We’re getting some pushback from local folks within the “Freedom Alliance” about questions as to whether its a legitimate charity.  However, a recap of the story reveals that this isn’t some liberal plot to “smear” Sean Hannity.

I wrote about this issue back in March when this story first blew up when conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel first wrote about her review of the tax filings.

Schlussel never said that the organization didn’t help any veterans.  But she indicated that the notion that 100% of the proceeds of the ticket sales goes to scholarships to the children of fallen soldiers or aid to severely injured troops was simply not true.  And in fact, very little of the money seems to go to troops at all according to the organization’s own IRS filings!

Schlussel has not back down from her claims or her analysis.  At first, the best thing the Freedom Alliance could muster is how outside charity monitoring groups like Charity Navigator had rated the charity a four-star charity.

That was, of course, until Charity Navigator became aware of Ms. Schlussel’s review of Freedom Alliance’s tax forms and then quickly downgraded the “charity” to two stars:

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One commenter noted that Charity Navigator was too generous.  A review of the “charity’s” IRS forms, the commenter alleged, showed it spent more in postage than giving scholarships to children of fallen veterans.

Note also that Charity Navigator doesn’t even associate it with other veterans’ charities, but ideological conservative public interest groups.

Compare its evaluation of Freedom Alliance as a “charity” to something like the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Charitable Services Trust, and you start to understand why Hannity’s Freedom Concerts look like a scam.

We now know the answers to these questions I posed back in March:

The question is whether John Kasich will stand with the people of Southwest Ohio who were duped by Sean Hannity’s scam, or will he stand with his Fox News friend, Sean Hannity?

Will John Kasich, who has avoided the tough questions like a plague, speaking to Ohioans only from his all white-YouTube room, even address this scandal?

John Kasich chose to curry favor with his friends in Fox News who have been given him unilateral and unprecedented national exposure as he is running for Governor rather than encourage people in SWO to donate to better veterans’ charities than Hannity’s vanity concert series.

However, there are still questions that need to be made to Kasich.  It’s entirely appropriate for the media to ask John Kasich if he was paid for his appearance given that is his profession when he’s not running for Governor.

It’s journalistic malpractice not to ask Kasich if he was aware of Ms. Schlussel’s reporting on this “charity” back in March before he agreed to participate.  If he was paid, the question then becomes why did Kasich take money to appear at a charity event.  And if he was paid, he should donate the proceeds to a more legitimate veterans charity like the DAV’s Veterans Charitable Services Trust.

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