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Will SPLC return Madoff money?

Will SPLC return tainted $2.9 million received from Bernie Madoff”s right hand man?

From Social Contract Press…

The incredible Southern Poverty Law Center money machine just keeps rolling on and on, according to its latest Form 990 filing with the IRS and its Financial Statement.

But the SPLC is rolling in an increasingly bizarre direction. For example: why exactly is it piling up its extraordinary, illiquid, secretive, never-touched money mountain? This kind of thing risks unfavorable IRS attention. And why does it need a bank account in the Cayman Islands?

Donations to the SPLC in the year ending October 31, 2009, were down 11.1 percent—to a mere $28.8 million. But, because of a massive $32.49 million (19.6 percent) increase in the value of its securities portfolio, the SPLC’s “Net Assets” rose to $199.95 million.

In contrast, according to one report, many charities faced contractions in funds available of 20-30 percent over this period.

Operationally, things weren’t too bad for the SPLC either. Despite fundraising expenses of $5.677 million, according to the 990, and despite supporting 206 employees (payroll $12.312 million), the SPLC still managed to transfer a remarkable $4 million (the same amount as last year) to its reserves—its so-called “Endowment Fund.”

In contrast, many, probably most, foundations must have had to invade their reserves in the arduous conditions of 2008-9.

With most charities, the term “Endowment Fund” would mean a pool of funds to which access is restricted, perhaps to income or a small percentage of assets.

This is not the case with the SPLC. Only a tiny proportion of its assets are restricted. The nomenclature is just camouflage. As Dan Borochoff, President of the watchdog American Institute of Philanthropies, told Bill O’Reilly in 2001:

It’s not really an endowment [just] because the board called it that.1

What this means: approximately 13.9 cents of every dollar that the public gave to the SPLC in 2008-9 was promptly squirreled away into a management-controlled hoard from which, on the available public record, it never emerges.

The Picower Foundation, set up by Jeffry Picower, reliably reported to have been the biggest beneficiary of the Madoff scam,2 apparently gave the SPLC a total of $2.9 million.3

Picower was found dead in his Palm Beach swimming pool last fall. His estate is reportedly about to settle with the court-appointed Madoff trustee by returning at least $2 billion.4

Helpful suggestion: Madoff left many destitute elderly in his wake. The SPLC should return its Picower money to the Madoff trustee for their benefit. After all, it’s conventional for politicians to return tainted campaign donations. (Suggest this to the Madoff trustee.)

So what is the SPLC’s mad scramble for enrichment all about?

Does the controlling clique at the Center one day intend to throw off its mask, perhaps after Dees’ death, let fundraising wither, and draw out massive salaries with minimal activity—a pattern not unknown in foundations with inherited endowments? (My personal guess.)

Or must America continue to put up with its reckless and dishonest allegations stinking up our public discourse in order to keep the SPLC trough replenished? Are these people as crazy as they are mendacious?

Much more dirt on the SPLC!