Amid reports that his nonprofit paid for the living and travel expenses of a government official, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is saying that taxpayers should not be alarmed.
According to a report in Crain's Detroit Business, Snyder spoke out in defense of the New Energy to Reinvent and Diversify Fund (NERD), a foundation he started to promote various charitable causes. Various reports indicated that NERD paid $4,200 to cover Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr's stay at a hotel and that the fund is also paying for Orr's flights home to see his family in Maryland on the weekends.
When asked about whether taxpayers should be concerned about this at an event at the Michigan State University club, Snyder indicated that it was an appropriate use of the organization's money and that it was actually saving people money.
"We've been very clear it's all legal, it's all been presented, the information that's required," Snyder said. "It doesn't go to my personal benefit, it's actually offsetting costs of government, so people should feel comfortable with that."
NERD is registered as a social welfare, or 501(c)(4), organization, meaning that donors can contribute to the fund anonymously. Federal tax records show that the organization raised $368,000 in 2012, down from the $1.3 million it received in 2011. It had total expenses of $590,453 last year, compared with spending of $865,830 in 2011.
You can read the full story in Crain's Detroit Business.