The Truth Test: Richard Hanna and charities


(WKTV) - The race for the 24th Congressional District seat continues. And on Wednesday, candidate Richard Hanna began airing a second round of campaign commercials - two new spots all together.

Here's a look at the dialouge of the commercials:


RICHARD HANNA: "I'm Richard Hanna and I approve this message."

MAGGIE PUTMAN: "Over the years I've worked to provide counseling and help for people in trouble. Richard Hanna has always been there helping the agencies I've worked with to make life better for those in need. For those who know him, that is not a surprise. Because Richard is always there with a helping hand for those who work to make our community a special place. I know he'll do the same for us in Congress."

VOICEOVER: "Richard Hanna for Congress"


ANN ALLEN: "For much of my life, I have been working for and with women. Richard Hanna has also made helping women a priority. When the Women's Fund was established, he gave generously and helped create a special fund for individual women, giving them a helping hand. This fund - called Annie's Fund has given thousands of dollars helping women help their families. Richard Hanna's generosity and caring has served our community well and he will continue to serve us well in Congress."

RICHARD HANNA: "I'm Richard Hanna...and I approve this message."

Both of these commercials highlight the same thing - Richard Hanna's contributing to charitable or non-profit organizations. In this particular, case - the counselor in one commercial (Maggie Putman) is from the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Mohawk Valley.

And the commercial for Annie's Fund, a sub-committee of the Women's Fund of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, is discussed onscreen by Ann Allen, the creator of the Women's Fund.

Both of these organizations have received grant money from what's called the Richard and Kimberly Hanna Fund.

The money from this fund is dispersed by a local organization called The Community Foundation, which acts as the non-profit for individuals and families as an alternative to starting their own foundation.

The Richard and Kimberly Hanna Fund was set up in 1997 by Hanna and is what's known as a "donor-advised fund."

This type of fund has a minimum setup of 10 thousand dollars by the founder - in this case Richard Hanna - but beyond that there is no legal obligation for the founder to continue putting money into it if they choose not to. In this case, Hanna has continued to do so.

The money within the fund is dispersed among numerous charities at the suggestion of the donor - in both which charity the money goes to, and how much goes to each charity.

So, yes, these commercials pass the Truth Test.

They make claims of Hanna helping these organizations, and it corresponds with documentation such as the 2007 Annual Report from the Community Foundation, which we said dispersed the funds.

In 2007, records show money from the fund - which Hanna's campaign says came directly from his own personal income and not from any fundraisers or donations - Hanna's income, was dispersed in the amount of $56,250 to 24 organizations:

  • Annie's Fund
  • Bassett Hospital - Friends of Bassett
  • Casting For Recovery, Inc.
  • Cato Institute
  • Children's Hospital Foundation at Westchester Medical Center, Inc.
  • Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy
  • Compassion Coalition
  • Cornell University Hospital for Animals
  • Family Nurturing Center
  • For the Good, Inc.
  • Girls Scout - Foothills Council, Inc.
  • Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute
  • New York State Historical Association
  • Oneida County WW II Memorial Trip, Inc.
  • Otsego 2000
  • Otsego County Conservation Association
  • Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, Inc.
  • Resource Center for Independent Living
  • Samaritan Counseling Center of the Mohawk Valley
  • Utica Public Library
  • Utica Symphony Orchestra, Inc.
  • YWCA of the Mohawk Valley
  • YWCA of the Mohawk Valley Pool Fund

In what amounts that money was disbursed among the various organizations, was not available from The Community Foundation.

For a complete version of the commercials, click the links below:




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