I read an interesting column today by John L. Smith in the LVRJ: Michael McDonald’s loan role looking more clear
I find it interesting because we’ve been down this road before, John and I. You’d think he would have learned by now.
Years ago, John’s daughter was fighting cancer. That’s tough. I wouldn’t wish having to deal with that on anybody. But John had a pretty decent net worth —more than $200,000 saved in retirement funds, some pricey real estate and a salary in the six figures. Not bad.
But instead of using those assets to pay for his daughter’s care, he ran to a charity designed to support really underprivileged families and their children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who had little to no money or assets. And when Smith got hit with a $15 million libel suit for publishing defamatory information about billionaire Sheldon Adelson in a book, he filed bankruptcy. And of the medical bills he actually owed related to his daughter’s cancer care, he stiffed them — didn’t pay.
So it’s interesting that John L. Smith is taking Michael McDonald to task for having “personally benefitted” from a loan McDonald helped arrange from a children’s charity (Miracle Flights for Kids) while serving on the board of Med Lien Management — the organization that would receive the $2.2. million loan, according to Smith’s reporting. And afterwards, according to that reporting, McDonald received a $140,000 shareholder loan. By the way, Med Lien Management defaulted on repaying that loan, apparently still owing all of the principal as well as some interest.
Kind of ironic, isn’t it, that Smith, who used a charity for underprivileged families and who filed bankruptcy to avoid dealing with a huge libel case and his own daughter’s cancer care, would call out a guy like McDonald in his column for doing what he did.
It’s a tough act, to act all righteous about something like this, when you, yourself have benefitted from your own financial manipulation and charitable arrangements.