With allegations of wrongdoing flying from both sides in the race for the the Democratic nod in the 26th Congressional district, things are bound to get even more ugly. Niagara County Dem Chair Dan Rivera wants the District Attorney to investigate Jack Davis' petitions and Davis is accusing Jon Powers of never holding a real job.
As ugly as this race has become, what will be the downfall of Powers will be War Kids Relief. This is an non-profit organization that Powers started to shield Iraq’s youth from the influence of Islamic radicals. On the campaign trail, he has continuously touted his plan to raise as much as $7 million for Iraqi orphanages and youth centers.
War Kids Relief has raised between $150,000 and $250,000 over the course of its existence. Much of the money raised has been dedicated to paying Powers, including $77,000 over 18 months. Now, anyone who starts a non-profit and commits to making his cause successful is certainly entitled to pay himself accordingly, but you damn well better make sure that the overwhelming majority of the money raised is getting to its intended benefactors, in this case, children.
This is where Powers has a problem. The people of our community donated significant sums of money to fund this cause. What do those people have to show for donating their dollars? A few soccer balls and backpacks have made their way to Iraq. That's disgraceful. Powers has since found it quite easy to play the blame game for his inability to make War Kids Relief successful, even blaming Congress for not funding the initiative, but he has not publicly addressed why the bulk of the money has not made it to the children. He needs to.
You cannot raise money under that guise of benefiting children then pocket the money. What's the difference between that and walking door-to-door for Juvenile Diabetes then taking the money to pay your own "salary"? None.
Powers needs to come clean on this and come clean now, otherwise he is finished. There can be no greater political sin than using the premise of helping children to line your own pockets.