Elsewhere online
May 02, 2008

Well-Connected Groups Get Money From Politicians

More than a dozen New York City council members have earmarked money to community groups with which they have had close personal ties, and government investigators are looking into how much money has possibly been wasted on groups that rated support only because of their connections, reports The New York Times.

Citing concern about the group’s performance, the New York Department of Youth and Community Development has canceled a councilman’s $45,000 discretionary allocation to Youth for Education and Sports, an organization he founded and led for 10 years. Mathieu Eugene says that he received clearance from the council’s Conflict of Interest Board to allocate money to Youth for Education and Sports.

The Times also raises questions about whether the councilman’s brother, Maxi, who also worked at the nonprofit group, operated his insurance and tax-preparation company out of the charity’s headquarters. The councilman says his brother did not.

Several other politicians are using their leftover campaign money to support charities with which they are connected, reports The Washington Post.

Former Senator Robert G. Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat who stepped down because of a corruption scandal, has moved more than $1.6-million of old campaign money into the Rosemont Foundation, which he leads.

Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican who resigned from the Senate to work as a lobbyist, has given $200,000 from his political-action committee to a foundation tied to the University of Mississippi, his alma mater.

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