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.
|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.