Wednesday, August 30, 2006


You may not have heard of the Sunlight Foundation's Earmark Project, which involves identifying the source of 1800 earmarks in an HHS appropriations bill. One person chose to look into the $1,175,000 in earmarks requested for the Friends of the Congressional Glaucoma Caucus Foundation, only to find that
. . . 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 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.

And so on.

This setup was a new one on me.

Lobbyist getting on in years wants to get away from the daily grind of lobbying so he sets up a private foundation funded by the federal government and gives himself a cushy job and a handsome salary.

You can (and should) read more here. As Albany Catholic has noted previously, problems such as this are not limited to one political party. As responsible stewards of God's gifts, we need to not just insist our elected representatives budget funds for important projects, but also demand that they stop wasting money on wasteful boondoggles such as this.