Tags: Ben Carson | GOP2016 | ben carson | speech | christian groups | fees

Ben Carson Earned $2M Speaking to Christian Groups in 2014

Ben Carson Earned $2M Speaking to Christian Groups in 2014
(REUTERS/Steve Marcus)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 July 2015 12:16 PM

Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson earned $2 million in speaking fees from Christian groups in 2014, and now he is looking to the members of those groups for their votes.

Carson charged fees ranging between $12,320 and $48,500 to speak to faith-based groups such as Christian high schools and pregnancy centers around the country, Politico is reporting.

In August, Hope Pregnancy Center in College Station, Texas, paid the former pediatric neurosurgeon $40,500 to speak at a fundraiser and take part in a 45-minute reception with donors before the event.

Executive director of the pregnancy center, Tracy Frank, told Politico that when the group booked Carson to speak at the event, "we called the speakers bureau and we were told that number. Washington Speakers Bureau dictated the terms … We’re not that sophisticated and stuff. I’m going to cry if you’re telling me he did others for a lot less."

The presidential hopeful had charged less for 115 other speeches in 2014. Carson made a total of $4 million in speaking fees when all religious and non-religious groups are combined for that year.

However, Frank told Politico that the group raised a net $150,000 from the event, which she said was significant for the pregnancy center because Carson allowed the group to bring in a bigger audience and charge more for tickets.

"It was probably higher than we’ve paid before, but then again, we wanted Phil Robertson from 'Duck Dynasty,' and he was far more expensive," she added.

The Washington Speakers Bureau, the group that brokered Carson's speaking engagements, didn't respond to Politico's requests for comment.

The Christian homeless organization HopeWorks Inc., based in Tennessee, paid Carson $24,500 to speak at a 2014 fundraiser. Ron Wade, executive director of the group, told Politico that when he booked Carson he didn't know if other organizations had paid more or less, but that he agreed to pay the fee because it's hard to find good speakers who people will show up to hear.

Wade also told Politico that if Carson is still competitive by the time Tennessee holds its primary, the candidate has his vote.

"He's so authentic," Wade said. "He impressed me."

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Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson earned $2 million in speaking fees from Christian groups in 2014, and now he is looking to the members of those groups for their votes.
ben carson, speech, christian groups, fees
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2015-16-07
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 12:16 PM
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