A few years ago, Chris Rodda, Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s research assistant, made the somewhat comical claim that the outcome of an investigation was irrelevant; rather, the fact an investigation occurred was all that mattered [capitalization original]:
The OUTCOME of the investigation…is irrelevant. It’s the fact that…he CALLED FOR the investigation…
It’s a moronic assertion on its face, but its something upon which the MRFF has relied. If an investigation happened, then they act as though their claims were vindicated — outcome notwithstanding.
Mikey Weinstein, though, very recently took it one step further and is now citing as “evidence” an accusation being reported — not even an investigation, not a resolution, just him reporting something.
Referring to ChristianFighterPilot.com, Weinstein said this site [emphasis added] Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein seems to be making a comfortable living doing little more than attacking Christians in the US military.
The most recent financial disclosures for his Military Religious Freedom Foundation (from 2014, released nearly two years later) reveal that he paid himself, as the sole employee of the “charity” he self-founded, $244,232 in compensation from the tax-deductible donations his organization received.
While it is a slight reduction from the $299,634 he paid himself in 2013, it still accounts for a sizeable 35% of all contributions to his MRFF.
Since he founded his laughably-categorized “non-profit” in late 2005, Mikey Weinstein has Read more
Late in 2014 Michael “Mikey” Weinstein filed his required IRS documentation for 2013 — and it revealed he had a banner year. For the first time, his Military Religious Freedom Foundation topped $700,000 in total income.
MRFF Total Revenue: $701,535
For his part, Mikey Weinstein gave himself a nice raise (literally, since he says he votes on his own pay package), for his highest take home pay ever from the “charity” he founded:
Weinstein compensation: $299,634
In other words, 42.7% of every “charitably donated dollar” the MRFF brought in during 2013 went to Mikey Weinstein’s compensation. That’s slightly less than the 46.8% he took the year prior.
To be “fair,” Weinstein also claimed an increase in work hours, saying he puts in 105 hours a week. That’s up from 80 hours a week the year prior, and works out to 15 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single week. That’s what Weinstein filed; given the low output of the MRFF, it is difficult to say what he actually does for 105 hours a week. (It is also unclear whether Weinstein dissolved his other company, MIBON Consulting, which presumably also takes up a substantial amount of his time to bring in more than $100,000 a year.)
The general breakdown of funding below his paycheck is Read more
The Military Times family of papers, which has generally been friendly to Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s campaign against military religious freedom, published an “exclusive” essentially accusing Weinstein of handsomely profiting from the charitable donations he solicits for his MRFF.
Interestingly, the article makes the same points that have been made here for years. In fact, the headline uses the same language that this site used in 2009 (“cashing in”) — language over which Weinstein had threatened to sue because he considered such a characterization to be “defamation.”
The article also notes, as this site has in the past: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein sometimes tries to make the MRFF — the group he created and runs — seem bigger than just him, citing the number of people associated with his “charity.” However, he quietly admits to the IRS the MRFF has only a single employee — Mikey Weinstein. That admission seems to contradict claims by others, like Chris Rodda, who say they work for the MRFF.
Normally, personnel costs are not considered “program expenses” in IRS lingo (program expenses are “those incurred while performing its tax-exempt activities”). However, that seems to be how Weinstein framed payment for Rodda’s services. Rodda once admitted the MRFF “Research” expense line item — about $25,000 — was her annual pay (though she has faded from the MRFF scene in the past year or so). Presumably, the legal explanation is Weinstein treats her as a kind of independent contractor, rather than technically an employee. The characterization of the use of that $25K on “research” — or Rodda — is not something a potential donor would know if Chris Rodda hadn’t spoken out of school.
What else don’t you know?
While Weinstein itemized such administrivia as Internet ($143) and Bank Fees ($14), he declined to explain three of his charity’s top 5 expenses totaling more than $100,000. One of those is Rodda’s “research.” Weinstein pays two other repetitive and predictable (and strikingly similar) annual expenses: “support” and “consulting.”
Weinstein’s third largest expense in 2012 ($43,000) was vague “support.” While Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein recently promised contributors to his “charity” their donations would “represent a…monetary impact” to his cause:
You can rest assured that your generous donation to MRFF would represent a dollar for dollar monetary impact on this Civil Rights/National Security issue that is second to none.
Believe it or not, the awkwardly named Military Religious Freedom Foundation, founded and run by Weinstein (also the sole employee), is a 501(c)3 charity. The advantage of such a designation to Weinstein is he can solicit donations with the same tax benefits to the donors as if they’d given to their local church. The disadvantage (to Weinstein) is he is required to publicize financial documents, which can be quite revealing.
Despite having issues in the past with the public seeing his records, Weinstein has continued to pay himself essentially the same amount each year. Mikey Weinstein has grossed more than $1.4 million in direct personal compensation (from the donations to his charity) to date.
This year (2012 is the most recent Weinstein has released) was little different. Michael Weinstein’s “reportable compensation” for 2012 was Read more
In 2010, Michael Weinstein took a small hit to the salary he pays himself from “charitable donations” to his Military Religious Freedom Foundation. He appears to have made up for that in 2011, the most recent year for which his financial data has become available. (Weinstein, who keeps the books himself, didn’t report his 2011 finances until November 2012.)
In 2011, the MRFF increased its income by more than $150,000 (which included a $15,800 grant from the United Way of New Mexico, $110,000 in cash from the Rockefeller Family Fund, and $20,000 from the Aspen Community Foundation). Weinstein’s compensation increased by just under $35,000, or about a quarter of the new donations, to just over $250,000 after taxes. That brings Weinstein’s pay to just over 36% of everything donated to his “charity.” Despite forlorn (and misleading) cries by his “research director,” Chris Rodda, that Read more
The state of California recently passed a law — SB1140 — that explicitly states clergy are not required to perform homosexual ceremonies. The law is naturally intended to protect those who might have faced attacks — potentially through equal opportunity or even IRS channels — against religious leaders who act on their faith in opposition to homosexuality:
A person…shall not be required to solemnize a marriage that is contrary to the tenets of his or her faith. Any refusal to solemnize a marriage…shall not affect the tax-exempt status of any entity.
Notably, no law required clergy to act against their faith. The law was a preemptive Read more