When Campaigns Attack, Part II: Fighting Through the Nonsense

Now that we’ve discussed the surprising trend of direct attacks by other campaigns made in open air (on a “closed” topic), let’s not just leave the attacks hanging out there. Let’s deal with each little bit of innuendo, one by one.

According to the Boston Globe, McCain County Chairman Chad Workman “discussed an article alleging that the Mormon Church helps fund Hamas, and likened the Mormons’ treatment of women to the Taliban’s.” Translation: Mormons are terrorists. You can see why a Romney presidency would be unfortunate for America. No one likes to see a terrorist running the country.

However, Mr. Workman clearly doesn’t have his facts straight. As to the first charge, I’ve done some digging. It appears to arise from a blog piece written in 2006, which reported that the LDS Church’s charitable arm gave money to Islamic Relief Worldwide, a charitable organization that has been accused of giving money to other groups that gave money to other groups that . . . .eventually gave it to this or that Hamas front group. Let’s simplify: Romney=Mormon=Islamic Relief Worldwide=one or two intervening groups=Front Group for Hamas.

The truth is that the LDS Church quietly gives enormous amounts to charities all across the world, without regard to politics. It also does its best to make sure its donations get into the hands of the poor, and stay out of the hands of the evil. According to the release issued by the Church in September 2006, when this story broke:

The Church has partnered with some 1,500 officially registered NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) and charitable agencies across the world. The Church works diligently to identify respected organizations with excellent track records.

The LDS Church conducts careful evaluations of its charitable partners through Charity Navigator, “a highly respected independent monitoring organization.”

This organization has awarded Islamic Relief Worldwide a four-star rating. Moreover, according to the release:

contacts made by the Church at various levels of the U.S. Government have confirmed that the organization is not listed as a suspected terrorist organization and there are no restrictions in dealing with it. . . . The British Government likewise continues to work officially with this organization.

In short, there is simply nothing to this baseless allegation. It is particularly unfortunate that Mr. Workman has chosen to attack the LDS Church on one of its most unassailable practices– that of allocating monumental resources for the benefit of the world’s poor.

Let us hope that the owner of the Straight Talk Express can prevent such idiotic noise from emanating from his campaign in the future.

Update: You can view Islamic Relief’s four-star rating and evaluations by Charity Navigator here.