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The Source: America's Worst Charities | Energy Utilities Want Changes That Could Cost

Tampa Bay Times/CIR
Top five worst charities in America via www.tampabay.com/americas-worst-charities.

In the first segment:

As you sit down and give thanks tomorrow, you might feel compelled to share the wealth of your good fortune by donating to one of the more than 1.6 million registered tax-exempt charity organizations.  

Maybe you want to give to children. So you check out the Make A Wish Foundation, but you also notice the Kid's Wish Network. Or maybe you think cancer research is best, so do you donate to the American Cancer Society? Or the Cancer Fund of America?

Be careful, as you might be surprised that these similar sounding charities couldn't be farther apart in operation.

The Cancer Fund of America once sent a package filled with children's toys, paper plates and cups to a man hoping for some financial relief for his battle with cancer. The Kid's Wish Network, labeled the "Worst Charity in America" in an investigative series, has brought in over $100 million in revenue and of that only 3 cents on the dollar has gone to kids.

"No charity in the nation has siphoned more money away from the needy over a longer period of time." - Kris Hundley and Kendall Taggart on the Kids Wish Network

Kris Hundley from the Tampa Bay Times and Kendall Taggart from the Center for Investigative Reporting collaborated on a year-long investigation exposing how a segment of the nonprofit world exploits the good will of the community and the hardships of groups of people by taking in nearly a billion dollars in donations and doling out pennies on the dollar.

The reporting duo joins us to talk about their work and how you can avoid getting duped.

In the second segment:


Texas is poised to make a big change in how it charges for power in the statewide market. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has stated it would like to switch from an "energy only" market to a "capacity market."

In a recent Senate hearing, the PUC was questioned on why the state would benefit from a switch that would have consumers paying for power it wasn't using.  

Several groups have come out in opposition to this proposal, making strange bedfellows along the way.

Joining us to talk about it are two such groups: Bill Peacock is vice president of research and planning at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank, and Tom "Smitty" Smith is Texas director for Public Citizen, a left-leaning government watchdog group.

* The Source airs at 3 p.m. on KSTX 89.1 FM - audio from this show will be posted by 5:30 p.m.

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Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive