Ex-Presidents Band Together in One America Appeal

I’ve always been of the belief that bipartisanship simply means getting screwed by both Democrats and Republicans. And because of that, I was naturally suspicious when I spotted our former presidents coming together for a cause.

The “One America Appeal” campaign debuted with a public service announcement during the first NFL game this season. The ad, featuring former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter, is a fundraising effort for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

The clip opened with a statement by Clinton, Carter, and Obama: “Hurricane Harvey brought terrible destruction, but it also brought out the best in humanity. As former presidents we want to help our fellow Americans begin to recover.”

“People are hurting down here,” former President George W. Bush (who lives in Texas) says, “but as one Texan put it, ‘We’ve got more love in Texas than water.’” President Donald Trump also endorsed the ad.

You can watch the clip below:

Certainly, this new initiative is charitable in nature. But my question is: What’s the point of starting a new charity when there are already organizations with “boots on the ground” in Texas like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army? It just seems redundant to me.

Then there’s the question of where the money goes. The “One America Appeal” website explains:

All I can say is, thank goodness they’re donating the funds to a charity in H.W. Bush’s name, because we all know about Bill Clinton’s shady charitable history. For anyone’s memory that needs some jogging,  in 2013 the Clinton Foundation spent only 10 percent of its budget on charitable grants. For comparison, an equal 10 percent of the budget went towards travel, 33 percent on salaries/benefits, and 47 percent on all other expenses (rent, supplies, IT).

And then there was Haiti, where the Clintons faced massive scrutiny for their charitable efforts in helping the country recover after the 2010 earthquake. The Clintons were accused of funneling money and contracts to Clinton Foundation-related firms. And the shelters the Clintons provided to Haiti residents also turned out to be structurally unsafe.

Even so, the H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation is still an odd choice for funds, as its mission statement is to preserve “the historic legacy of President George Bush, by supporting education and scholarship programs.” All that can be gleaned from the One America Appeal’s FAQ is that the money will apparently be laundered through the Library Foundation to actual charities providing aid. There’s no explanation of how that would be done in a manner that allows 100 cents out of every dollar to go to hurricane victims.

A more efficient way to donate your dollars would simply be to send them to charities that the One America Appeal fund would donate to anyway, and thus cut out the middle man.

While they do not disclose what those charities are, you can find a lengthy list of organizations providing general relief, food, medical care, shelter,and help to seniors, those with disabilities, children, and animals here.

What do you think? Do you trust One America Appeal? Get the word out by sharing this story on Facebook and Twitter!

By Matt

Matt is the co-founder of Unbiased America and a freelance writer specializing in economics and politics. He’s been published... More about Matt

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