Politics

Ben Carson’s Godly Riches

Dr. Ben Carson, center, shakes hands with guests Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, before The Boyle County Republican Party's  "An Evening with Dr. Ben Carsonî at the Norton Center for the Arts on the campus of Centre College in Danville, Ky. Dr. Ben Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, a highly-regarded motivational speaker, philanthropist, best-selling author, and a potential Presidential Candidate in 2016. (AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson)
Dr. Ben Carson, center, shakes hands with guests Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, before The Boyle County Republican Party’s “An Evening with Dr. Ben Carsonî at the Norton Center for the Arts on the campus of Centre College in Danville, Ky. (AP Photo/The Advocate Messenger, Clay Jackson)

(Politico) – Before Ben Carson was vying for votes from members of Christian organizations, he was charging them tens of thousands of dollars — in some cases even more than he charged groups with no religious ties — for speeches.

Carson, now a GOP presidential candidate, brought in nearly $2 million delivering inspirational speeches to faith-based groups like Christian high schools and pregnancy centers in 2014. Of his five most expensive speeches, four of them were for Christian entities, a POLITICO analysis of his financial disclosure form shows.

Billed by the Washington Speaker’s Bureau as an “inspiring storyteller” who is “soft-spoken yet charismatic” and capable of “commanding the stage,” Carson’s speaking fees varied widely, from $12,320 to $48,500.

Last August, Hope Pregnancy Center in College Station, Texas, was one of the organizations that doled out $40,500 — close to Carson’s highest speaking fee — for the neurosurgeon-turned-author to speak at a fundraiser and attend a private, 45-minute reception with donors beforehand. The faith-based, pro-life organization works with women with unplanned pregnancies.

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