While the left continues to rant and rave over reports that Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker (a Republican) once paid for an old girlfriend to have an abortion, the leftist media has remained decidedly mum over the news that state officials are investigating a charity affiliated with his Democrat opponent, Sen. Raphael Warnock, for some pretty sketchy business dealings.
The Washington Free Beacon reported Friday that the Georgia Secretary of State Office's Securities and Charities Division has sent a letter to the Ebenezer Building Foundation, a charity owned and operated by Warnock’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, asking why the foundation is running an apartment complex without a proper active registration. The Free Beacon notes the charity also strokes Warnock a monthly check for $7,417 in “housing allowance,” despite the fact that the good reverend is already paid a salary and a tax-free housing stipend through the church - on top of his Senate salary, of course.
According to the foundation's 990 tax forms, Warnock is listed as the principal officer, with Ebenezer Baptist Church ID'd as the managing entity.
But it turns out that "charity" might not actually be a charity at all - at least, not legally. While the foundation's federal 990 forms claim that it's registered as a charity in the state of Georgia, state officials reportedly said that's not true.
The letter sent to the Ebenezer Building Foundation alleges that “The Division's records indicate that Ebenezer Building Foundation…is not registered as a charitable organization with the State of Georgia." State authorities have given the EBF until November 2 to explain "why it is exempt from registering with state authorities and is therefore not in violation of the Act and Rules."
The Free Beacon had already published a separate report Tuesday revealing the foundation – which raked in well over $7 million between 2011 and 2020, according to its 990s – was trying to evict tenants from Columbia Tower, a low-income apartment building it owns in downtown Atlanta, during the COVID pandemic. It's a notable story given Warnock’s history of condemning that very practice, and for the fact that the foundation had previously failed to disclose its 99% stake in ownership of the building.
The National Legal and Policy Center has filed a complaint against the Ebenezer Building Foundation, demanding, "The IRS must conduct a full investigation and audit of the Foundation's finances and transactions and assess appropriate civil and criminal penalties, and revoking their tax-exempt status if warranted. The public interest demands it."
Despite not being properly registered as a charity, the EBF reportedly received about $5 million in taxpayer funds in August for repairs to Columbia Tower.
Warnock himself is no stranger to scandal and controversy. Earlier this year, the Georgia State Elections Board launched an investigation into Warnock’s role as a board chairman regarding a voter registration organization founded by Stacey Abrams that allegedly failed to follow legal deadlines. Over the summer, it was revealed he’d used campaign funds pay his legal expenses stemming from a 2005 lawsuit from when he was a pastor, raising questions over how campaign donations are used by candidates.