How Charitable Are Lawmaker Charities (Another Example)


The Washington Times has been running a pretty decent series on the connections between congressmen and charitable foundations that carry their name or are otherwise closely associated with them. Today, the reporting focuses on Rep. Joe Barton and his Joe Barton Family Foundation. Like some other congressional charitable foundations, the Joe Barton Family Foundation spends an inordinate amount of money on fund raising and staff while donating little to actual charity. Oh, and also, many of the contributors to the Foundation are energy companies with an interest in policies that are shaped in the Energy & Commerce Committee where Barton is ranking Republican member.

It’s pretty difficult to determine which charitable foundations are associated with lawmakers. Some are easy, when they carry the name of the congressman or senator, and some are difficult. Below is a quick list of some of these charities. I’d also suggest checking out this page on Open Secrets that lists positions held by lawmakers on charitable foundations and private ventures.

Some Congressional Charitable Foundations
Foundation/Non-profit Lawmaker Position (where applicable)
Alliance for Health Reform Sen. Jay Rockefeller Honorary Chairman
Alliance for Health Reform Sen. Susan Collins Honorary Co-Chairman
Discover the Real West Virginia Foundation, Inc. Sen. Jay Rockefeller Founder
James Clyburn Foundation Rep. James Clyburn
James E. Clyburn Research & Scholarship Foundation Rep. James Clyburn
Joe Barton Family Foundation Rep. Joe Barton
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Rep. James Clyburn
Marketplace for Kids, Inc. Sen. Kent Conrad Co-founder
Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation Rep. Alan Mollohan
Next Vision Foundation Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick
Robert Mollohan Foundation Rep. Alan Mollohan
The James Clyburn Scholarship and Endowment Rep. James Clyburn
The Joe Baca Foundation Rep. Joe Baca
Utah Families Foundation Sen. Orrin Hatch

If you have any other examples please leave them in the comments.