Thursday, October 23, 2008


I always cringe when local reporters fail to report how much a political big shot is paid to come to Omaha to speak, ostensibly for "charity." Hillary Clinton was in town for the major fund-raiser of the year for Girls Inc., followed immediately by a rally for Barack Obama, both at the Qwest, and yet she still didn't really draw all that many people and I'm afraid Girls Inc. didn't make all that much money.

Who paid Mrs. Clinton's speaking fee? How much? And did Mrs. Clinton donate any of it back to Girls Inc.? That's not private information. There's a tax deduction involved, so we should know.

I reported yesterday that only a tiny percentage of African-American kids in Nebraska can read at grade level, as measured by the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Obviously, we have a huge, huge problem, and we need to focus on it, bigtime. Think what a nice infusion of cash aimed right at phonics instruction would do for inner-city kids right now.

But noooo. The big bucks went to Hillary. I bet Susie Buffett picked up the tab for Hillary, and I bet it was more than the reported $150,000 that Sarah Palin has spent on campaign clothing. Susie's father, Warren, is on board the Obamamobile and reportedly Susie B. has given money to Clinton funds in the past, as well as having had an Obama sticker on her gorgeous car for a long, long time.

So this one feels a little bit like a political payback or, if you will, polite society's equivalent of "hush money."

But who knows? Maybe Hillary spoke for free. Too bad the reporter didn't demand to know. These Girls Inc. speakers in recent years have been so politicized, heavily along leftist / U.N. lines, which is disappointing. We can make a very good case that it is the leftists and the anti-American crowd whose policies have kept low-income people in dire straits, dependent on big government and lousy schools. Yet Girls Inc. keeps giving the leftist leadership the bully pulpit. It's all very confusing.

Another reason we, the people, have a right to know how much Hillary got: whoever underwrote the speech got a tax deduction for giving the money to Girls Inc., to pay the speaking fee. That technically takes revenue out of taxpayers' pockets and gives it to Hillary Clinton. That's how the big shots launder money, and wind up with a tax deduction for what is essentially a political action. Perfectly legal, but let's say the speaking fee was $250,000: how many books and teacher work-hours could that have given inner-city kids in Omaha?

Well, hmm. According to the IRS Form 990 of Girls Inc., Susie Buffett gave that agency $699,362 last year, but you can't tell how much of it was to underwrite the main fund-raiser last year. I'd guess a lot. So I'm guessing the Hillary fee was well upwards of $100,000. But just don't know.

Now, I'm the first to applaud Susie Buffett for helping fund good after-school programs for middle school kids in inner-city Omaha. We share that conviction: see my other website, www.AfterSchoolTreats.com But I'm dismayed by her early childhood ed initiatives, since the research shows that government-provided early childhood ed is a colossal waste of money, and believe a big reason kids are struggling academically in OPS is because our Head Start and early childhood programs, such as she funds, have failed to focus on early literacy, and instead have slipped into wasteful, politicized social engineering.

Anyway . . . in the past, Girls Inc. has had Desmond Tutu and former President Clinton; Clinton's going rate for a speaking fee has been reported at $280,000, with a topper of $450,000 at a London charity event for Renu Mehta in 2006, if you remember that debacle.

The whole thing just reminds me of the unbelievable amount of money that Vin Gupta lavished on the Clintons, when there are so many starving mouths to feed, and starving brains to nourish, too, right here in our old hometown. It's just so sad.

You can see the IRS Form 990 of Girls Inc. at http://girlsincomaha.org/pdf/51_2007%20Form%20990.pdf

Anyway . . . just wondering.

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Strange that Girls Inc. ALWAYS seems to have left-wing speakers. Could this be a coincidence? Somehow I think not.Would the girls be turned into right-wing, fanatic Jesus freaks, or heaven forbid, pro-lifers, by hearing a speech from , say Sarah Palin, or Laura Ingraham, or Michelle Malkin? Suzie Buffet would not be pleased, but the girls would be exposed to some ideas other than welfare state income redistribution, "pro-choice" euphemisms and rationalizations, radical feminism. From a conservative woman, the girls might even hear that children are a gift from, gasp, God, and that being a good wife and mother is a high calling, along with many other aspirations in life. My, how quaint that would be.
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