For years I have supported Troopathon, the pro-troop charity which is a part of Move America Forward. MAF was established 10 years ago. Many of its staunchest supporters were celebrated personalities like Gary Sinise, Rush Limbaugh, Robert Davi, Donald Rumsfeld, Mark Levin, Dana Loesch, Herman Cain, Allen West, Dr. Ben Carson, John Bolton, Gold Star Mother Debbie Lee and Andrew Breitbart.
I began participating in the annual Troopathon events in 2009. I became aware of Troopathon after reading a post over at Hot Air. I became a member of the blogging team known as the "Hot Air Steamers" that participated in the blogger competition to determine which team could secure the greatest number of donations for care packages to our troops.
Today I learned that an examination of fundraising appeals, tax records and other documents shows that Move America Forward has repeatedly misled donors and inflated its charitable accomplishments while funneling the millions of dollars it raised to the men behind the group and their political consulting firms.
To make matters worse “the charity has taken images and stories from other groups and from veterans themselves without permission to use in fundraising appeals.”
“Last year, Move America Forward even solicited funds by claiming a partnership with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the largest hospital for wounded service members in the country. No such partnership existed, Defense Department officials say.”
I received an email from Jonathan Salazar who is a contributor to Breitbart News on May 20, 2014 asking if I would support Troopathon VII this year. He sent me the link to a webpage where donations could be made to send care packages to our troops and a link to the graphics that I could use to promote the event on my blog.
During one telephone conversation with Mr. Salazar on June 12th, he promised that I would have an opportunity to interview Gary Sinise before the event launched on June 26, 2014. The interview never occurred. I attributed it to Mr. Sinise’s obviously busy schedule. I never gave it another thought.
I heavily promoted Troopathon VII with a blog post. One month before the launch I placed a masthead banner at the top of my blog and added two clickable graphics on my sidebar to make donations convenient.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air writes, “…the issues of having TPE founders and their vendor operations profiting from the transactions for the care packages is disturbing, if true, even if it doesn’t necessarily violate any laws. That’s certainly not what donors and sponsors thought were happening in the Troopathons, and both MAF and TPE owe those donors and sponsors a more detailed explanation than just dismissing the allegations because ProPublica made them."
I am taking the opportunity today to say how sorry I am to anyone who may have been persuaded to donate to Troopathon in 2014 or in previous years at my behest.
It sorrows me that the name of Andrew Breitbart has been sullied. He loved our troops and was the event’s most devoted supporter.
I hope you can forgive me for being misled and in turn misleading you, my readers.
Kim Baker, who authored the exposé for ProPublica, received this bullshit statement from Danny Gonzalez, Director of Communications for Move America Forward.