Schaitberger MDA Shakedown: “Unprecedented”

A Double-Take

I have been astonished at some of the statements in support of the IAFF  bilking the Muscular Dystrophy Association out of millions of dollars meant for the care and treatment of sick children.

So much so that I arranged to meet with a former philanthropy professional who has served on a number of boards, including a board which makes decisions on the funding of charities.

He currently serves as the president of a non-profit metropolitan DC charity.

When I explained to him that the IAFF raises $26 million for MDA and receives $1.4 million back which goes into their general operating budget, I was met with a mixture of puzzlement and disbelief coupled with a classic double-take look.

That expression of “I’m sorry, I can’t be hearing you correctly.”

“You Don’t Raise Money to Make Money”

He said that it would be “antithetical” for the IAFF to raise funds for a charity and then to take a payment from them in return.

I had to look “antithetical” up:  “directly opposed or contrasted; mutually incompatible.”

So, as I had concluded earlier, what the IAFF is doing is in direct opposition to ethical charitable operations.

It was, he said, “unprecedented.”

Further, he counseled that it was also improper for MDA to make such a payment to begin with.

The World We Live In

It is a measure of the IAFF Harold Schaitberger has created that many  are not troubled at all by shaking down a charity, and some will even rush to defend the practice as a “good investment.”

Taking “Fill the Boot” money is no different than church ushers helping themselves to the collection plate.

The MDA issue proves as clearly as any other that Schaitberger has ruined the ethical culture of the IAFF, and thus the IAFF itself.

Skimming money meant for sick kids is also seen as good business by vice-presidents who are simultaneously ripping off the union $80 at a time.

I am glad I went outside the IAFF for an opinion.

It validates my strongly held belief that we have become so corrupt that we no longer even realize our misdeeds and that change can only come from without.

Care About Ethics?
Then “Share” this Post.
Stop the Schaitberger Corruption.
Be a part of Saving Our Union.
Send some version of the sentence below, even a cut and paste, to the address just beneath it.
“I am a member of the International Association of Fire Fighters and I am requesting that the US DOL immediately begin to investigate allegations of corruption including illegal compensation and reckless and destructive spending by International Officers.  
Thank you.”
Email to the US Department of Labor at:

– See more at:








  • David R. Anders says:

    I am trying to understand where you are coming from. Let’s see…..IAFF locals collect money for MDA and the local MDA chapter deposited it. Now you are saying the GP keeps a small portion of it. How does he do that without the MDA knowing it?
    You use words and phrases like “the IAFF is Bilking the MDA out of thousands of dollars”; “The IAFF shakes down the MDA” and “the IAFF skims MDA nickels”; just to name a few. It is no wonder a “former philanthropy professional” was puzzled. If someone was telling me a big unsubstantiated story like that, I would be puzzles as well.
    Again Eric, where is the proof. You are all mouth and do not offer one shred of evidence. You are willing to offer personal assassinations and twist and say anything to make your sick and dark points.

    • Eric Lamar says:


      If you think I am wrong that the MDA pays IAFF $1.4M a year to raise $26M, just ask your DVP.

      If you think I am wrong that the IAFF puts that money into their operating fund, just ask your DVP.

      You are the puzzled person.

      It’s quite obvious that the IAFF shakes down MDA.

      I know that the truth hurts, but there it is.


      • Marvin Wilson says:

        This has been reported by Vinnie Bollon several years ago. It was published in the Firefighter magazine. Do y’all not read. Do some research and you will see that this has been happening.

        I agree with Dave Anders, put up or shut up!! File charges if you have the evidence and make yourself ethical eric.

        • Eric Lamar says:

          Marv, Who luvs ya? But, wake up and smell the coffee. Do you have any idea how the trial board system works? The DVPs decide whether or not the charges go forward. Yes, Marv–those DVPs, the same ones he owns. The IAFF is far beyond internal reform. The calvary is now required.


  • Edward FitzGerald says:

    It shows why term limits are a good idea!

  • Dan says:

    two major charity watchdogs, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and CharityWatch, say that charities shouldn’t spend more than 35 cents for every dollar they raise. Put another way, the charities should receive at least 65 percent of the take. Looks like IAFF is getting about 5% . Seems like they are doing just fine! Stop with this nonsense.

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Dano–Thank you for failing, completely, to address the issue of the IAFF shaking down the MDA.

      Quite a feat on your part.


      • David R. Anders says:

        Have you heard the saying that it is like trying to squeeze blood out of a turnip. Eric, you may be squeezing a beet thinking the red juice is blood. You are looking dumber by the day. A lot more than me keep asking you where is the beef?

  • Mike Mohler says:

    David, Marvin told us that the late Vinnie Bollon reported in our IAFF magazine that OUR UNION assessed MDA 1.4 million dollars to deposit into the general fund. Local 2068, my Local has raised the most money for MDA several times. The VPFF, my state council, has been one of the top states for years for this worthy cause. In Va. we are very proud of our record and continue to work hard to raise funds for research, equipment and recreational opportunities for those stricken with this deadly disease. I assure you that most of the people I represent would not agree with this vulgar policy and more importantly the citizens who generously donate believe that we are raising money solely for the MDA. Why wouldn’t you express your displeasure through your DVP Larry Osborne or directly to General President Schaitberger rather than attack the messenger? Eric has done nothing more than shed light on another unsavory practice carried by the leadership of OUR UNION. If and when this comes out we will all be blamed for the greed of our leadership. Love you my Brother, Mike

  • Steve says:

    So MDA is keeping $0.94 of every dollar raised, that is exponentially better than most charities do (as Dan pointed out, and you couldn’t rebut this point).

    Would you prefer we just not do “fill the boot” at all and not raise any money for MDA? Then you wouldn’t have to write a baseless article about Schaitberger and the IAFF which will undoubtedly be picked up by some tea party group next election season, thanks “brother.”

    • Eric Lamar says:

      When you say that it is OK for our union to take money originally donated for Sick Children, we find ourselves on different sides of the ethical divide.

      • Eric Lamar says:

        BTW, your comment implies that the only way to “fill the boot” is to do it unethically. That is a comment on you, and not a pretty one.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *