Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Just weeks after she started preparing opposition research files on Donald Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort last spring, Democratic National Committee consultant Alexandra Chalupa got an alarming message when she logged into her personal Yahoo email account.

"Important action required," read a pop-up box from a Yahoo security team that is informally known as "the Paranoids." "We strongly suspect that your account has been the target of state-sponsored actors."

Chalupa -- who had been drafting memos and writing emails about Manafort's connection to pro-Russian political leaders in Ukraine -- quickly alerted top DNC officials. "Since I started digging into Manafort, these messages have been a daily oc­­­­currence on my Yahoo account despite changing my p­­a­ssword often," she wrote in a May 3 email to Luis Miranda, the DNC's communications director, which included an attached screengrab of the image of the Yahoo security warning. read more


CharityWatch: Another philanthropy watchdog, CharityWatch, a project of the American Institute of Philanthropy, gave the Clinton Foundation an "A" rating.

Daniel Borochoff, president and founder of CharityWatch, told us by phone that its analysis of the finances of the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates found that about 89 percent of the foundation budget is spent on programming (or "charity"), higher than the 75 percent considered the industry standard.

By only looking at the amount the Clinton Foundation doled out in grants, Fiorina "is showing her lack of understanding of charitable organizations," Borochoff said. "She's thinking of the Clinton Foundation as a private foundation." Those kinds of foundations are typically supported by money from a few people, and the money is then distributed to various charities. The Clinton Foundation, however, is a public charity, he said. It mostly does its own charitable work. It has over 2,000 employees worldwide.

"What she's doing is looking at how many grants they write to other groups," Borochoff said. "If you are going to look at it that way, you may as well criticize every other operating charity on the planet."

In order to get a fuller picture of the Clinton Foundation's operations, he said, people need to look at the foundation's consolidated audit, which includes the financial data on separate affiliates like the Clinton Health Access Initiative.

"Otherwise," he said, "you are looking at just a piece of the pie."

Considering all of the organizations affiliated with the Clinton Foundation, he said, CharityWatch concluded about 89 percent of its budget is spent on programs. That's the amount it spent on charity in 2013, he said.


On the Charity Navigator non-rating:

We spoke by phone with Sandra Minuitti at Charity Navigator, and she told us Charity Navigator decided not to rate the Clinton Foundation because the foundation spun off some entities (chiefly the Health Access Initiative) and then later brought some, like the Clinton Global Initiative, back into the fold. Charity Navigator looks at a charity's performance over time, she said, and those spin-offs could result in a skewed picture using its analysis model. If the foundation maintains its current structure for several years, she said, Charity Navigator will be able to rate it again.

The decision to withhold a rating had nothing to do with concerns about the Clinton Foundation's charitable work. Further, Minuitti said citing only the 6 percent of the budget spent on grants as the sum total spent on charity by the foundation -- as Willis and Fiorina did -- is inaccurate.

She referred us to page 10 of the 2013 990 form for the Clinton Foundation. When considering the amount spent on "charitable work," she said, one would look not just at the amount in grants given to other charities, but all of the expenses in Column B for program services. That comes to 80.6 percent of spending. (The higher 89 percent figure we cited earlier comes from a CharityWatch analysis of the Clinton Foundation and its affiliates.)

"That's the standard way" to measure a charity's performance, Minuitti said. "You have to look at the entirety of that column."

Minuitti said it is also inaccurate to assume all money spent on travel and salaries does not go toward charity. Depending on the nature of the charity, she said, travel and salary could certainly be considered expenses related to charity.


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