Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Leave it All to the Fonz

I understand the need for money for research, for important things like heart disease, breast cancer, and other horrible illnesses that befall the American public on a daily basis. But what I don’t agree with is the courts deciding on if the charity that someone chooses to donate to is worthy.

Matt Lauer told me this morning about Leona Helmsley. Sure, her nickname was The Queen of Mean. Sure, she was convicted of tax evasion and extortion and was a horrible terrible person to work for. Sure she left two of her grandkids out of her will and made her daughter-in-law a pauper when her son died. Sure she made headlines when she died a couple of years ago and she left $12 million to her dog, a cute little Maltese, who probably is a bigger bitch than her mom was. (not to speak ill of the dead or anything)

What I don’t get is how the courts have decided that Leona must not have possibly been in her right mind when she dictated that he fortune be spent on the care and benefit of dogs. She obviously did not trust or like people, and she must’ve really loved her Maltese, who is aptly named Trouble. And yes, she had a lot of f-in money.

The courts decided yesterday that the trustees of her charity can decide how the money will be spent. So they chose to donate $120 million plus to medical research, and only $1 million to dogs. Not that $1 million won’t be helpful in the fight against homeless animals, but $100 million would be REALLY helpful. It is like they are not taking her wishes into consideration AT ALL. Just because she was a terrible person, just because she treated people like crap, they are making her pay for it once she is gone. I just am not sure that is their right. It is setting a dangerous precedent. Let God handle Leona.

No one will ever know why Leona Helmsley was the way she was. She would berate people, casually fire people (and then her husband would say, “Oh, just ignore her.”) and break laws when it came to paying her taxes or employees. She left almost all of her money to charity, and now the
dogs aren’t going to get their fair share. It’s not their fault. Let the dogs have their day.

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