Intrepidly digging beneath the surface, citizen journalist Mrs Panstreppon investigated a trio of seemingly benign earmarks totaling $1,175,00 for something called the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation. First, let me note that she offers helpful tips here, here, here and here on how she did what she did, but first look at what you can find when, like her, you dig beneath the surface…
…the foundation was created by a Washington healthcare lobbyist, S. J. “Bud” Grant, in late 1999. Bud baby made himself the president and CEO and now rakes in almost $400,000 annually overseeing an operation with less than $5 million in revenue.
The foundation was funded by Grant’s pharmaceutical clients until the federal money started rolling in.
The treasurer, Robert Bishop, is a New York State and City lobbyist who takes in $114,000 for spending 20 hours per week on the foundation’s business.
Sharmon Paschal Thornton, Charlie Rangel’s legislative consultant, made $122,500 in consulting fees in 2004.
I think Thornton must be the ex legislative consultant of Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., (the name doesn’t show up in my Congressional Directory for the 108th Congress), and Grant’s compensation, according to the 2004 form 990, was $340,000 in salary, plus a healthy $41,000 for benefit plans and/or deferred compensation. It’s probably worth noting that the 2003 990 shows a salary of $240,000, and the 2002 990 shows a salary of $230,000, each with no benefits — so it’s possible that the reported salary in 2004 contains a typo. I called the foundation for clarification–as soon as I hear back I’ll post an update–either a correction or confirmation of the figure.
For those curious, I’ve attached the organizations 2004 990, the tax return that non-profit organizations file. And it’s worth noting, of course, that the three earmarks are proposed, and have yet to be approved.