The Talking Points memo this evening: It's an update of the money situation vis a vis the families of the terror victims. There's no question that Americans are the most generous people on earth, and that has been demonstrated once again.
One billion dollars have been pledged thus far to help families effected by the terror attacks. But the money is slow in getting to these families, and government supervision has been lax, to say the least. Up to this point, the United Way has received $87 million for its September 11th Fund. Only $5.9 million has been allocated so far.
And get this, the allocated money doesn't go directly to the families, it goes to local organizations which can then give the money out as they see fit. So, there's another layer of bureaucracy for the families to deal with.
That TV telethon that was on all the networks, all the channels, it raised $150 million in pledges. And the money is being controlled by the United Way. Yet officials from that agency declined to appear on The Factor this evening to explain what's going on.
They did send us a statement, and we appreciate that, but we need to hear from the United Way. They should answer some questions, such as exactly how much money will the families be getting, and when? Hopefully, a spokesman from the United Way will show up on The Factor later this week.
The situation is somewhat troubling because, as Talking Points has said, there is no government agency watching the United Way or any of the other 140 charities. You may remember that in 1995, the president of the United Way, who ran it for 22 years, was convicted in federal court for misusing the charity's money. By the way, that man, William Aramony, was being paid more than $300,000 a year to run the United Way.
The point here is that there are far too many questions about the $1 billion pledged to help the victims' families. This situation needs to get under control, and fast. I'm calling my congressman, Peter King, and asking him to keep me apprised of what's going on with all the donations. You might want to do the same thing with your congress-person.
We'll have more on the story at the end of the broadcast, and that is the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
Time now for the "Most Ridiculous Item of the Day.
Another O.J. Simpson trial starts tomorrow in Miami, the former football player charged with burglary and battery for roughing up a motorist in a fit of road rage last year. Simpson's lawyer says his client is being treated unfairly because of his notoriety.
Well, that may be true, but it's also ridiculous, because Simpson is lucky to be walking around.
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