February 17, 2009
Nonprofit Caught With its Hand in the Campaign Cookie Jar
The Online Athens Banner-Herald contains an interesting scoop posted yesterday. Seems a nonprofit organization known around mostly conservative Athens, Georgia (home of the hated Georgia Bulldogs, I might add) has been secretly donating tax exempt funds to "conservative candidates." The exempt organization is innocently named Angel Food Ministries, Inc. Its stated purpose is to donate and sell groceries below cost to needy families in rural Georgia. Unfortunately, it is also accused of donating $50,000 to "conservative candidates" during recent elections. Here is what its website says:
In 1994, Pastors Joe and Linda Wingo found their hearts going out to the families of many of the local families in Monroe, GA, affected by the recent industrial plant closings. On their back porch, the first Angel Food distribution fed 34 families. Over the next years, other churches wanted to be get involved, and Angel Food began feeding hundreds of families across the southeast. Now, Angel Food feeds over 500,000 families a month in 35 states. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness!
I am all for praising the Lord and working in his vineyards, but do you realize how many boxes of bread, cans of peas, and packages of Ramen noodles that amount could have purchased to feed the poor people Angel Food Ministries features on its website? Of course, innocent until proven guilty. But once found guilty, throw the dadgum book at 'em.
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I believe the story only reports that the officers of Angel Food Ministries made campaign contributions, not the charity itself. The story implies that the contributions would not have been possible if not for the previously reported salaries, but the story does not indicate any direct contributions from the charity to candidates or political parties.
Posted by: Lloyd Mayer | Feb 18, 2009 5:56:23 AM
Fair enough comment, Lloyd. But if you had to presume one or another, would you presume that the contributions were made from the insider's personal funds or from the funds donated to the charity? I did mention "innocent until proven guilty" but I am not trying to hide my prejudgement of the case.
Posted by: Nonprofit Blogger | Feb 18, 2009 7:22:38 AM