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!