Last Word on the War Kids

7 Aug

Glad to see everyone got it all out of their systems. Didja notice that most of you were either arguing about:

1. An unsubstantiated allegation leveled against Powers by his opponent that hadn’t been properly countered or proven independently; and/or

2. Whether or not the campaign was smart or not to do rapid response and kill the story before it could take its first breath.

I definitely have a very strong opinion on point number 2. The campaign, in my opinion, dropped every ball in the world with respect to pushback on these scurrilous and untrue charges. It should have been right in McCarthy’s article. If not, it should have been countered via press release that very morning.

I had nothing to say about point number 1 until I saw some confirmation or proof that Powers took $77k from an organization that only raised something in the $200,000 neighborhood. I wasn’t going to take McCarthy’s article at face value, and was waiting for some kind of proof.

Someone posting here as “WNYDEM” who gave as his website URL the phony Davis-sponsored Powers lookalike site wrote this comment:

The $77,000 figure comes directly from Jon Powers’ financial disclosures.

He was paid $60,000 in 2006, $2,314.53 for half of January in 2007, and then when he spun WKR off into a separate entity, he paid himself $15,000 in three months (March through May of 2007). So basically, he was paying himself $5,000 per month.

But I guess we will know more when the Form 990s are filed (or not) on August 15th.

He then later wrote:

Here it is . . .

When one takes a look at that image, one finds that:

The Vietnam Veterans Foundation is not War Kids. It is the organization under which War Kids was founded, but the organizations are not one and the same. It quite clearly shows that he earned $15k from War Kids Relief and 60k the year before from the Vietnam Veterans Foundation. During the year-ending 2006, the VFA had revenues of $12 million. Therefore, $60k would represent .5% – that is one half of one percent of what VFA took in.

That pretty much defines insignificant, and this really is nothing. I continue to disagree with how this was handled, however.

Also, anyone who is suggesting that this story wasn’t peddled by the Davis campaign is deluding themselves. The platoon site had “Real War Kids Story – coming soon” on the site two weeks ago. They’ve been building up to this. Davis is such a piece of political excrement that they had to launch an inaccurate, lazy attack on Powers that assailed the good work he tried to do.

This race will continue, and Democrats in NY-26 will be able to choose between Davis, Kryzan, and Powers. I continue to believe in Powers and his campaign, and although I think he has been ill served with respect to the handling of this particular issue, that doesn’t change my mind in the least about him as the best of the three choices come September.

See you at the debate, bitches.

33 Responses to “Last Word on the War Kids”

  1. Russell August 7, 2008 at 8:23 am #

    Funneling money through one non-profit foundation to pay the expenses of another. Hmm, that sounds familiar.

    Once #1 ran in a credible news story, it became credible news. When that credible news was not challenged by the subject of the allegation, it gained even more credibility. #1 and #2 are very closely related and both show the failure of Jonny Powers and his campaign. Even if #1 is shown to be utterly false and completely retracted by the Buffalo News, it changes very little. We still have an inexperienced person running for office that has not done one newsworthy thing, squandered months of campaign time and hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars. The only thing he’s ever managed on his own realized only 2% of its stated goal.
    Coming up on one month before the campaign he still hasn’t even introduced himself to a large percentage of the voters. He has failed to make a case on why anyone should vote for him.

    Fine, take away the $77,000 part of the story and you still have an EPIC FAIL.

  2. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 9:13 am #

    No, Russell. If you go back and look at the “credible news story”, you’ll see it reads as follows:

    critics say it accomplished little beyond shipping a few soccer balls and backpacks to Iraq –and paying Powers about $77,000 worth of salary over 18 months.

    Critics say. Not “the News has confirmed”, but basically shorthand for “Jack Davis alleges”. Then Luke Vaughn is quoted as saying that Powers paid himself a “fat salary”. Powers doesn’t run VFA, and I’d hardly call $15,000 a “fat salary”.

    The issue I have is that Powers supposedly “acknowledged that the organization raised between $150,000 and $250,000 over the course of its existence, with a substantial percentage dedicated to his salary.” Whether 6 – 10% is “substantial” is up to the reader. I’d argue that it’s not “substantial” any more than it’s not a “fat salary”.

    Also, you say that, “The only thing he’s ever managed on his own realized only 2% of its stated goal.” Except for being an artillery platoon leader in the 1st Armored Division, and the Battalion Commander’s Adjutant in Baghdad and Najaf.

    But that’s just Jonny being inexperienced. He must have really been a failure when he led young men fighting in a war in Iraq. I’m willing to bet it’s more than you or I have accomplished, combined.

  3. Jon Splett August 7, 2008 at 9:32 am #


    So his connection to the Vietnam Veterans Foundation is that he runs War Kids through them and they paid him 60,000 dollars in salary. So isn’t that still $60,000 he’s getting to run his charity?

    That’s still is a fat salary he’s collecting for helping Iraqi kids no matter what organization is coming from. Just because the Vietnam Vets have the money to waste doesn’t make $77,000 dollars in salary off of charity work any less disgusting for a potential member of congress to take.

  4. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    He didn’t run War Kids through them the year he made 60k from VFA. It didn’t exist yet.

  5. Jon Splett August 7, 2008 at 9:42 am #

    So what was he paid $60,000 by the VFA for exactly?

  6. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 9:50 am #

    I have no idea. But here’s their website.

  7. Russell August 7, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    BP, he did not run the platoon on his own. That’s why I said “on his own”. He had support staff below and above him while in the Army. The War Kids failure was his. And now that he’s the top guy calling the shots on this campaign, it’s also his failure. It seems, then, that as long as he has higher-ups directing him and a strong lower staff to properly follow up on things, like he had in the Army, then his leadership is top notch. Once everything actually relies on his leadership, the house of cards tumbles.

    And I already conceded the $77,000 question. Regardless of whether it came from Davis or not and was just an allegation reported in the News doesn’t really matter at this point. His lack of response to that and the failure of his campaign in so many respects is really what matters.

  8. Russell August 7, 2008 at 10:08 am #

    And really, this VFA end-around sounds a whole lot like Citizens for a Better Buffalo and the Network of Religious Communities. Why aren’t you as concerned with the question of the $60,000 payment to Jonny? Maybe if it involved Jackson’s kids or the Wendt Foundation you’d dig a little deeper.

  9. Russell August 7, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    I’ll also give you that it is more than you or I have accomplished combined. That’s why I’m not running for Congress.

  10. Kevin Hardwick August 7, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Very frustrating. Just got off the phone with Jon Powers’ campaign manager. I offered them 10-11 a.m. on “Hardline” this Sunday (with possible additional exposure on TV stations that often send cameras to WBEN’s studios) to explain their side of the story. They declined because Jon is scheduled to be out canvassing . . . at 10 a.m. . . . on a Sunday morning. Very frustrating.

  11. Russell August 7, 2008 at 11:36 am #


  12. Hawk (Not Hank) August 7, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    I think he needs to officially respond otherwise the story still has legs.

  13. Hawk (Not Hank) August 7, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Oops, itchy trigger finger. Here’s the rest:

    Professor: I would believe it if he said he was at church at 10 am but canvassing? Who canvasses on a Sunday morning at 10? Nobody. If you are going to come up with an excuse it should at least be plausible.

  14. Facts Plz August 7, 2008 at 12:34 pm #

    So that must mean Jon has a W2 or 2 from the Vietnam Vets Fdn, right?

    If he is reporting it as salary, they must be reporting it similarly on their end.

    On the other hand, if the Vets Fdn gave Jon GRANTS to do WKR and he paid himself… that’s not a salary from the Vets Fdn and the filing is inaccurate.

  15. Rottenchester August 7, 2008 at 12:36 pm #

    The Powers campaign is definitely amateur hour if BP has to be the one carrying their water on this allegation.

    Also, Russell, being paid a salary by a non-profit is not a matter for a grand jury investigation, and running an arty battalion is real leadership experience. Attempt to retain some perspective as you troll away.

  16. Facts Plz August 7, 2008 at 12:39 pm #

    Regarding the rejection of the Hardline invitation. How Bone Headed is that? Candidates for office kill for media attention and air time. This would be an hour of FREE PUBLICITY.

    What’s Hardine’s listenership? Mosts likely substantially (say multiples of thousands more) than the 15 or 20 people he may shake hands with in an hour of “canvassing”.

    Sounds much more like a dodge than anything else. Where’s the courage from this would-be leader?

  17. mike hudson August 7, 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    1.) mccarthy wrote powers took $77,000.

    2.) powers was interviewed for the story, knew the figure was in there and didn’t deny it.

    3.) the day the story broke, at 7 a.m., pundit ran not one word about it here.

    4.) i posted about it on numerous occasions on different threads here that day wondering why it hadn’t run, as buffalopundit is powers central.

    5.) pundit never answered.

    6.) the next day, when pundit discovered that everyone in town was talking about it being the end of the powers candidacy, which it is, he ran an item, then quickly knocked it down the page with stuff about cars and paris hilton.

    7.)powers, as of 12:56 p.m. two days after the mccarthy story ran, has still not issued a denial.

    8.) pundit solves the case!

    9.) pundit is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

    10.) pundit has pissed away whatever journalistic cred he earned last week with his wendt reporting, due to a political obsession. that’s too bad.

  18. Russell August 7, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    Rottenchester, BP made the donations of non-profit an issue. I was merely attempting to apply the same logic to this case.

    Furthermore, I have clarified a few times now that I am questioning Jonny’s leadership on his own and that type of management. I have already pointed that out and mentioned that what he did in Iraq is more than what BP and I have done combined. Look at his record. Where he is solely in charge and left to run things on his own, things have resulted in utter failure. That is not quality experience or leadership. When taking orders from above and passing them below, he does very well.

  19. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 1:18 pm #

    In response to Hudson:

    1.) mccarthy wrote powers took $77,000.


    2.) powers was interviewed for the story, knew the figure was in there and didn’t deny it.


    3.) the day the story broke, at 7 a.m., pundit ran not one word about it here.

    Nope. I had emailed the campaign and asked for their side of it and to verify whether that was the real figure and if not, what it was. I wanted to get a reaction from them. I’m still waiting, BTW.

    4.) i posted about it on numerous occasions on different threads here that day wondering why it hadn’t run, as buffalopundit is powers central.

    As of this moment, the campaign did not provide me with one iota of evidence – not a piece of paper, not a quote from the candidate – to rebut what was in McCarthy’s story. That’s why I printed the post that went up yesterday morning. I was tired of waiting, and had to post something, and it turned out my frustration was with a campaign that doesn’t understand “response” much less “rapid response”.

    5.) pundit never answered.

    I don’t generally answer comments, especially ones that are off-topic.

    6.) the next day, when pundit discovered that everyone in town was talking about it being the end of the powers candidacy, which it is, he ran an item, then quickly knocked it down the page with stuff about cars and paris hilton.

    Paris Hilton – yes. A short video that is about 350 pixels in length. Cars? That went up late last night. Liar.

    7.)powers, as of 12:56 p.m. two days after the mccarthy story ran, has still not issued a denial.


    8.) pundit solves the case!

    Actually, a Davis stooge linked to the “evidence” of the 77k (using a url to a page at that wasn’t otherwise obvious), and that was the confirmation I needed. Why Powers’ people didn’t give it to me on Tuesday, I’ll never know.

    9.) pundit is so full of shit his eyes are brown.

    Yeah, K.

    10.) pundit has pissed away whatever journalistic cred he earned last week with his wendt reporting, due to a political obsession. that’s too bad.

    Fuck you and your “journalistic cred” that I never asked for or sought. That’s your problem, not mine.

  20. Mike August 7, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Hudson maybe pundit has to work for a living, something you havent did since you got fired by the Niagara Gazette (drunk on job). The crap you publish in your cheesy weekly should talk, I wish you had a comment line on your observations, we would all get a good hoot.

  21. Russell August 7, 2008 at 2:12 pm #

    Pundit, if the Powers campaign has so badly dropped the ball and is even ignoring your attempts to help them and set the record straight, why are you still supporting him? Why help someone that doesn’t want to help himself? If the campaign is this shoddy, why do you believe things would be any better when he’s in office? What help would he be to a constituent he represents when he won’t help himself and is doing a horrible job representing himself?

  22. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 2:18 pm #

    Because a good candidate getting bad advice is still a good candidate. Because I like Jon and he is the best choice out of the three. Because I feel like it.

  23. Prodigal Son August 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    Pundit – that’s a cop out. If any of the rest of said we supported someone “because we felt like,” we’d be called piles of flaming douche-bags, or some such thing.

    I don’t know Jon, but I know its okay to like a candidate, and not think he’d be a good congressman. I tend to agree with Russell. But its not my district anyway, so I have no vote in the matter.

  24. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    not from me.

  25. Russell August 7, 2008 at 3:15 pm #

    Good leadership would have recognized this bad advice long ago. Even if he didn’t long ago, he sure should have by now.

    Will we ever see anything from him that will make the average voter think he’s as great a candidate as you think he is?

  26. Buffalopundit August 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm #

    No, savvy political skills would have recognized this long ago. Clearly, Jon is no politician.

    Ignoring for a moment the royal “we” there, perhaps you could attend one of his upcoming events and see for yourself.

  27. hank August 7, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    Does it matter if Powers or Davis wins the Primary, or the election?

    Ask one of the 52 Democrats in the House who are standing with the Republicans trying to get the Congressional Ban on Off-Shore Drilling how they feel about the power of the Majority Caucus in the house.

    Governor General Hans Frank—-Uh, I mean House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is out pimping her book, soaring to #944 on the Amazon list–and she needed the time off, while unless you get your gas on the Res from the Seneca’s, you’re getting your nuts torn off at the gas pump every day.

    With a House leader like her in charge, what the hell do you think EITHER of these Democrats would get accomplished? A Freshman rep. will be told they can either toe the Speaker’s line, or WNY will get even LESS help from DC than it does now.

    What’s Jonny doing working for a Vietnam Veterans Foundation? When Vietnam ended he wasn’t even part of the stain on his parent’s mattress yet–I guess there are NO unemployed Vietnam Veterans in WNY.

  28. Jon Splett August 7, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Hank- Seeing how we the people own the off-shore drilling sites, I’m sure you’d have no problem with a nationalized government oil company being the one to do the drilling and selling it back to us, without the oil company markup on it right?

    I’m all for drilling the shit out of Alaska and anywhere else off shore you want to as long as the republicans lobbying for it don’t sign away our oil to companies raping American consumers for the highest earnings in history. Exxon didn’t set profit records by cutting us a deal for cheap gas and if we hand them a shitload more product to sell, they aren’t going to start cutting us a break out of the goodness in their heart.

  29. Russell August 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm #

    No, BP, a good leader is a good leader. A good manager is a good manager. It doesn’t matter if he’s running a charity, running a business or running a campaign. He should be able to spot failure and correct problems. If this is too much for him, he should have started out running for dog catcher.

    It is Jonny’s duty running for office to introduce himself to the voters. Finally, a new twist, but the “go to one of his events” is as lame as “checkout his website”. Most people still get their information from the media. He should try one of those outlets.

  30. Starbuck August 7, 2008 at 7:55 pm #

    Why is Jon Powers refusing the 10-11am guest slot on Professor Hardwick’s radio show this Sunday?

    Is that the sign of a candidate confident in his unscripted abilities and knowledge of issues?

    If he can’t face the ever polite and respectful Prof. Hardwick for one hour and field a few calls from the public, how can he expect to effectively push his ideas in Congress?

  31. mike hudson August 8, 2008 at 1:40 am #

    owers is a fucking dirtbag, he got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and now he doesn’t want to talk about it. what he did was no better than child abuse and i wonder how many school districts will care about his scary substitute teaching credential after he loses the primary a month from now.

  32. Jackson Smiles August 8, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    hey hudson – check out the real story on war kids you ass bag

    and starbucks…. why don’t you close another shop — candidates can’t do every radio show — davis has refused every single one!!!!!


  1. Buffalo Pundit » Blog Archive » Pigeons with Tentacles - October 28, 2008

    […] own criteria with War Kids Relief – that it must be true. Hudson also vouched for McCarthy’s accuracy here, and here, even going so far as to praise McCarthy’s “fine piece of […]

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