NEWS AND OPINION:
A quiet but telling revelation about the Clinton Foundation: Though the organization claims to devote 88 percent of its expenditures on “life changing work,” it really spent a mere 10 percent on charitable grants that support such works.
So says Sean Davis, the co-founder of The Federalist and a former adviser to Sen. Tom Coburn and Gov. Rick Perry.
“Hillary Clinton’s non-profit spent more on office supplies and rent than it did on charitable grants,” says Mr. Davis, who reached this conclusion after examining the foundation’s 2013 tax filings and doing all the math. He found that 10 percent of all expenditures — that’s $8.5 million — went to travel costs. Employee fringe benefits amounted to $3.7 million, computer and tech costs were $2.1 million, rent $4 million and the final bill for all those foundation conferences was $9.2 million.
Yes, well. The tax-exempt organization has claimed that no more than 12 percent of its expenditures went to these “overhead expenses,” Mr. Davis observes.
“How can both claims be true? Easy: they’re not. The claim from the Clinton Foundation that 88 percent of all expenditures go directly to life-changing work is demonstrably false. Office chairs do not directly save lives. The Internet connection for the group’s headquarters does not directly change lives,” he concludes in the research.
WALKER RIDIN’ HIGH IN APRIL
SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton emails, foreign donations create gender gap on honesty, trustworthiness
It is the cold reality for presidential hopefuls: favorability ratings come and go. A candidate can be “ridin’ high in April and shot down in May,” as Frank Sinatra counseled in the 1966 anthem “That’s Life.”
One Republican seems to be ridin’ high at the very moment. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has maintained a lead over his rivals in several polls over the weeks, including one released Tuesday from Public Policy Polling, this gauging the sentiment of those all-important Iowa Republican voters.
“Walker has the highest favorability out of anyone in the field, with 59 percent viewing him favorably,” the survey states. “The key to Walker’s success is that he’s winning both among voters who are most concerned about electability in the general election and among voters who are most concerned with having the most conservative candidate.”
Among voters who say that a “being able to win” is their top priority, Mr. Walker leads by a narrower margin. His lead is much more emphatic among voters who say “conservatism is their top priority”: 29 percent favor the governor, compared to 14 percent for Sen. Ted Cruz, 12 percent for Sen. Rand Paul, and 10 percent for Mike Huckabee — who won the 2008 Republican presidential caucuses in the Hawkeye State.
“If I decide to run, I will make the country great again, because I love this country and this country is going to hell, and everybody knows it As you know, I knew Ronald Reagan. I have a great respect for Ronald Reagan. We’re different in that he was a politician. I’m not.”
SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton gets gay-friendly social media avatar, 1 year after saying marriage is a state issue
— Donald Trump, to a Republican business forum in New Hampshire on Monday.
READ THEIR LIPS: NO NEW TAXES
Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio: All three of the formally declared GOP presidential candidates have signed a stringent Taxpayer Protection Pledge — a written commitment to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes” if elected president.
“Elected officials face a choice: Reform government to cost less, or raise taxes instead of reforming government. Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio have made it clear that they stand with taxpayers now and in the future,” says Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, the nonpartisan coalition which maintains the aforementioned pledge.
It’s popular with everyone else. Well, almost. With the exception of Jeb Bush, potential Republicans hopefuls who have also signed the pledge include Gov. Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal plus Rick Perry. Another 49 U.S. Senators and 218 members of the U.S. House also have signed the document.
BATAAN SURVIVOR ON A MISSION
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offers a speech before a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, Lester Tenney will be there. Mr. Tenney, 94, is a former POW of Japan who survived the Bataan Death March, a “Hellship” voyage to that nation, and time as a slave laborer in a coal mine. He will be “listening for acknowledgment” of the travails he and others suffered seven decades ago — particularly in the current climate. Japan has attempted in recent years to better its World War II image in recent years.
When he visits Capitol Hill, Mr. Tenney is the guest of Rep. Mike Honda, California Democrat. But there’s another invitation as well, and one Mr. Tenney himself is mystified about: He is also among 200 people invited to the prime minister’s private dinner, to be staged at the Smithsonian Institution’s elegant Freer Gallery of Art that evening. So we shall see.
And there’s an addendum. Also in the congressional audience: Caroline Burkhart, vice president of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society and daughter of a Bataan defender and former POW; she is a guest of Rep. Darrell Issa, California Republican.
The organization, along with the Disabled American Veterans, have both contacted House Speaker John A. Boehner, asking that Congress work with Mr. Abe to acknowledge and publicize the plight of the prisoners.
THE BORDER: SOME PROGRESS MADE
“With help from Mexico, number of child migrants crossing U.S. border falls: The Mexican government has deported a record number of Central American children traveling without a guardian since last fall, which President Obama and other U.S. officials say has contributed to a significant drop in children apprehended at the U.S.- Mexico border,” reports a Pew Research Center analysis of government data from both the U.S. and Mexico.
The 3,819 deportations of unaccompanied minors from Central America during the first five months of the fiscal year represent a 56 percent increase in deportations by Mexico over the previous year.
“Overall, U.S. officials apprehended 12,509 unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border in the first five months of the fiscal year that began in October, down from 21,403 over the same time period a year ago. Most children apprehended during this fiscal year — 7,771 — came from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, with nearly all of the rest coming from Mexico,” the analysis says.
POLL DU JOUR
• 52 percent of Americans disapprove of the way President Obama handles immigration; 87 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.
• 35 percent overall approve of the way Mr. Obama handles immigration; 7 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 63 percent of Democrats agree.
• 36 percent of Americans say that “immigration makes the U.S. a better place”; 28 percent of Republicans, 33 percent of independents and 47 percent of Democrats agree.
• 25 percent overall say that “immigration makes the U.S. a worse place”; 40 percent of Republicans, 24 percent of independents and 16 percent of Democrats agree.
• 24 percent overall say that immigration makes no difference on quality of life here; 20 percent of Republicans, 26 percent of independents and 24 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: A YouGov poll of 997 U.S. adults conducted April 22-24.
• Murmurs and asides to firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow her on Twitter @HarperBulletin.