K.C Ingram Traylor’s response to Lisa Broadt’s column “Investigation: All Aboard Florida opponents collect millions, but where did the money go?”
Posted on July 3, 2016
Please click here to read Lisa Broadt’s column.
A good “investigative” reporter would have sought comments from each organization she claimed to investigate. Lisa Broadt called me on April 6, 2016, at 10:33 a.m. and left a message asking for my input. I called her back, twice, in fact, telling her I would be happy to talk with her about Florida NOT All Aboard finances. Lisa never returned my call.
I cannot speak for the other organizations as I am not part of them. However, Florida NOT All Aboard (FNAA) is primarily self-funded and I have spent countless hours, miles, and speeches educating the community on the All Aboard Florida (AAF) project. Never once did I ask for, or receive a fee or even simple reimbursement for my fuel expense. This was considerable as I have given 100’s of presentations from Brevard County down to Broward County. I do accept donations, and the vast majority of them are under $50. As required by law, I clearly state donations are not tax deductible. The money has mainly been spent on paying for rallies and the associated expenses, including ads in Treasure Coast Newspapers, as well as website maintenance, social media ads, bumper stickers, and printed materials used to help educate the public. Florida NOT All Aboard has survived on grass roots funding. Today, two and a half years later, I have an outstanding credit card balance of $7956. I have already paid over $3000 personally on that credit card and I will pay the remaining balance. I am working on paying off that debt a little at a time. Unlike AAF, I put my money where my mouth is and rely on myself for funding, not government handouts on the backs of taxpayers.
I love this community, and I work hard at advocating to protect our paradise. I bring awareness to water issues, the train, cyberbullying, common core, and worthy groups such as Guardian Ad Litem, Pegasus Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, 4Kids, and more. Florida NOT All Aboard(FNAA) was not created to be a money raiser.
Florida NOT All Aboard was the first organization to sound the alarm against All Aboard in 2014. On the FNAA financial statement year ending 2014, FNAA was $7,672 in the hole with $265 in the bank account. I am waiting to receive the 2015 financial statement back from my CPA. I can report that in 2014 I collected $21,732 in donations and spent $29,404. While I do not have 2015’s financial statement back from my CPA yet, I can state FNAA collected $6800 in 2015 and this year FNAA has collected $3595. While my hope was just to cover my expenses, I am passionate about my community, and I will cover the additional expense myself. Anyone who has listened to a presentation from me will attest that I do not ask for money for myself. I am of the belief, if someone feels what I am doing is worthy and helpful, they will help contribute. If not, I am glad they took the time to listen.
This shoddy haphazard “investigative reporting” is disgraceful and a sham. I am a community advocate, and I shared the message about this train to help protect my community. I have not made one penny in profit, and neither have any of the FNAA volunteers. Many of them have also spent their hard earned money. I sincerely appreciate the funds that have been donated, but they have not covered my expenses nor 17,000+ miles and related expenses I put on my car, or trips to Washington DC and Tallahassee where I reached out to our lawmakers on behalf of my community. If you had asked me, Lisa, I would have shared this with you.
By the way, I set up Florida NOT All Aboard as an LLC to protect my personal assets against a $65 billion hedge fund, not to scam the public for money. Lisa Broadt and Treasure Coast Newspapers should be ashamed of this haphazard investigative report. I would expect this from sleazy tabloids, but not my hometown newspaper.
K.C. Ingram Traylor