On November 30, 2013, under the headline “How Does BADD (Bikers Against Drunk Drivers) Spends Your Money”, I published the main findings reported by Orlando WESH TV regarding the activities of this bikers charity and what is alleged to be a very poor return of benefits to injured bikers versus the amount of dollars raised. In substance, WESH TV claims that B.A.D.D. enrich charity founder Danny Perkins via his own Canadian promotion company more than it benefits those who are victims of drunk drivers. WESH TV also reported that Florida state officials (from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which oversees charities) have opened their own investigation into the activities of B.A.D.D.
As soon as they read my article, faithful readers Mike Infanzon and Mikey Biggus (Co-host of Monkey Butt Radio) invited Danny Perkins, who accepted, to answer their questions. I watched and listened to the interview and was quite disappointed when I observed that Mr.Perkins spent almost all his air time evading all the important questions and instead was making long speeches about himself to demonstrate how great a businessman he is by listing (outside of B.A.D.D) his personal commercial successes and financial accomplishments. His motto seems to be “I love myself. So, you should love me too.” A couple of times, Perkins stated that he would make specific answers off air (why?), something that of course that I didn’t believe. And I was right…(see Open Ed below))
Following his interview of Danny Perkins, radio co-host Biggus tried to stay in contact with Perkins to get the answers he could not get while on air. Disappointed he could not get them, he wrote the Op-Ed that I publish below this intro. I must mention that the purpose of The Cyril Huze Post is to factually report on the most interesting motorcycle industry news (bikes, products, people, events) and on all issues that may affect bikers in one way or another. This daily magazine, nor I personally, take position on allegations made by third parties, nor do I seek to confirm or verify the accuracy of these third-party allegations or their merits. However, some issues and their nature warrant making some information I am aware of available to all my readers. In this particular case, it’s up to you to determine if such information is relevant to your decision to contribute to this B.A.D.D. charity organization. For a good independent watchdog of charities, I recommend going to Charity Navigator.
Giving To B.A.D.D or not to B.A.D.D.? That is the question.
“Over the last few months there has been scathing internet activity as to whether the founder of B.A.D.D., Danny Perkins, was acting ethically in the way he ran the “charity”. Some are saying that the B.A.D.D. founder needed to have the smack down laid upon him. In the interest of innocent until proven guilty we, the hosts of Monkey Butt Radio, Mike and Biggus, invited Mr. Perkins on the show to allow him a chance to clear the air and defend himself against the accusations of misleading the biker community while making a lot of money.
Keep in mind that neither Mike nor I are investigative journalists, nor do we have the resources to pursue the issue full time. That being said we have been able to notice some red flags in our look at the situation. Premier motorcycle blogger, Cyril Huze, and his readers have also brought up a lot of points. See his Blog Post from November 30, 2013. Check out the comments and you will get a pretty clear picture of the internet’s verdict. Let me start with the red flags that I have been drawn to during this endeavor.
RED FLAG #1: Evasiveness. During the on-air interview, Perkins was given the opportunity to tell his story but it seemed to your hosts that the story was intentionally directed away from B.A.D.D. and towards his accomplishments as a promoter. During the later segments, when Perkins was asked direct questions by me, his answers were vague. To counter this vagueness, I asked Perkins if he would be willing to have an off air interview at which time he would be able to provide actual amount in the “B.A.D.D. emergency fund” as well as other questions about the B.A.D.D. assets mentioned in the article by Matt Grant. After an on air request and two emailed request, Mr. Perkins stated that he was advised by his lawyer to not say anything to anyone. The exact verbiage from his email “Mike. Word from the lawyers…..Keep my mouth shut !!! So thats about it until the criminal investigation against my ex staff member is done with. I will keep you posted”
Which brings us to RED FLAG #2: The criminal investigation! Not only am I not an investigative journalist, but I am also not a lawyer. Perkins had mentioned on air that this whole fiasco was started by an employee he caught selling motorcycles out of Perkins’ office, who was trying to get back at Perkins for firing him. Perkins also mentioned on air that he owns the management company that does all the work for B.A.D.D. At a point during the on air interview, I asked Perkins if that management company had any other clients other than B.A.D.D., to which his answer was yes but he could not name the clients for confidentiality reasons. Here is what doesn’t make sense to my layman brain…If the criminal investigation is between the District Attorney, the former employee of the management company and the management company which is a wholly separate entity from B.A.D.D., why can you not talk about B.A.D.D. and its assets? Perkins has used this “criminal investigation” as the excuse for not being able to be completely forthcoming with information on no less than three occasions.
RED FLAG #3: The manipulations. You can’t bullshit a bullshitter. I sent Perkins an email shortly after the show. Perkins posted parts of that email on the comments section of the Cyril Huze blog post linked above (scroll down and you will find it) even though he did not have my permission to do so. You will notice that there is quite a bit of pandering in this email, with the intent of getting Perkins to drop his defenses, but just naïve sounding enough to leave the door open for the “big sell”. The “big sell” is that thing salesmen do when they got you right on the cusp and want to seal the deal. Perkins responds just like I thought he would, with an ego stroking compliment and the “bigger better deal”. Here are the excerpts from that email: “First of all, you’re hired !!!!! I will put you on on baddcentral.com as our Shitstorm cleanerupper!!! … I will make you a deal, get on the blogs and the net and start helping us out and I will return the good deed with more conversations.” Hmmmm, where have I heard about Danny Perkins offering obvious one sided deals to people? Oh yeah, it was from Kevin Bean’re and David Uhl on the Cyril Huze blog post referenced in the beginning of this article. In between those two excerpts were a couple of paragraphs about his personal assets (of which I never asked)… This dialog gives me the impression that he was trying to manipulate me, because I have used these same techniques many times in the past.
RED FLAG #4: Perkins mentioned that the B.A.D.D. emergency fund was disbursed to those who ask for help and do not have a pending case. If you watch the interview on Monkey Butt Radio and listen at the 49:31 point, you will hear Perkins mention that only victims who have no chance of a court case (hit and run cases) are given money from the B.A.D.D. emergency fund. As pointed out by Cyril Huze in an email to my co-host, Mike, “All bikers who are victim of a drunk driver have a legal case”. Even if the drunk driver dies, the case still goes through the insurance company. Maybe Perkins should rename the charity B.A.H.A.R. (Bikers Against Hit And Run).
RED FLAG #5: B.A.D.D.’S Victim Assistance Director takes on cases all the way through court settlement. Again, at the 49:48 mark on the Radio YouTube video, Perkins says that the B.A.D.D. Victim Assistance Director assumes cases and wins awards of 5 and 6 figures. This is funny because if you go to the B.A.D.D. Victim’s Services page (http://baddcentral.com/victim-services/) you will see that it is nothing more than a referral page to the B.A.D.D. sponsor, Politis Law Firm. If this was a charity, then the Politis Law Firm must be doing this all pro-bono, correct? And if the Politis Law Firm is providing services for a fee as the B.A.D.D. Victim Assistance director, what happens to the revenue generated settling the court case? This one stinks to high heaven.
RED FLAG #6: Where are the testimonials? B.A.D.D. has been around for 28 years but on their memorials page they have only 71 entries for all these years? On the website greatnonprofits.org (http://greatnonprofits.org/reviews/bikers-against-drunk-drivers/page:1/) you can see 76 reviews, none of which are older than October 8th, 2013. That is right…THIS YEAR! Right about the same time that this bad press started. That is too much of a coincidence for me personally. I find this lack of information disturbing.
Let’s wrap this up. Is Perkins doing anything illegal? Probably not. Is B.A.D.D. really a charity? Probably not. Here is the Biggus view on all this. B.A.D.D. is a business, not a charity. It is a private lottery/raffle. It does exactly what it is promising on the deals it makes with ticket purchasers. You buy a ticket and if it is drawn, we give you the prize agreed upon. That’s it. The business happens to write a check every once and a while to help out someone in need, but that does not make it a charity…no more than you would consider Target a charity for helping its surrounding communities with donations.
Legal does not mean right. I think Perkins is wrong (not illegal) to be touting the organization as a charity. Does he help people? Yes. Very few. Does he lend the B.A.D.D. name and help with marketing for smaller fundraising events so that they may earn more in donations than they could without assistance? Probably (the testimonials say it happened). If you don’t like it, vote with your wallet. Don’t buy his raffle tickets and don’t donate money to B.A.D.D. If you want to take it a step further, tell your friends. Remember this: when it comes to charity, any organization between you and the recipient is a middle man and they are going to get their cut, sometime a huge cut. If we all help out locally, more of the money gets to people that need it.”