Former U.S. President George W. Bush makes the headlines again as it is disclosed he asked for 100,000 dollars speaking fee at Helping a Hero charity fundraiser.
George W. Bush was invited to speak at the fundraising event of the Helping a Hero charity. And not at little cost to those involved, as the former U.S. president’s speaking fee was 100,000 dollars.
The Helping a Hero charity is pooling efforts to help Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. As well as paying the former president of the U.S. the pricey speaking fee, the charity also chipped in with the flight costs of George W. Bush, amounting to 20,000 dollars for a private jet.
A media controversy was sparked by this amount. Yet, representatives of the Helping a Hero charity are content to have had such a prominent personality among at the fundraiser and comment that George W. Bush’s presence helped the charity greatly.
Meredith Iler, who is the former chairman of Helping a Hero stated:
“It was great because he reduced his normal fee of 250,000 dollars down to 100,000 dollars.”
From George W. Bush’s side, a spokesman commented:
“President Bush has made helping veterans one of his highest priorities in his post presidency.”
Yet, other voices do not hold the presence of the former president at the Helping a Hero fundraiser in such high regards. Nor do they agree with the six-figure speaking fee that has been disclosed.
Many took to Twitter to write that charging 100,000 dollars plus flight expenses from the same veterans that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan under the former president’s watch simply does not bode well.
One account is that of Eddie Wright, former Marine who declared to the CNN:
“The point here is that a leader should not charge to speak on behalf of the men that he sent into combat, at any level, let alone the commander in chief”.
Eddie Wright lost his hands in Iraq, during a 2004 rocket attack. Other Twitter posts stated that George W. Bush’s speaking fee was higher than a soldier’s paycheck over four years.
Facebook also buzzed with accounts of users stating their funding to the charity will cease over the involvement of George W. Bush in the Helping a Hero fundraiser and his speaking fee.
The Helping a Hero charity is bathing in murky waters itself. Just in April 2014, the charity was under fire for its spending accounts as well as contract stipulations ending with an official request that the financial records of the charity are officially looked into.
Another point of controversy was the story of Hunter LeVine, blind veteran who died in 2013. His family was faced with the charity’s aggressive actions to take the home the veteran had received through Helping a Hero. Another lawsuit ensued, that gave LeVine’s family the justice they deserved.
Concerning the newest controversy over the speaking fee paid to former U.S. president George W. Bush, Helping a Hero charity stated on Facebook:
“We are proud that President Bush attended the 2012 Helping a Hero Gala. His presence helped us raise an unprecedented amount of funds to build specially adapted homes for wounded heroes”.
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