Carly Fiorina Padded Her Resume by ‘Chairing’ a Foundation that Doesn’t Exist

by Laura Clawson –


As Carly Fiorina tried to put a good spin on the aftermath of her failure as Hewlett-Packard CEO, her 2010 Senate campaign website described her as “Chairman of the Fiorina Foundation.” Problem being that, as Olivia Nuzzi explains, there’s no such thing as the Fiorina Foundation, which seems to be what Fiorina chose to call a very different type of arrangement:

What Fiorina calls the Fiorina Foundation is in fact the name of the account she and her husband, Frank, have with The Ayco Charitable Foundation, a so-called “donor-advised fund,” through which they distribute undisclosed sums to undisclosed recipients at undisclosed times.This seemed to be news to Fiorina’s own campaign, the deputy manager of which, Sarah Isgur Flores, repeatedly assured me that the Fiorina Foundation is a private foundation before following up to say that she had made a mistake.

Donor-advised funds are the sort of financial arrangement only used by rich people; they are “essentially holding cells controlled by money managers that permit donors to fork over cash or assets which they want to donate, immediately reap the tax benefits, and then determine later what charitable causes they actually want to give to.” What’s more:

They lack a so-called payout obligation—meaning that by law, there is no set time frame for when money has to leave the donor-advised fund and be put to actual, charitable use, unlike private foundations which are required to donate at least 5 percent of their assets annually. Feasibly, whatever is in Fiorina’s account could remain there for generations without ever being donated to charity—and nobody would know.

Fiorina might be giving tons of money to noble causes, or whatever passes for a noble cause in her mind. But voters have no way of knowing that, and her campaign doesn’t seem to know the first thing about what’s going on with the donor-advised account that, as of her last campaign, she was falsely describing as a foundation. Which doesn’t exactly make you confident that Fiorina is a model of generosity, and makes you sure she’s not a model of transparency. One of the headlines you’ll see about this issue is that the fund Fiorina has her money with has paid out significant amounts of money to Planned Parenthood; we know this because the fund reports all its payouts, though it doesn’t identify whose money went to which organization. If you want it to be, the story can be that Fiorina is doing business with a fund that’s doing business with Planned Parenthood. But to me it seems more important that we just have no way of knowing what she is doing.

12:27 PM PT: Fiorina called for federal defunding of Planned Parenthood on Monday, saying that “unless something fundamental changes, that we stop funding these people with taxpayer dollars, that they are actually investigated and prosecuted, the reality is nothing’s really going to change.” Instead women’s health should be funded entirely through donor-advised funds, maybe?


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos


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