It’s a trick question, the New York Post admitted on Saturday. According to newly available tax filings, Joe Biden’s cancer charity spent nearly two-thirds of its income on salaries, including a salary for its president that exceeds what Biden will make in office next year. Despite raising almost $5 million in two years, the Biden Cancer Initiative spent exactly zero dollars on grants:
The charity took in $4,809,619 in contributions in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, and spent $3,070,301 on payroll in those two years. The group’s president, Gregory Simon, raked in $429,850 in fiscal 2018 (July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019), according to the charity’s most recent federal tax filings.
Simon, a former Pfizer executive and longtime health care lobbyist who headed up the White House’s cancer task force in the Obama administration, saw his salary nearly double from the $224,539 he made in fiscal 2017, tax filings show.
Danielle Carnival, former chief of staff for Obama’s cancer initiative, the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, who took home $258,207 in 2018.
The charity spent $56,738 on conferences and $59,356 on travel that year. The following year, the travel expenditure swelled to $97,149, and the non-profit spent $742,953 on conferences, tax filings show.
That’s a lot of talking for not much doing. The Daily Mail took a look at the filings, too, and came up with the same numbers:
First reported by The New York Post, tax filings viewed by DailyMail.com showed that The Biden Cancer Initiative amassed $4,809,619 in contributions, but spent $3,070,301 on salaries. …
But it appeared no grants were given out during its first two years of operation. … The statement’s total functional expenses reached $2,996,404.
If the Biden Cancer Initiative didn’t raise money for cancer research, what exactly was its purpose? The BCI told the NY Post that its focus was to find ways to “accelerate treatment for all, regardless of their economic or cultural backgrounds.” How did spending close to a million dollars on travel and conferences accomplish that mission, and how was that a better method than actual grants to non-profits serving the poor and disadvantaged?
This appears to have been nothing more than a big PR operation to burnish the Biden image while the former VP prepared for a presidential run. They loaded the board with “celebrity cancer survivors” to generate attention, but then did nothing but pay staff and attend conferences — a form of quasi-campaigning that Hillary Clinton perfected through the Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative. The only thing missing was salaries for future high-ranking campaign staffers.
Hopefully, none of the BCI’s donors thought they were funding anything more than Biden’s quasi-campaign. As long as they knew that they were funding and enabling an old campaign-finance dodge, then there’s no hint of fraud here, at least in the legal sense. In any other sense, a charity that spends two-thirds of its income on salaries and most of the remaining third on travel and conferences wouldn’t be considered as anything else other than corrupt.
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