When Republican candidate Donald J. Trump boycotted the Fox News debate last Thursday night, he held a competing event that he organized as a benefit for wounded troops and claims to have raised $6 million.
On Saturday night in Davenport, IA, he gave a check for $100,000 to the Puppy Jake Foundation, an organization dedicated to providing service dogs to veterans.
If offered, @IAVA will decline donations from Trump's event. We need strong policies from candidates, not to be used for political stunts.— Paul (PJ) Rieckhoff (@PaulRieckhoff) January 27, 2016
There are certainly plenty of military charities who can use a share of that $6 million. For all the talk in civilian America about “supporting the troops,” most veteran organizations are woefully underfunded. Yet Rieckhoff makes an important point: in an America where emotions run so high during a political campaign (proof: your Facebook feed), should any organization that aims to help veterans as a group allow itself to be aligned with any individual candidate?
Trump, Hillary, Ted, Bernie, Ben, Martin: they all have detractors who worked up to a fever pitch whenever their names are mentioned (well, let’s be fair: Martin O’Malley probably doesn’t).
Is Trump using veterans charities for political gain? Should the charities care? Would a veterans charity that accepted donations from a candidate you hate change your decision about whether to support that charity? Sound off!