Some progress in getting donations to the families of the terror victims. Four weeks after The Factor began investigating, The New York Times reported the story in its Sunday edition. "The Times" documented the problems getting the $1.2 billion now collected to the suffering families. Said the Times, "What has not been provided is a simple, comprehensive way for families to apply for the full range of help. The experience of dealing with the hundreds of charitable agencies and funds can be maddening."
Well, that's what we've been saying for weeks. We're happy the Times has joined the chorus.
And Talking Points is happy to tell you some things are getting better. The Red Cross is now committed to distributing most of the $530 million it has collected for the families, but not all of it. We'll tell you about that tomorrow.
After appearing on The Factor, Red Cross president Dr. Bernadine Healey was forced to resign, largely because she wanted a long-term disbursement policy. Now, I respect Dr. Healey, but I know that Americans who donated money want that money to go to the suffering families now. Dr. Healey was simply wrong.
Thankfully, the Red Cross is beginning to do the job. Jacqueline Eaton, whom we featured on The Factor, recently received more than $27,000 from the Red Cross.
On the political front, the House Ways and Means Committee has asked The Factor for transcripts of the interviews we did with some family members, and the hearing is set for later this week on possible congressional oversight.
In New York State, Attorney General Elliott Spitzer says he'll have a major announcement later this week about the money situation, and after that announcement, we are hopeful Mr. Spitzer will come on The Factor.
So things are moving in the right direction, but are still far too chaotic. Talking Points continues to ask for the appointment of a charity czar to coordinate all the money and organizations.
Finally, some politicians like Governor Pataki are mad at us for putting pressure on them. Well, what can I say? Public servants are answerable to the public. When people like Hillary Clinton and John Ashcroft refuse to answer relevant questions about important matters, we're going to tell you about it. Few other TV programs will do that, because they don't want to anger powerful people.
Obviously, we don't subscribe to that philosophy. For far too long, politicians have dodged and spun and hidden. The no spin zone is here to track them down and flush them out.
We have nothing against Governor Pataki. He just didn't do his job in the case of the families. That's indisputable. There's no way this charitable chaos should be going on, and the buck stops at the top.
In just a few moments, we'll talk with a man running for the governorship of New Jersey, and he'll tell us he'll do if elected.
Governor Pataki is welcome any time to do the same thing.
And that's the memo.
Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
One quick note, I'd like to thank the good people in Tyler, Texas, Dallas and Albuquerque, New Mexico, for being nice to me last week when I showed up down there, had a good time.
Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day." This guy John Edward, who was the TV program called "Crossing Over," and claims he can speak with the dead, was going to try to contact some of the people killed in the terror attack. Well, of course, that caused all kinds of angst. Many people think it's beyond ridiculous.
Now the company that markets "Crossing Over" is bailing out on that idea after the advertiser said uh-uh, which shows good taste on the part of the advertiser. As for Mr. Edward, we're trying again get him on The Factor later this week to talk with us live people.
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