Goldwater Institute "Lends" $1.9 Million to Rich Guy on Its Board
According to thelawdictionary.org, which uses Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Edition as its source, a promissory note is, "A written promise to pay a debt by a specific date."
I guess a loan can be considered an investment, especially if you're the one doing the lending. But even if you call it an "investment," that doesn't erase the appearance of a conflict when the investment is such a large one and is being made to a business owned by someone who sits on your board.
The report makes a solid ideological point about the salaries of GI's top tier, information also gleaned from GI's 990 from 2011: Executive Director Darcy Olsen was paid $268,182 in 2011, which includes a $20,000 bonus; Gi's Director of Litigation Clint Bolick pulls down $300,624, which includes a $35,000 bonus; and GI's Director of Policy Development Nick Dranias scored $176,228 in compensation, including a staggering $50,000 bonus.
The GI can afford it, according to its 990, in 2011 it boasted net assets of $4.79 million. How can an institution raking in so much cash argue that people below the poverty line should be denied medical care from the state's Medicaid program?
Pretty easily, according to Caldwell.
"The Goldwater Institute is a private organization funded by private individuals--not a public body funded by taxpayers," she said when I asked her about the charge of hypocrisy.
But GI's wealth is not a result of making money the old fashioned way, you know, earning it, as John Houseman might say. Instead, GI's wallet is fat in no small part because it's a tax write-off, and because it has a habit of suing the government and then collecting attorneys fees.
You can read my Q & A with Caldwell verbatim below. Also, to be fair, a lot of execs for 501c3's are well-compensated.
For example, Lisa Graves, executive director of Center for Media and Democracy, which produced the report, was paid more than $110,000 in 2011. For the same year, CMD took in more than $857,000 and had net assets of more than $561,000.
Nothing to sneeze at, though hardly Goldwater Institute territory. And CMD is not arguing that poor people should be allowed to die rather than expand AHCCCS.
I don't yet have any specific info on this labor-promoted Arizona Working Families group, but, by way of comparison, the AFL-CIO's national headquarters shows $1.5 million in net assets for 2011 (gross assets were more than $100M).
The AFL-CIO's president Richard Trumka was paid a total of $293,750 in 2011, which, though good, is still bested by Bolick's $300M-plus.
I'm sure Clint's worth every penny.
Still, reading about all of these six figure salaries convinces me of one thing:
I'm most certainly in the wrong line of work.