The executives of the McCain Institute for International Leadership refused to reveal how much money in donations the Institute has received, according to a report by The Daily Caller New Foundation Investigative Group.
Senator McCain crafted the precedent-setting Bipartisan Campaign Reform Acto of 2002, that demanded all donations from $250 upwards to be released to the public. Russ Feingold, the former Democratic Senator of Wisconsin co-sponsored the bill with Senator McCain.
However, the McCian Institute, founded in 2012 with an $87 million funds that were left from McCain’s failed presidential campaign of 2008, declined to release the amount of money it received from major donors who contributed at least $100,000, one of which was billionaire socialist George Soros.
A Spokesperson for the McCain Institute and for the Arizona State University Foundation, where the finances of the Institute are held, declined to disclose any figures about how much money major sponsors provided, regardless of the constant requests by The DCNF.
An executive from the McCain Institute referred TheDCNF’s donor request to the ASU Foundation. A spokesperson for the ASU Foundation avoided uncovering the issue, responding to TheDCNF with a statement — “in the spirit of transparency, the McCain Institute for International Leadership elects to provide a list of donors on its website.”
“This is a way to raise money and to protect donor privacy,” Leslie Lenkowsky, a long-time academic in philanthropy, told TheDCNF.
“This is one of the tricks they can play,” Lenkowsky stated. “They ought to be more precise about their donations.”
Foreign donations to the McCain Institute appear particularly problematic. McCain is chairman of the powerful Senate Committee on Armed Services, which oversees the military.
It turns out that the McCain Institute has been having these problems with foreign grants for some time now. Senator McCain is the head of the influential Senate Committee on Armed Services that supervises the U.S. Military.
Lenkowsky shared the same opinion in claiming that foreign donations are always a major problem of the McCain Institute.
“There’s a clear potential conflict between his public responsibilities and the funders of the McCain Institute,” said Lenowsky.
“It is exactly the same as the Clinton Foundation,” he continued. “Here we had a Secretary of State and a foundation, which they were closely associated, receiving money from foreign governments.”
Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative, nonprofit watchdog organization Judicial Watch, told The DCNF that the insufficient information regarding the Institute’s major sponsors just reveals’s McCin’s “hypocrisy,” due to the Senator’s authority to pass campaign finance bills.
“The unique issue for Sen. McCain was that he favored radical transparency on campaign finance. Under federal law, someone who writes a check for $250, their name becomes part of the public record,” explained Fitton.
“But Senator McCain, a sitting senator with his Institute, guarantees no similar level of disclosure there. The hypocrisy is fully apparent with the McCain Institute.”
A lot of nonprofit organizations have had strong policies about the donor privacy, even though donors like seeing their names and donor categories on musical or theatrical shows.
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