Friday, March 19, 2010

Sean Hannity's Scam

This is an interesting story from conservative bloggist Debbie Schlussel. Sean Hannity has been giving Freedom Concerts for the last few years - shows where his fans can come, see him, Charlie Daniels, and a half dozen other performers, the proceeds of which are supposed to do to scholarships for the children of deceased soldiers. Sounds like a nice noble cause to me.

Except it turns out that the charity gives less than 25% of the money they take in to charity. The rest goes to expenses, which in the case of Hannity and his family and friends are somewhat extensive. Shlussel quotes a conservative writer who describes them.
Of course, as the guy tells it, there’d be a lot more money every concert to go to the cause if Hannity didn’t demand–and get–use of a Gulfstream 5 plane to fly him and his family/entourage to the concerts; a “fleet” (that’s the word the guy used) of either Cadillac or Lincoln SUVs for him and his family/entourage; and several suites at really expensive hotels for him and his family/entourage. The promoter apparently values Hannity’s star demands at well over $200,000 per event.
Shlussel throws around a figure that 75% of the intake for a legitimate charity needs to go to the kids. I suspect that is after expenses, because otherwise it makes little sense. The larger point is whether or not Hannity is doing what needs to be done to keep expenses down, in order to send more money to the kids. And it kind of sounds like the answer is no. .

7 comments:

syd B. said...

I think that in order to assess the accusations made against the Hannity charity, other well known and much larger charities have to be examined in terms of percentage of donations that reach the beneficiary. I would love to know what that number is for say, M.A.D.D. or The United Way or The Humane Society. I think people would be shocked. By the way, I'm pretty sure Schlussel already knows that Hannity's charity is not out of line with other charities, however, she has had a hate-on for Hannity ever since she accused him of stealing her material for his show without acknowledgement. When she's pissed at you, apparently it sticks. Can you imagine being her husband?

Bryant said...

Personally I don't mind strong women who know their own mind. I rather like them. Our politics would probably make us incompatable, but personality wise, there's nothing wrong with a strong woman.

syd B. said...

Bryant, I agree with your views on strong women, but I think your definition may be different than mine. If, in fact, Schlussel's motivation for writing this article is based on a personal vendetta and she omitted the fact that Hannity's charity performance was no different than say,that of The Humane Society, then I think there would be a more appropriate verb to describe Ms. Schlussel. The jist of her accusatory tone seems to be abuse of expenses. How does she know if the expenses were legitimate or not? The fact that a private plane was used to fly Hannity to a fundraiser could well be abuse, however, if that was the only way for him to get to an event in the timeframe required and his presence resulted in significant donations, then would it be abuse?

LBCharles said...

there has been a lot of chatter about this, and yet the numbers speak for themselves. below is a summary of the key stats from the Schlussel article:
According to its 2006 tax returns, Freedom Alliance reported revenue of $10, 822, 785, but only $397,900–or a beyond-measly 3.68%–of that was given to the children of fallen troops as scholarships or as aid to severely injured soldiers

2007 tax returns, out of $12,459,317 it raised that year, only $895,347–or just 7%–went to seriously wounded troops and scholarships for fallen troops. 53% went to expenses, including $1,464,627 in postage and $1,151,428 in printing. $604,995 went to “professional fees” and “consultants.” Out of millions paid for Freedom Concert tickets and raised in fundraisers by Hannity listeners, only $596,500 went to college scholarships, and only $299,897 went to horribly injured troops. 208 student children of the fallen got an average of $2,868 apiece for tuition, though many got only $1,000 or less. 382 soldiers with serious injuries got an average of $785 each.

2008 Freedom Alliance tax forms, which were signed in November 2009 and filed only recently. That year, Freedom Alliance took in $8,781,431 in revenue and gave $1,060,275.57 total–or just 12%–to seriously wounded soldiers and for scholarships to kids of the fallen. Remember, this is well below the 75% required to be considered a legitimate charity.

considering the Rhetoric about private jets and the left being out of touch, these numbers are damning to Hannity...

Lovi Hunter said...

I agree with Bryant had said about strong women. It's not the issue whether she is a woman or not, moreover it depends on the capability. Accussations without evidences are just mere accussation, it can't still be 100% true after all. I'm not being on to the side of another or whoever, but I'm just being realistic about the situation.

mak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Regina said...

When doing shows like this, isn't it that there are preparations and brainstorming on the expenses that will occur? Does the promoter do not make a plan on all the expenses that will occur? Well, they are talking charity but I do not think that they understand the meaning of it or they are just doing it for the sake of getting money for the so called "Charity". Well, whatever...

Regine Smith
Pittsburgh Tax Attorney Help