Friday, July 21, 2006

HHS Secretary's Fund Gave Little to Charity

Something smells like an anti-Mormon conspiracy to me!

First one of the most ethical and "straight arrow" members of Congress, John T Doolittle, is
raked over the coals for fundraising activities. And now, just one week later, the Washington Post suddenly has breaking news that Secretary Leavitt also has questionable charitable practices .

Let's look at the cold hard facts.

1. Doolittle's alleged crime- his wife worked as a fundraiser. She kept all receipts. She did all of the work. Having personally been in her home I have no problem making the assertion that she probably made every single fundraising dinner from scratch, cleaned her home, and handwrote out every invitation. Why wouldn't she? She's one of the most amazing event planners in the world, and my personal inspiration to become one. She took a flat commission rate from every fundraising dollar she brought in. Apparently the Post doesn't think she should have done that.

2. Leavitt's alleged crime- his family charitable trust didn't give away enough money to charity. Well, I don't know if they did or didn't. But I do know that the Post very clearly spells out how many members of the family were a part of the trust. So it wasn't Sec. Leavitt alone. If Leavitt only donated funds to one place this year, and that one place was his family's trust, that was his choice. Does it make him a bad person? Well, no, just a slightly selfish one. But let's get one thing straight- that was nothing but my own personal assertion. I don't believe for one second that the Leavitts only donated to their own family trust this year. I've met them enough times, and I have met enough of their extended family and friends, to know that they are very active in other well-doing organizations. Mrs. Leavitt is one of the kindest people I have ever met. I find it completely impossible to believe that the Leavitts only donated to their own family trust. But even then, is there something wrong with donating your own hard earned money into a trust that takes care of your own family and your own interests? Is the Post really suggesting that it is wrong for a family trust to donate funds to its own interests??? Backing up to Sec. Leavitt and the choices he made with his own money. Did he do anything criminal with it? No. Did the trust he donated to do anything criminal? No. So why did this make the front page and why do we care?

Oh, because both Doolittle and Leavitt are LDS, and the LDS (Mormon) Church is coming up and out of obscurity with the political rise of Gov. Mitt Romney right now. People are waking up and realizing that Romney will rise to previously unexpected popularity when he saves and fixes the Big Dig problems. And with that, he will swoop the GOP nomination process. And there are too many close-minded people who just can't handle a Mormon with that much power. (Why? What did we ever do to you?)

Something smells like an anti-Mormon conspiracy (all in the name of "educating the people" - albeit improperly) at the Washington Post.


  1. While not against the law...this starts getting into the ethical gray area of foundations:

    "Meanwhile, the foundation's assets have been used for a $332,000 loan to Leavitt Land and Investment Inc., in which the secretary owns a significant stake, and other secured loans for insurance and real estate deals, said Alan A. Jones, a trustee of the organization.

    Leavitt Land and Investment, in turn, extended an interest-free loan to Leavitt in 2002 valued at more than $250,001, according to a recent financial disclosure."

  2. Since when was it ethically gray to loan yourself funds? I lend myself money from my savings account to the checking account all the time. Last I heard, that wasn't exactly a new practice.

  3. the key word is....yourself.

    This is supposed to be a foundation..not a family piggy bank. This is where there's potential for abuse.

  4. Anonymous1:08 PM

    will it let me? just checking cookies

  5. jules1:11 PM

    Yeah! I did it. Okay, having lived in UT under then gov. leavitt, I can honestly say I don't care for the man and it has nothing to do with his party. He's just always seemed self-serving, although his wife publicly seems wonderful. I honestly can't think of anyone worse to run the EPA with his disastrous Legacy Highway deal ruining Utah wetlands when the rails are already in place for a commuter rail line. That's not to say he's a bad politician. I'd just say typical. What politician can we find who isn't self-serving?

  6. I'm going to have to argue you with Jules. First, Leavitt isn't the head of the EPA- he used to be, but not anymore. He's the Secretary of HHS now. Second, the reason Utah doesn't have a commuter rail line? The good people of Utah voted against it. I was working in the Utah legislature when it happened. They had the choice between a light rail line or additional highway lanes. They voted for the highway lanes. It was an experience I'll never forget. I was known around the Utah Hill at the time for being from DC, so many legislators would ask me my opinions on the Metro system and if it would work. I always encouraged a Metro. But in the end, the State Legis voted narrowly for additional highway lanes.

    And I disagree about typical politicians. The world has no idea what a typical politician is. The general public only knows what the media portrays as a politician. And the media typically portrays only the perceived crooked politicians. Therefore most people believe all politicians are bad. But that doesn't mean all typical politicians are bad or corrupt.

  7. justin9:01 PM

    Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water and you guys are worried about a couple of incoveniently placed puddles!?! If I had to choose between asphalt and rails, give me the asphalt. The ride of my gas guzzling 4x4 is bumpy when I drive down railroad tracks and that's a problem. Luckily, utahns don't have to choose. By the time legacy is done, there will probably be commuter rail too for you hippy types.

  8. jules9:19 AM

    When did it come to a public vote? I don't recall ever being allowed to vote on choosing between the Legacy or light rail. If you were old enough to be working in the legislature, I was old enough to vote--and that would have been in my WAYYYY far to the left days of overzealous political activism, when I would have been stumping for the Dems.

    And I still stand by my original statement of typical politicians. I don't know any of them or been in their homes, but I think their voting records speak for themselves. The people I know in Utah wanted commuter rail. The commute to SLC is pretty heinous from either direction! No one wanted the Legacy but politicans and developers who could build along the Legacy corridor, and it's been forced through and started despite court challenges. There isn't one bit of the Legacy deal that I feel was done honestly or openly. And I am biased against Leavitt, because on the whole I thought he was pretty worthless as governor. No offense intended to the GOP. I just never thought he did much for the state. And I lived through a good portion of his terms before moving.

  9. I worked for the UT legis in 1996 I believe, but it may have been 1997. I really don't remember. The "people" of Utah didn't vote on whether or not to get the rail system. THe vote was held in the legislature to determine whether or not to ask the people of the State to vote for a bond that would finance a light rail system or a highway system. The vote was denied for the light rail, and instead went to highway. Which then the good people of the State voted in favor of, because at the time everyone knew that they had to do it if they wanted to get the Olympics in the state.
    My part in all of this? I was lobbying against raising the sales tax in the state. A cause, which btw, I lost. The last vote of the session still raised the sales tax. C'est la vie.

  10. FYI-


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