How to Create a Children’s Charity, by Tom DeLay

Rep. Tom DeLay, speaking last night about the grand opening of a new foster home paid for by the DeLay Foundation for Kids, on Fox News:

We’re trying to set an example. Government cannot raise children. That’s the biggest problem. Community and people raise children. And that’s what we’re trying to do, is to build a model that, frankly, we can take around the country.

Towards this end, we’ve pin-pointed some of the important strategic moves Tom DeLay has made in building his own successful foundation. Pay attention charity organizers!

Step #1: Reach Out to Warm-Hearted Oil and Energy Executives


DeLay is not required to name his charity’s supporters. But tax and online records reveal that the donors include ExxonMobil, Southern Company, and SBC. … The Delay Foundation has always raised money by soliciting corporations. In its application for nonprofit status from the IRS in 1987, three years after DeLay was elected to Congress, it declared, “The initial fund-raiser will be a gala evening with a buffet, cocktails, dancing, and a short program. . . .The costs of the event are being solicited from corporate contributions by officers and directors.” [Boston Globe, 6/12/05]

Step #2: Have Jack Abramoff Trade Donations for Political Access

Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist being investigated by the Department of Justice for fraud, donated to the foundation and, according to a recent report in the National Journal, persuaded clients to do the same by telling them it was a way to get in the good graces of Tom and Christine DeLay. [Boston Globe]

Step #3: Hire Major Right-Wing Donors As Building Contractors

Since 2002, the foundation’s biggest goal has been to build a prototype residential care facility for foster children on 50 acres it owns in Fort Bend County, Texas, in suburban Houston. … Bob Perry, the Texas contractor who last year provided the seed money for Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is building the facility for “cost.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4/25/05]

Step #4: Say Next to Nothing About the Kids Your Charity is Helping

Only one sentence in the [Celebrations for Children] foundation’s 13-page brochure mentioned the recipients of the aid. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Step #5: The More Golf Tournaments With Corporate Execs, The Better:

During the past five years, [the charity] has raised money primarily through golf tournaments where DeLay, 58, and other GOP House leaders have spent hours on the greens with business groups who paid large sums to participate. … There are almost no restrictions on what corporations can give to nonprofits connected to politicians, making nonprofits one of the few avenues by which companies can give vast sums since the passage of a campaign-finance reform law in 2002. [Boston Globe]