“An incendiary article from a conservative blogger is being strongly refuted today by its target, a charitable foundation backed by talker Sean Hannity of the Fox News Channel,” Brian Maloney reported this afternoon on his Radio Equalizer blog
. “Posted yesterday by Debbie Schlussel at her site
,” Maloney explained, “the piece accuses Hannity of perpetuating 'a giant con' in promoting his annual Freedom Concerts, which benefit the Freedom Alliance
. At issue are both the group's expenses and subsequent charitable contributions, which Schlussel believes are questionable.”
Huffington Post, among others, have hyped Schlussel's allegations
, which include, that though the Freedom Alliance promised the money raised would pay for the college tuition of children of fallen soldiers and go to severely wounded war vets, “less than 20% -- and in two recent years, less than 7% and 4%, respectively -- of the money raised by Freedom Alliance went to these causes, while millions of dollars went to expenses, including consultants and apparently to ferry the Hannity posse of family and friends in high style.” Thus, “Sean Hannity’s Freedom Concerts are just a giant con.”
Maloney's post has the refutation from the Freedom Alliance's Thomas P. Kilgannon.
Excerpts of Kilgannon's key points (PDF
of full document):
1. The blog posting accuses our friend Sean Hannity of personally benefiting from Freedom Alliance. This is FALSE....
2. Sean Hannity has contributed $100,000 to the Wounded Warriors Foundation, over $200,000 to the Freedom Alliance, and over tens of thousands of dollars to other military charities and individuals. We only make this information public because of the outrageous slander against him....
3. The blog posting accuses Freedom Alliance of spending less than 20% of money raised on program activities. This is FALSE....
5. The blog posting accuses Freedom Alliance of spending money intended for student scholarships on other expenses. This is FALSE. Freedom Alliance has distributed $3.4 million in Scholarships and created a Scholarship Trust Fund with the additional money that we have raised for that program. That fund now contains $15 million, over $10 million of which has been raised by Hannity and the concerts.
Our scholarship program is managed with the understanding that it will be needed for at least the next 20 years as there are children who will ultimately receive a scholarship who are now only a few years old. As indicated on our Federal Form 990, these funds are restricted and used only for future scholarships....