Sean Hannity – A Stalwart Champion for our Troops
Don’t Listen to His Detractors
As America’s largest grassroots pro-troop organization, Move America Forward has been privileged to support our troops and their mission against Islamic terrorism. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin , Dr. Laura and so many other talk show hosts have given unselfishly to this noble cause.
From time to time they are attacked, usually by leftist anti-war extremists, but sometimes even conservatives make the mistake of joining the circular firing squad against one of their own. There have recently been unfair attacks against Sean Hannity, but we know he has been a total champion in supporting our troops and we are honored to stand with him.
Since the beginning of our organization in 2004, Move America Forward has been a pro-troop grassroots organization that has worked tirelessly to give our troops a voice and serve them as best we can. It is a difficult and often frustrating endeavor, and there is never enough money to help the many brave men and women in America’s armed forces who need and deserve our assistance. Sean Hannity has been a friend to our organization and has helped us greatly in serving our troops and their families.
His generosity in supporting our troops is legendary. He personally gave $100,000 to the Wounded Warriors Foundation and over $200,000 to the Freedom Alliance. When we had a group of Gold Star Parents who had lost a son in Iraq, Sean provided the funding so we could take them to Iraq and see where their children died in the cause of protecting American freedom. They could see with their own eyes the progress that had been made in turning Iraq into a democratic country that would no longer harbor terrorists or threaten peace. Again in 2007, Sean and Jill Hannity wrote a check for $15,000 to send care packages to our troops through Move America Forward, quietly, without expectation of anything in return.
The attacks against Sean have been leveled by Ms. Debbie Schlussel, who has been a tireless fighter against Islamic terrorism. But, Debbie has missed the mark in her attacks. She assaults Sean Hannity as well as the organization Freedom Alliance for paying transportation costs and hotel stays related to Hannity’s blockbuster “Freedom Concerts”. But that simply isn’t true. Sean pays for his own transportation and hotel rooms.
She doesn’t understand that in addition to his generous financial support for pro-troop causes, Sean gives the most valuable thing he has to the pro-troop movement: his time and reputation. Hardly an hour of his syndicated radio and TV show goes by without Sean saying something supportive of our troops. You cannot find anywhere a better friend or ally to the men and women of the United States military.
Many of you have probably been to his Freedom Concerts, which provide a huge morale boost to our troops and patriotic Americans back home. They do cost a lot of money to produce, but they also produce so much good. The time he spends personally with the troops and their families is of immeasurable in value. Just ask any of them who have attended.
Much like Ronald and Nancy Reagan when our POW’s were released from Viet Nam, Sean has quietly reached out to our troops in ways that the public will never know. In addition to these acts of kindness, they don’t even know about his various acts of generosity. Among his many gifts, he personally contributed thousands of dollars to the Move America Forward Troopathon – the 8 hour telethon broadcast on the internet so that we could send care packages to the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Move America Forward has shipped over 168 tons of care packages to troops overseas, and yet we continually feel as though we haven’t done enough. There are so many more troops who deserve our thanks and gratitude. With the help of celebrities like Sean Hannity, we are closer to reaching out and touching all of our deserving troops overseas.
For the record, Sean Hannity, we know to be a tireless worker, and a selfless supporter of our troops. Sean has visited wounded troops at military hospitals, he has organized several trips to Iraq, and most importantly he has consistently honored our troops and their missions in the War on Terror and defended their honor whenever those on the fringe left trash our brave men and women.
It is easy for people to criticize. Ironically, the harshest critics are the ones that have little to show in support for our troops. The pro-troop community knows who our friends are. Sean Hannity is our friend, and Americans are grateful for his continual dedication and generosity towards our troops.
Melanie Morgan, co-founder and Past President, Move America Forward
Sal Russo, Chief Strategist Move America Forward
Debbie Lee, Gold Star Mom and Military Outreach Director, MAF
Danny Gonzalez, Communications Director, MAF
Catherine Moy, former Executive Director, MAF
Debbie Schlussel posted a long piece last evening about a charity that Sean Hannity is affiliated with, accusing them of malfeasance and mismangement.
Frum Forum has done an exhaustive investigation of the charity in question, Freedom Alliance, and found enough evidence to substantially rebut each of Schlussel’s claims. I’ll approach them one by one.
Schlussel Accusation: Sean Hannity improperly benefited from Freedom Alliance by charging private jets, hotel stays and luxury cars.
Freedom Alliance’s press release today stated categorically that they have “never provided planes, hotels, cars, limos, or anything else to Sean [Hannity] … to be clear Sean pays for all his own transportation, hotels, and all related expenses for himself and his family and friends and staff.” We are satisfied that this is true.
It is true that Freedom Alliance spent $60,000 on aviation services in 2006, but there is no evidence that this was for Sean Hannity’s benefit, and it seems unlikely that the money was used to lease a Gulfstream 5. Rates for G5 aircraft average around $8,000 an hour. $60,000 would not buy much at that rate.
We have also been able to confirm that Sean Hannity has no operational control over the organization. Nor is he even a member of the group’s board.
If Schlussel stands behind her statement, then she will have to do better than a quote from a blind source, who is, as she admits, a friend of a friend.
Schlussel Accusation: Too Little of Freedom Alliance’s Spending Has Gone to Program Outcomes.
Frum Forum has intensively investigated Freedom Alliance’s 990 Forms, which have been submitted to the IRS and checked by an independent auditor.
Debbie Schlussel alleges that only $1 million of the organization’s $8.8 million in revenue was going to soldiers and scholarships in 2008. This figure is the product of a misleading and selective reading of the organization’s tax forms.
The numbers that Schlussel cite refer to direct financial transfers to individuals – that is, if there is a direct grant that Freedom Alliance gives to a soldier. This does not include all the positive work that doesn’t involve a direct grant.
Freedom Alliance also spends money on non-cash benefits for military families, involving things like taking soldiers to sporting events and sending care packages to troops.
The highest paid employee earned $152,000 in 2006. The second highest paid employee earned $83,000. In 2007, Freedom Alliance spent about $1 in $7 on salary and benefits.
Total staffing costs may seem high, but they are not out of line with what is spent at many other charities. For example, the Armed Services branch of the YMCA spent about $1 in $2 on salaries and benefits in 2008.
Be sure to read the whole thing here.