Sunday, December 10, 2006

Quickly, some fiscal outrage, if you would.

Apparently, PMS is a fan of the moral stalwarts at MADD:

KITCHENER, Ont. (CP) - Ottawa is setting its sights on drivers who are high on drugs when they get behind the wheel, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday as he announced legislation to give police powerful new tools in their search for impaired motorists.

Canadian society needs to take the threat posed by those who drive under the influence of drugs as seriously as the one posed by drinking and driving, Harper told a news conference in Kitchener, Ont., an hour's drive west of Toronto.

"Just as governments once took action on drunk driving, we must act today to make drug-impaired driving just as socially unacceptable," he said, flanked on stage by beaming members of the lobby group Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada.

Sadly, those moral stalwarts don't seem to be the most financially responsible folks around:

People who donate to Mothers Against Drunk Driving are told by the charity that most of the $12 million it raises annually is spent on good works — stopping drunk driving and helping families traumatized by fatal crashes.

But a Star investigation reveals most of the high-profile charity's money is spent on fundraising and administration, leaving only about 19 cents of each donor dollar for charitable works.

Apparently, the folks at MADD have a bad habit of questionable semantics:

Charity in Canada is regulated by the Canada Revenue Agency's Charities Directorate, run by director-general Elizabeth Tromp.

This week, the Star told Tromp that MADD was counting the work of professional fundraisers as charity. Tromp is not allowed to comment on individual charities but she said the practice is definitely not allowed. "When a professional fundraiser has been retained, it can reasonably be inferred that the intent of the expenditure is fundraising."

MADD's Murie said the regulator gave him permission to count the expenses as charity.

"We view these millions of one-on-one personal contacts with the public to be vital to our mission. It ensures that individual members of the Canadian public are informed about the seriousness of impaired driving," Murie said in a written statement to the Star. He said this is approved by the federal regulator and is practised by many other charities.

Tromp said the regulator has never condoned this approach.

Not that any of this should come as any surprise to people who, you know, have a clue:

MADD’s seemingly insatiable search for funding has also drawn criticism from charity watchdogs. In 1994, Money magazine reported that telemarketers raised over $38 million for MADD, keeping nearly half of it in fees. In that same year, the group spent more than $2 million on travel and conventions. Compare that to MADD’s paltry lobbying budget (a four-year total of only $636,000 from 1991 to 1994), and it’s not hard to see why the American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) consistently gives MADD poor grades for its high bureaucratic costs. Indeed, MADD funnels about 50 cents of every dollar back to its fund-raising efforts, which is about one and a half times what AIP considers acceptable.

So, given the Blogging Tories incessant braying about fiscal responsibility and the like, I'm sure we can expect them to take MADD out to the woodshed for a sound thrashing any day now. Yessir, any day now ...


Anonymous said...

This is precisely what rightwingers are talking about when they start braying about "charity."

Being fleeced is not an act of charity.

Anonymous said...

MADD may be behaving badly, but let's not lose the message: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is socially irresponsible, not to mention potentionally criminal, behaviour.

Fortunately, I live in BC, with a public auto insurance agency (ICBC) that educates and lobbies against this sort of thing - as well as providing funding for police road checks and so on.

Anonymous said...

YEAH! Blogging Tories are total HYPOCRITES! You got their number CC! Woooooooo!

Anonymous said...

Although their goals are basically correct, I've always been troubled by the sanctimoniousness of their methods, and can't help but think that in their perfect world, we'd have prohibition.

Perhaps it's time for a new organization to counteract them. I suggest DAMM - Drunks Against Mad Mothers.

Anonymous said...

I wonder... will MADD be eligible for funds from Oda? will Baird be counting those pennies? did MADD used to qualify for volunteer funds? so many questions, so few answers!

¢rÄbG®äŠŠ said...

I just gave a whole whack of money to ADM, Mothers Against Dyslexia.