proves. …

First of all, I don’t know whether the statement at issue was true when Move America Forward actually filed their original application or not, and the ProPublica article does not say. Second, this arrangement, as well as the arrangement in which the Tea Party Express was apparently given free access to Move America Forward’s email list, are definitely improper under IRS regulations, if we again assume ProPublica is being truthful and accurate. There is nothing wrong or improper about the actual sharing of office space, material, staff, or mailing lists per se, but the organizations definitely should have had in place a cost sharing agreement whereby the PACs reimbursed the charity for the use of the office space and equipment. While improper (if true), these facts are most suggestive of negligence rather than active fraud, and they are definitely a long way from proving that the charity was “lining the pockets of TEA Party cronies.”

There is nothing in the lengthy article at all to support the most damaging innuendo of all; that Move America Forward is actually a shell that bilks people of their donation money that is supposed to go to troops and instead uses it to line the pockets of scam artists. In fact, buried among several paragraphs where ProPublica again treats their own ignorance and inability to uncover facts as proof of wrongdoing, ProPublica is forced to acknowledge that the one fact they were actually able to uncover is that some troops did in fact receive care packages from Move America Forward[.]

Some of the ProPublica focus on the use of photographs is rather minor in character, true. But the issues of having TPE founders and their vendor operations profiting from the transactions for the care packages is disturbing, if true, even if it doesn’t necessarily violate any laws. That’s certainly not what donors and sponsors thought was happening in the Troopathons, and both MAF and TPE owe those donors and sponsors a more detailed explanation than just dismissing the allegations because ProPublica made them.

Update, 6:41 PM: MAF has responded to this post and the ProPublica article in a new post.


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What is this guy? A total astroturf lover or something?

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 10:46 AM

That’s why we have courts, trials, prisons, fines, etc.

Akzed on August 5, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Lefties already having a field day over this as indicative of what the Tea Party is all about.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 10:47 AM

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” -Eric Hoffer

Akzed on August 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Nobody should be shocked by this.

Mark1971 on August 5, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Luckily, I have not contributed anything, so I don’t give a damn.

If that makes me a cynical bastard, then so be it.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you can’t get fooled again. Or something like that.

BobMbx on August 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

As a donor and sponsor of Troopathons going all the way back to my days at Captain’s Quarters, this exposé from ProPublica and The Daily Beast disappoints profoundly.

You and me both Ed, I’ve helped them out for the last few years, including some promotional video work. I’ve attended three times, and was always impressed with the dedication of the volunteers which included media and Hollywood types. I hope this is not true, but if it is, I sure hope it does not reflect badly on those that have helped out. Andrew Breitbart comes to mind, he was tireless in helping out, and it was clear to me his sole focus was to support the troops. Damn shame.

JusDreamin on August 5, 2014 at 10:52 AM

If these allegations are true, hang him.

TXUS on August 5, 2014 at 10:53 AM

If true, this saddens, angers, and sickens me — and I’m sure I’m not alone. How true is it? I’ve asked MAF for a response, and as of this writing, I have not received a reply. I would love to believe that it’s not true and that all of those resources went to where they were intended; I’m sure some of them did, so that’s at least some comfort while we wait for a full accounting from MAF and TPE.

I would suggest getting a hold of Melanie Morgan for some answers Ed. She has been a part of this since before MAF came upon the scene.

JusDreamin on August 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” -Eric Hoffer

Akzed on August 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Great line and sadly true in many cases. I’m hoping not so in this case. I give to Wounded Warriors and would be sick if this was going on with them. I hope these guys are clean.

VegasRick on August 5, 2014 at 10:56 AM

It was inevitable that certain moneybags would co-opt the Tea Party for personal gain. It’s why from the beginning I’ve not supported one organized Tea Party group; there’s nothing grassroots about a mega-bus.

Furthermore, any group with the name “Forward” in it automatically conjures up a progressive meaning with me, and there are no progressive groups that support the military on anything other than a cursory or purely political basis. Good, bad, or indifferent, I couldn’t send money to a group with “Forward” in the name. Irrational bias, maybe, but it is what it is.

BKeyser on August 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Lefties already having a field day over this as indicative of what the Tea Party is all about.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 10:47 AM

I’ma a righty and I think the movement was compromised to a large degree all across the nation.
I also do not see the Tea Party people much differently than I see the RINO people in general. When confronted with policy, they have no policy differences.
1/3 of federal spending is social security and medicare. Add in other welfare programs that the elderly get and they effectively drain probably close to 35% if not more of the federal budget.
Are the Tea Parties for getting rid of this or even significantly cutting back on it? Nope. But it is the primary driver of the nations financial condition.
I too do not support the Tea Party because just like everyone else, they are happy to talk about cutting other people’s benefits and spending, but do not imagine to touch what they are ENTITLED to.

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 10:59 AM

I couldn’t send money to a group with “Forward” in the name. Irrational bias, maybe, but it is what it is.

BKeyser on August 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

I thought the exact same thing.

VegasRick on August 5, 2014 at 11:00 AM

My contributions have been through Adopt-a-Platoon and Soldiers Angels. My general understanding is that these types of operations have a high administrative cost, and that has made me a bit wary of them.

As for Tea Party Express, I never did like that organization as it got involved with candidate endorsements, which the Tea Party in general should avoid.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM

If true, this could be bad…but maybe it’s also Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting groups they disagree with Obama? How did the Daily Beast get tipped off?

sauldalinsky on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM

Same thing happened with the Gold Star families.

abobo on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I wonder why the IRS had a BOL list?

Walter L. Newton on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM

As for Tea Party Express, I never did like that organization as it got involved with candidate endorsements, which the Tea Party in general should avoid.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 11:01 AM

I went to one of their bus rallies early on, and it was a lot of fun, but later I became turned off by some of their endorsements. Now I can’t remember which ones, maybe Sharon Angle? Anyway, they endorsed some people who didn’t have any talent as candidates. Not to start old fights here, however, some of those candidates had good principles, but were guaranteed to lose because of inept campaigns.

juliesa on August 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Aren’t we beyond labels like the Tea Party? The original sentiment should be there, just not the organizations.

Too many people have coopted the term to where it doesn’t mean what it stood for; lower taxes, less spending and less centralized planning.

Tater Salad on August 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Too many people have coopted the term to where it doesn’t mean what it stood for; lower taxes, less spending and less centralized planning.

Tater Salad on August 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

Looks more realistic like that. They never supported less spending. At least not on things the individuals benefited from.

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM

With all due respect to the legitimate groups that engage in this particular mission area, I’ve always avoided unknown charities that are for something as vague as “for the troops.”

I’m much more comfortable giving to organizations like Fisher House with a less murky track record when it comes to administrative costs and oversight.

Happy Nomad on August 5, 2014 at 11:20 AM

Looks more realistic like that. They never supported less spending. At least not on things the individuals benefited from.

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM

The Tea Party is basically indistinguishable from the conservative base. It does not make sense to call the party base, which does want spending cuts, “RINOs.”

Doomberg on August 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM

The majority of “charities” are actually big scams run by and for the benefit of their own staff. This has been true for many years.

They even go back to revive old defunct charities so they can play tear-jerking commercials on cable channels like FNC. The old Shriners charity was recently rejuvenated this way by scammers.

You even have tear-jerker military charity commercials where vets are threatening to kill themselves if you won’t send $19.95 every month.

There are very very few real charities operating in the U.S. any more. This includes the religious charities (other than Salvation Army and Samaritans Purse).

Toocon on August 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Sometimes you play the race card.
Sometimes you play the children card.
Sometimes you play the homeless card.
Sometimes you play the troop card.

Regardless, you’re being played all the same.

Galtian on August 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Prior to getting involved with charities this is a good reference:
Charity Navigator

Don’t look to convincing there either….

sailingdutchman on August 5, 2014 at 11:25 AM

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils.
1 Timothy 6:10, English Standard Version

Marcola on August 5, 2014 at 11:27 AM

They never supported less spending. At least not on things the individuals benefited from.

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Yes, this is true for some but certainly not for all. Regardless, your point is understood and a common one put forward by liberals who are damaged by moral equivalence arguments. It goes something like this… if I want to end spending on things like health care subsidies, then I have no right to take a mortgage deduction, or if I want to stop funding the Education Department then I have no right to send my kid to public school. It assumes that all spending is equivalent and that if you don’t approve of ALL spending, you have no right to ANY spending. It’s kind of a pointless exercise and just something you shout at rallies, isn’t it? To hold everyone to that kind of standard is just extreme and unpractical.

rhombus on August 5, 2014 at 11:29 AM

Not to start old fights here, however, some of those candidates had good principles, but were guaranteed to lose because of inept campaigns.

juliesa on August 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

I would say in general that this has improved, but I still don’t like ‘Tea Party’ requirements, endorsements, etc. Which leads to…

Aren’t we beyond labels like the Tea Party? The original sentiment should be there, just not the organizations.

Too many people have coopted the term to where it doesn’t mean what it stood for; lower taxes, less spending and less centralized planning.

Tater Salad on August 5, 2014 at 11:12 AM

This is very true since ‘Tea Party’ can’t be copyrighted. But even though there has been co-opting of the ‘brand,’ the brand still ticks off the progressives which means it’s still viable. If the citizenry is going to reclaim the foundation of the republic, it will need rallying points/organizations. So no, we’re not beyond labels.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 11:32 AM

The Tea Party is basically indistinguishable from the conservative base. It does not make sense to call the party base, which does want spending cuts, “RINOs.”

Doomberg on August 5, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Actually, it is distinguishable. It is vehemently against social conservatism. It thinks that social conservatism is a distraction from lowering taxes.
Rather, the truth is that social conservatism is the bedrock of all other conservative endeavors. Without it, you do not have the societal convictions to actually do conservative things, which in many cases requires one to sacrifice for a bit in order to benefit later.
This is why when asked what parts of government Tea Party self identified voters would cut, the only one that got a majority was foreign aid. Nothing else got a majority of the Tea Party identifiers to cut. Not eliminate, just cut. Because they saw they would sacrifice something in order to make a cut. Only where they were assured to not sacrifice themselves, were they willing to cut expenditures.
A real conservative understands that social conservatism is the bedrock on which all other conservatism is built. The Tea Party deliberately sidelines the social in favor of a false fiscal conservatism.

astonerii on August 5, 2014 at 11:33 AM

This is an utter disgrace, but sadly it’s also not the only problem. How many of you have received “Dear Patriot” emails urging you to donate to snake oil schemes such as “DRAFT PALIN” or “DRAFT NAPOLITANO”? A fool and his money are soon parted, but hopefully none of you are foolish enough to be conned by these groups. And notably, while Tea Party groups raised hell about an alleged lack of support for Cuccinelli in Virginia by from those the GOP, these same groups donated a big fat zero to him. These Tea Party groups have been preying on gullible people with one DONATE ploy after another. In addition to enriching various Tea Party “leaders” they are not accomplishing much of anything – except to create division and discord – all of which benefits Democrats.

Buy Danish on August 5, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Sometimes you play the race card.
Sometimes you play the children card.
Sometimes you play the homeless card.
Sometimes you play the troop card.

Regardless, you’re being played all the same.

Galtian on August 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Just make sure it isn’t a stock card.

Democratic lawmaker Julia Brownley sent a political mailer to her constituents in late July featuring a woman wearing fake military attire and a German Luftwaffe insignia — apparently unaware that the costume was not an official uniform worn by U.S. personnel.

The woman is on the Veterans Affairs committee and has a Naval base with 19,000 in her district and she can’t spot a fake navy uniform in her own propaganda?

Happy Nomad on August 5, 2014 at 11:47 AM

You are pathetic Ed, ALL and I repeat ALL Charities are like this. This is why it is sooo important before giving even one single penny to any charity, to to see their financial’s.

Sadly and pathetically, like the vast majority of Americans, you do not know what a Charity actually is. Here is clue number one for you.

It’s a Business. That’s right, Charities are BUSINESSES.

Just like every other business that has ever existed a Charity’s first priority is…. To STAY in business.

This means, making payroll, paying administrative overhead, covering every single business expense typical of being in business. Being a non profit doesn’t make them exempt from anything but corporate taxes.

Add to this a Biblical principal (not that, your catholicism aside, you actually care what the bible teaches) that you become like the people you willingly associate with.

Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

1 Corinthians 15:33

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Millionaires, multi-millionaire, billionaire’s and multi-billionaires do not give money to poor charities. They give money to big successful charities. The people who run those big successful charities are themselves millionaires and billionaires.

They share in common with those whom they solicit funds from, the exact same personality characteristic as who they are soliciting from.

This is why it is sooo important to see a charities financial statements before giving them eve one single penny.

The vast majority of all charities administrative costs are 80 percent or more of all contributed revenue. Virtually top charity administrate personal are 6 figure salaried individuals. Charities that spend 20 cents on every dollar on whatever their supposed mission statement is, are rare finds, as most are only spending 10 or 15 cents on the dollar.

In short, the actually primary business of every charity, just every other kind of business is, first and foremost, staying in business. Whatever their mission statement is comes in second or third.

Making the assumption that a Charity is going to be beyond reproach is as stupid and foolish as it is possible to be.

Sal Russo, long before starting either MAF or TPE showed himself to be an individual of sociopath tendencies.

I’m sorry to have to tell you this, it really is true, the ultra rich really do have completely different morals and ethics from us lowly common folks. They really can and do justify immoral and unethical behavior because of and by the scale of their wealth.

If you cannot be faithful in the least of things, then you cannot be faithful in the greatest of things. Sal Russo could be faithful in the dirty insides of politics, how anyone could allow themselves to believe that he could be faithful in a charity is so beyond belief that it cast those individuals ability to make any kind of ration judgment into serious doubt.

Face reality Ed, you and every single individual who contributed to Move America Forward were blinded by your own political ambitions with a willful suspension of disbelief. You were deceived, because you wanted to believe.

Russo deceived you, just as he deceived everyone who thought he was in any way shape or form associated with the Tea Party movement. Russo was in it for the money, for the money and the power to affect his own political ambitions and ideologies.

oscarwilde on August 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

As the saying goes, there is no education in the second kick of a mule.

Or third, or fourth, or twentieth.

NeighborhoodCatLady on August 5, 2014 at 12:00 PM

oscarwilde on August 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

C’mon. I have no idea if Sal Russo is a “sociopath” as you claim. But ALL charities are not like this and ALL “ultra rich” do not have “completely different morals and ethics from us lowly common folks”.

Buy Danish on August 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

oscarwilde on August 5, 2014 at 11:56 AM

C’mon. I have no idea if Sal Russo is a “sociopath” as you claim. But ALL charities are not like this and ALL “ultra rich” do not have “completely different morals and ethics from us lowly common folks”.

Buy Danish on August 5, 2014 at 12:02 PM

…Oscar gone wilde…

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Democrats circle the wagons. Republicans hold an execution. That in itself is enough for any person with integrity to vote Republican, unless there’s a conservative on the ballot.

Immolate on August 5, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Reading more into this charity, it is shady for sure.

The Tea Party angle looks like LaTourette/Boehner making good on their scorched earth threat from earlier..

“Here’s the deal: we didn’t start this fight,” LaTourette said, “but I’m going to finish it.”

Just like with Romney, McCain, and Cochran, moderates are eager to go scorched earth versus the base, but pull their punches with democrats.

sauldalinsky on August 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Furthermore, any group with the name “Forward” in it automatically conjures up a progressive meaning with me, and there are no progressive groups that support the military on anything other than a cursory or purely political basis. Good, bad, or indifferent, I couldn’t send money to a group with “Forward” in the name. Irrational bias, maybe, but it is what it is.

BKeyser on August 5, 2014 at 10:58 AM

That was the first thing I thought of. It sounds like the kind of name lefties give their organizations. Just because a group calls itself “Tea Party” doesn’t mean it has conservative values. There are always people who take advantage of a fashionable issue and the emotions of caring Americans. It’s always important to check these things out.

crankyoldlady on August 5, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Readers Digest version of Said Hate screed:
“They may be crooks, but they’re our crooks.”

corona79 on August 5, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I always say pay attention to what they spend their money on. If a charity has expensive commercials on tv and hands out certificates and t shirts in return for money they are not spending it on the actual charity work. Never give money to anyone who calls on the phone. Never give money to anything if you don’t know where the money is going. There is a store here that wants you to put your change in a box for literacy. When I asked what the name of the charity is and what do they use the money for they can’t tell me.

crankyoldlady on August 5, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Operation Gratitude has always been a legitimate organization for sending care packages to our military men and women.

rlwo2008 on August 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

So, just because a “charity” is featured on “conservative” talk radio shows, it’s legitmate – guess again.

corona79 on August 5, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Just like with Romney, McCain, and Cochran, moderates are eager to go scorched earth versus the base, but pull their punches with democrats.

sauldalinsky on August 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Indeed. I have zero respect for the ‘moderate’ wing of the GOP, which is basically a walking principle-free zone. The only difference between them and Nancy Pelosi is how fast she gets what she wants.

Ricard on August 5, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Just as you should shop locally give your charity money locally. The volunteer rescue squad needs a tremendous amount of money. Local soup kitchen if you can find out it isn’t connected with a socialist group. Better yet find an individual who needs something. It’s difficult to get a car when you are working poor. Find someone who needs a car to get to work or a kid who needs a car to get to school or to pay for books. Go through your church but verify.

crankyoldlady on August 5, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Since the beginning of time, over 1/3 of the all mankind has been and always will be morally bankrupt, regardless their tribe, country, religion, political party, chosen profession etc…

Theft, deception, graft, mayhem and murder etc will happen in ALL groups forever…

Investigate, prosecute, punish and move on, it’ll always happen again.

Tim Zank on August 5, 2014 at 12:50 PM

We helped raise money to take care of the troops on the front lines, and we were hardly alone; lots of people joined in, including celebrities from the political and entertainment worlds in order to send care packages through Move America Forward to men and women in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Suckers.

earlgrey on August 5, 2014 at 1:03 PM

The “Tea Party” arose as ad-hoc groups outraged by profligate spending in Washington.

Both the original “Boston Tea Party” and the ad-hoc Tea Party were based on an idea…and NOT a central organization.

In fact, handing over funds to a central organization is (or should be) anathema to true Tea Party supporters. What should a central organization do? Perhaps buy billboards and radio/TV shouting “SPEND LESS”??

The Tea “Party” was a “Party” in the sense of a raucous event which was fun while sending a serious message. It was NOT A POLITICAL PARTY…and it was never intended to be!!! Original “Tea Party” attendees were from ALL political parties, all religious and ethnic groups, and even included multiple nationalities.

So a central political “TEA PARTY” is an oxymoron. This is why I only contribute to individual political candidates…wherever I find them…candidates who (after my own research) appear to adhere to principles of freedom and limited government…and who have some evidence that they are able to advance this cause effectively.

In the Internet Age, we don’ need no stinkin’ political parties to tell us what to do or how to think. The individual is a perfectly capable “boss” of government and both its elected and unelected employees.

landlines on August 5, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Oh, good! A distraction from all the Øbama scandals emerges so that LSM will have something to bellyache about, every 15 minutes, 24/7. Good going media, ruin the nation even further in the name of partisan politics.

ExpressoBold on August 5, 2014 at 1:09 PM

I am from Sacramento and meet Sal and most of the others in the TPE and while I was impressed with their message I was not impressed with how they ran events or the amount of money they charged for them, so this is no surprise.

JeffinSac on August 5, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Ed, how did you get associated with this to begin with. If your sorry about leading others astray you’re going to have to name names other than the people higher up in the organization.

I give food to the food pantry and toys for tots. I don’t put money in the kettle and I no longer give to Catholic Charities. Most of that goes to “administrative” costs.

Vince on August 5, 2014 at 1:34 PM

The majority of “charities” are actually big scams run by and for the benefit of their own staff. This has been true for many years.

Toocon on August 5, 2014 at 11:24 AM

It’s always been like that, which is just one of the reasons that the right arguing charity can take the place of government welfare has always been transparently BS.

Tlaloc on August 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” -Eric Hoffer

Akzed on August 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

The entire left is a racket and has been for years. Instead of putting the squeeze on us directly, it uses the government to do it for them.

Quartermaster on August 5, 2014 at 2:53 PM

It’s always been like that, which is just one of the reasons that the right arguing charity can take the place of government welfare has always been transparently BS.

Tlaloc on August 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Um…because we know there is never any fraud, waste or abuse going on when it comes to government welfare, amirite?

Charity can supplement what government does and fill in the gaps, but any operation – government, charity, business or otherwise – that gets too big and too all-encompassing is bound to fail

May these grifters and frauds be prosecuted or worse. The fact that they’ve been using the troops as fundraising fodder is disgraceful.

Good Lt on August 5, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Doesn’t Palin usually endorse the TPE endorsed candidate? Hmmmmmm

Kermit on August 5, 2014 at 5:08 PM