Monday, January 21

Tommy Franks critcized for $100,000 fundraising payment

'Face The Nation' host Bob Schieffer questioned the integrity of General Tommy Franks on Sunday for accepting $100,000 to use his name in a direct mail appeal to raise money for wounded soldiers.

This blog reported yesterday that Congressional investigators continue to dig into allegations of excessive fundraising costs incurred by two veterans charities - Help Hospitalized Veterans and the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes Foundation.

Schieffer's stinging critique entitled, "The Follies Of Fundraising," asks the question:

What kind of PERSON would insist, or even ALLOW himself, to be paid to raise money for those who were wounded while serving under him?
Franks says he severed his connection to the fundraiser when he realized most of the money he helped raise went to the fundraiser, not the troops.


"a fundraiser" said...

Send me an email at if you can find a sample .pdf of the fundraising letter.

dani_hamilton said...

Speaker fees are nothing new. One older actress charged an animal rescue group $50,000 for speaking at a 2 hour fundraising luncheon, where money raised would build a desperately needed new shelter. While speaker fees are prevalent in fundraising circles, it seems to be a moral and ethical sticky point that GEN Franks accepted the funds to represent fellow troops. If he were speaking up about Geritol or AARP, I doubt anyone would find fault with him accepting a fee to be the spokesperson, or otherwise lend his likeness to a campaign.

Perhaps he was misled into thinking a large portion of money (95%+) was being raised for Soldiers, and that his fee was only a drop in the bucket. We can now see that these groups had an 'interesting' take on where money should be spent, and could have led GEN Franks down the same pathway. Note that once he discovered the discrepancy in the financials, he discontinued his association. Wonder who will be the first to call him out saying he should donate that $100,000 payment to the USO, Walter Reed or the VA hospital system, or another organization that supports wounded veterans.


Anonymous said...

I had the honor of attending an event held by one of these charities. I can tell you without a doubt that the money donated to these charities IS helping wounded soldiers find happiness, peace of mind, confidence and strength. I heard it straight from hundreds of soldiers and their wives, children and parents that said without the support of these charities, they might not know where they'd be today.

It concerns me greatly that by damaging the reputations of these charities, we will inadvertently cause greater damage in the lives of these brave veterans.

Why are lawmakers pointing the finger at charities when if they REALLY wanted to help veterans, they would pass legislation to do so? After all, they are the ones that sent these brave souls to war in the first place.