GOP Donor Friess Commits $1M to Tornado Relief with Caveats

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May 21, 2013; USA Today

Foster Friess, a former investment manager from Wyoming and big Republican donor to Super PACs in the last election, has pledged $1 million to help those affected by the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, and he is issuing a challenge for matching funds, although he will donate the money with or without a match.

Friess has donated money to relief efforts previously, but has been unhappy with the way the money is used, so he is cautious about who should make use of and distribute the money. Friess donated to support the relief efforts and did matching grant programs following the tsunami and Katrina. “I learned a lot from prior travels to sites of the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka, to the 2005 Katrina hurricane, and to the Haiti earthquake about how a lot of money that doesn’t get where the donor would like it to get and huge salaries are taken out of by the folks delivering the donations.”

On his website, he blogged, “We should have details within 48 hours if you would like to have your money doubled. We are researching now the best avenues to use in Moore to assure it is delivered with the least amount of overhead and most effectively and efficiently.”

“Our research should be done within a day or so,” he wrote. “In case you are thinking of sending money, this might be an opportunity to have it doubled and be more effective in its delivery.”—Ruth McCambridge