August 11, 2011; Source: Huffington Post | Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his wife Ann, together reputed to be worth more than $200 million, give to charity primarily through their own foundation. According to IRS documents reviewed by The Huffington Post, from 2002 through 2009 the couple gave over $5.8 million to charity, with about 74 percent, or more than $4.3 million, going to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Another $300,000 went to Brigham Young University, which is run by the LDS church.
Other contributions have gone to organizations working on various health issues and to groups working on athletics or with disadvantaged youth, among other causes. But HuffPo’s Andrea Stone writes that some of Romney’s charity had possible political overtones:
“In 2006, two years after presiding as governor over the first state to legalize gay marriage after a ruling by the Massachusetts high court, Romney’s foundation wrote a series of checks in an apparent bid to burnish his conservative credentials ahead of the 2008 presidential primaries.
Sign up for our free newsletter
Subscribe to the NPQ newsletter to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.
“The Massachusetts Family Institute, which fought same-sex marriage in the state, got $10,000. The anti-abortion rights group Massachusetts Citizens for Life was given $15,000.
“Washington’s right-leaning Heritage Foundation received $10,000 in 2006. So did the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group and, the next year, Citizens for Limited Taxation. Stanford’s Hoover Institution, the conservative think tank that is home to the likes of Condoleezza Rice, received $25,000 in 2006.”
The charitable giving of an individual reveals a good deal about their value system. We’d be interested in our reader’s opinions on what, if anything, Romney’s reveals about his.—Ruth McCambridge