Max Baucus, U.S. Senator (Montana) stated Wednesday that the legislative finance committee he shares will be launching an investigation into a veterans charity it believes may be exploiting those it is meant to help.
CBS News reports that the Democrat announced the investigation into the Disabled Veterans National Foundation, who has raised millions of dollars but allegedly spent very little on disabled veterans. The majority of the money has instead gone to a marketing firm.
The organization is apparently welcoming the inquiry, stating that it will be “our opportunity to set the record straight” according to a statement given by the board of directors. The Hill reports that the Senate Finance Committee, led by Baucus, sent the foundation a letter on Wednesday about the investigation, in which he and fellow Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) wrote:
“We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude that can never fully be repaid. We will continue to stand up for our veterans in every way we can. Based on this commitment, we believe an organization which purports to help disabled veterans and operates as a tax-exempt organization deserves special scrutiny.”
According to CBS News, the group responded to Max Baucus’s announcement and letter by stating:
“We realize that our fundraising and marketing costs seem high, however these fees are necessary to create the awareness of the causes we support and the programs we offer. We are completely dedicated to serving our disabled veterans and we remain focused on this important goal.”
Baucus further stated, according to The Hill that:
“The tax exemption for charities exists to promote worthwhile causes like assistance to veterans, not to provide tax loopholes to abuse. DVNF has a responsibility to show it’s genuinely helping veterans and playing by the rules.”
Raegan Rivers, DVNF’s chief administrative officer, told The Hill that:
“It should not surprise you or your viewers that in the world of charitable fundraising donor acquisition is a particularly difficult and costly process. The challenge we now face is heightened by the state of our nation’s economy.”
Do you think that Max Baucus is right to start an investigation into the finances of the Disabled Veterans National Foundation?