12 Oct 2017
Neil Corkery, President of the Sudan Relief Fund, and his daughter gave thousands of dollars last year to Barbara Comstock’s campaign. Why would they do that? Is Barbara Comstock’s re-election more important than famine relief in Sudan?
It appears that the Fund has been overpaying Corkery so he can donate money to extreme right-wing candidates like Barbara Comstock.
If this sounds familiar, it may remind you of the over $1 million dollars in compensation that Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore received from a supposed charity.
Just like Moore, the Sudan Relief Fund has paid Corkery almost $1.1 million since 2011, yet the Foundation claims to have no office in America. Corkery was paid $265,500 in 2014 and $257,500 in 2015, for allegedly working just 30 hours a week.
IRS 990 tax returns show that Corkery’s wife, Ann, sits on the board along with Dan Casey, another Republican operative, and apparently helps determine Neil’s salary.
Opensecrets.org found that in 2012 Corkery “drew paychecks from at least four other” charities involved in Catholic and anti-gay activities and claimed to work 105 hours per week.
Federal Election Commission records show that Corkery has made at least 23 similar donations totaling $37,000 to other right-wing and anti-gay politicians, including Rick Santorum, Orrin Hatch and Ed Gillespie.
Corkery and his wife are also deeply involved in right-wing “dark money” fundraising.
The Sudan Relief Fund actually shares a Washington DC address with the Wellspring Committee, “a politically active dark money group” that poured $750,000 into an extreme right-wing PAC called Common Sense Virginia. (You probably saw their TV ads in 2013 supporting ultra-rightist Ken Cuccinelli, to be known forever as “Mr. Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound.”)
Sudan Relief Fund and Wellspring Committee also share the same accounting firm in Silver Spring, Maryland: Conlon and Associates LLC. As of June 12, 2017, Conlon and Associates was listed as “Not in Good Standing” by the State of Maryland, most likely because of a back tax issue.
And, by some strange coincidence, Neil Corkery’s wife is President of the Wellspring Committee and earns $120,000 a year for working 10 hours a week. Like Barbara Comstock, she is a staunch Roman Catholic. Like Comstock, the Corkerys are known for their anti-gay beliefs.
In 2011, Neil Corkery lived in Manassas, Virginia and made $135,000 from the Fund for working 40 hours a week. He ousted key Fund directors in a bitter court battle. By 2014 he was making $265,000 for working 30 hours a week and living in a multimillion dollar house about six minutes drive from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.
Perhaps someone should investigate. The Fund solicits money in many states, so any good Attorney General should be able to find jurisdiction.
Voters in VA10 may recall that Comstock returned a check from Donald Trump when it became too hot to hold.
Perhaps Barbara Comstock should return these checks, too.