Elsewhere online
May 11, 2015

Watchdogs Raise Red Flags Over New Charity's Obama Ties

Transparency advocates and government watchdogs are raising concerns about the tens of millions of corporate dollars flowing to a new nonprofit closely aligned with President Obama's My Brother's Keeper initiative to improve the lives of young minority males, reports The Wall Street Journal.  The My Brother's Keeper Alliance, which the president announced earlier this month, is headed by business leaders and has already collected $80 million in corporate gifts.

The administration routinely teams with private entities on policy efforts, but critics say the creation of a nonprofit closely associated with a key Obama priority carries greater potential for donors to curry favor with the White House. "The fact that he is still in office and will be in for a period of time and then sets up this nonprofit—that just opens the door for special interests that have business pending before the White House," said Craig Holman of watchdog group Public Citizen.

A spokeswoman for My Brother's Keeper said the new group will not take gifts from foreign sources or political action committees, will limit donations from lobbyists to $200, and will publicly disclose all contributions above $200.