Local Democratic students call for action following Washington Post story

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James Beaudry (left) and Lilly Tague-Bleau. Submitted photos

MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester-area students are demanding that U.S. Senate Candidate Corky Messner (R-NH) donate the remaining balance from the Messner Foundation into another educational scholarship grant after recent revelations in the Washington Post.

In the Post story, the foundation provided scholarship money to no students over its first five years. In its first ten years, $48,000 was given, but to only one student. A donation to a private high school in Colorado for the construction of baseball field was also made. In that time frame, several raffles were held that included cars well above $48,000.

For Saint Anselm rising junior and New Hampshire College Democrats Director of Membership James Beaudry, the revelations in the Post story were frustrating given the efforts that he and many of his fellow students have taken to obtain scholarships.

Beaudry says he received two scholarships worth a combined $17,000: an amount less than half of what he says is the average cost of a Saint Anselm education before financial aid.

“I can’t speak necessarily to peoples’ intentions, but what I will say is this organization did not fulfill its role,” said Beaudry. “I don’t understand why someone would do fundraisers with expensive cars to only award scholarships to only one student in ten years. That raises my eyebrows.”

New Hampshire High School Democrats Public Outreach Director and Manchester Central High School rising junior Lilly Tague-Bleau believes that the foundation was described as “small” within the Washington Post story isn’t the focus, instead stating that organizations like Messner’s foundation make it harder for high school students to obtain needed scholarships for college.

“It was not all (Messner’s) money, donations were taken even though it wasn’t a ton of money. The scale of it isn’t ridiculously important,” said Tague-Bleau. “We believe that this is a fraudulent foundation, he defrauded donors, deceived voters and victimized students in need of scholarships. He should not be using this to boost his image.”

The Messner campaign did not respond to request for comment.

In the Post story, the campaign released a statement that the foundation has always been viewed by the IRS as being in good standing and it adhered the advice of its accountant.

About this Author

Andrew Sylvia

Assistant EditorManchester Ink Link

Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and licensed to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.