Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Behold Barack Obama’s Burgeoning $430 Mil Foundation As He Welcomes Hundreds of A Listers to 60th Birthday Party


Happy Birthday, Barack Obama. Turning 60, celebrating with hundreds of celebrities on his $12 million estate on tony Martha’s Vineyard. Mazel tov!

Already, Beyonce and Jay Z, Stephen Colbert, Eddie Vedder, and multitudes more are landing on the little island staying in youth hostels. I’m sure they’ll all be renting bikes or hiking up the party!

Some guests were disinvited, possibly, because the party posed a COVID threat. But I’ll tell you who did not get that call: donors to the Obama Foundation. They’ve given hundreds of millions of dollars. You can bet they’ll be right there in the backyard, asking for a tour of the mansion and trying to steal the handtowels.

The Obama Foundation has taken the place of the Clinton Foundation as a money maker and employer. Current net assets are listed at $430 million.In 2019, according to their Form 990 filing, revenue was $139 million, down from 2018’s $164 million.

Dig this: according to its Form 990 tax filing for 2019 the Obama Foundation paid $3.7 million to its top employees. That was $600,000 more than they doled out in grants to charitable groups.

Total salaries (including taxes and benefits, etc, the whole deal) came to — drum roll, please — over $24 million. That’s TWENTY FOUR MILLION DOLLARS. Nice work if you can get it!

The top guy, David Simas, was paid around $660,000. Right behind him was Robbin Cohen, with $600,000. About a dozen others split that $3.7 mil, all with six figure salaries.

Together they decided to donate $3.1 million to other groups. The lions share of it was $2 million to National Archives Assembly, which is digitizing all the materials from Obama’s 8 years in office for use in his eventual Chicago library commemorating his administration. The rest of it was divvied up to 13 organizations, none of whom received more than $150,000.

By contrast, the Clinton Foundation, the former behemoth ex-prez org, listed just $312 million in net assets for 2019, and revenue of 28.5 million. Their top guy, Kevin Thurm, only gets $400,000 a year.

Listen, I love Barack Obama. I voted for him twice. I hang on his every word. But this does seem… excessive, no? But I won’t bum him out on his birthday. Good luck with the party, sir!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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