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Clark Durant accused of operating 'sham' private charity




95% of charity's revenues went to paying his daughters salary........


The Michigan Democratic Party has accused GOP U.S. Senate candidate Clark Durant of operating a "sham" private charity whose sole purpose is to enrich Durant and his daughter.

Over two years, the Genesis Foundation, Durant's charitable organization, paid $1.4 million to Durant and his daughter, Hope Durant Loomis, amounting to 95 percent of the foundation's revenue, said Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, who called for an IRS investigation.


Durant is founder of Detroit's Cornerstone Schools and sits on its board. Loomis is Cornerstone's vice president of development. The foundation was formed with the purpose of helping Detroit children, Brewer alleges, but now serves to take donations from two people for the benefit of Durant and Loomis.


"This is no more than a sham to funnel money to Durant and his daughter (and) give the donors a tax break as part of the deal," Brewer said. "That's not the way these foundations are supposed to operate under the law as we understand it."


The allegations come before the Aug. 7 Senate primary in which Durant is running against former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra and former Grand Rapids judge Randy Hekman for the GOP nomination. The winner will face U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, in November.


Durant on Wednesday said Brewer's allegations are part of smear campaign that won't work in protecting Stabenow. "There is no basis in fact or law in these accusations," Durant said in a statement.


Durant is compensated for his work at Cornerstone Schools through two private foundations, the New Common School Foundation and Genesis Foundation, where he serves as president. He was paid $385,250 from the foundations in 2011, according to federal financial disclosure forms he filed as a Senate candidate in May. He received another $148,087, from New Common School foundation for the first five months of this year, Durant reported.


The Michigan Democratic Party sought a legal opinion on Durant's payments that found the compensation violates laws governing nonprofit organizations, Brewer said. He cited bans on using charitable assets to benefit the private interests of those who run a charity. Brewer intends to file a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service to spark an investigation.\


The 2010 tax forms for Bloomfield Hills' based Genesis Foundation reported two donors who are also foundation directors: Builder William Pulte at $174,000 and Auburn Hills resident Bruce Becker at $320,000. That same year, the foundation reported spending $696,034 on charitable activities. Durant received $475,000 in compensation from the foundation that year and Loomis received $147,000 for "program services," according to the tax form.


Durant says he's never received compensation from Cornerstone Schools in 14 years as chairman. He's raised more than $100 million for Cornerstone and other organizations for two decades without commission, he said.


He's compensated for his work by two men: Pulte and Becker, who believe in his vision to help Detroit schoolchildren, Durant said. The Genesis Foundation and New Common School Foundation "were established for the very purpose of allowing me to do educational and fund-development work to help the children in the city of Detroit without cost to any other institution," Durant said.


"The whole purpose was to create a revolution in urban education, to provide quality schools in the city of Detroit, to educate children, and to help in the renewal of the city. This is what we have done," Durant added.


Durant also noted he doesn't have the power to set his compensation, which is set by the board and validated by an independent compensation expert as reasonable, he said.






From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitne...4#ixzz21kCcJi9N

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Just another crook. People of Michigan deserve better, people of the United States deserve better, people of the world deserve better. Trouble is, average working people do not run for elected office so now Congress & Senate are nearly all millioinaires, lawyers or high-ups in the corporate structure. Their lopsided legislation made only to benefit those of their ilk reflects that fact. The people continue to suffer.

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How many of Detroits poor kids could of used that half million dollars for say...cloths food books??? If it getts non-profit status & benifets ie taxes,the ppl working there should be voulenteers!!


Sorry for the terrible spelling!! No spell check on this phone. ;-p




To be fair, charities DO need paid staff to operate smoothly. You simply can't run a large organization 'off the side of your desk.' I've worked with charities for 15 years now, and received a modest salary for doing so (well under 50K.) These kind of stories are so sad because not only are the charity's clients (in this case the kids) cheated, it casts suspicion over all paid employees of non-profits, most of whom work long hard hours for a pittance compared to what they could make in the private sector.

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