38 House Members Filtered Government Money to Relatives and Their Employers
Monday, March 26, 2012
Rep. Bill Young
Nearly 40 members of the House of Representatives earmarked $150 million to organizations affiliated with themselves and their family members from 2008 to 2010, according to a government watchdog organization.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported that although 24 of the earmarkers were Democrats and only 14 Republicans, the top five representatives who earmarked to organizations affiliated with them or their family members were all Republicans:
· Kay Granger (R-Texas) earmarked $28.3 million to her son’s project. J.D. Granger is the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority.
· Jerry Lewis (R-California) who earmarked a combined $25.5 million to three relatives’ organizations.
· Bill Young (R-Florida) earmarked a combined $16.6 million to two sons’ employers. In 2008 he herded $4.4 million to defense contractor SAIC’s facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, where son Patrick is a security administrator. Another $8.5 million went to the National Forensic Science Technology Center, where son Billy is a senior consultant.
· John Mica (R-Florida) earmarked $13 million to his daughter’s client. Mica has five relatives who work as lobbyists, two brothers, a son and a nephew. His daughter, D’Anne, ran a public relations firm whose client, the Central Commuter Rail, received the $13 million.
· Michael Simpson (R-Idaho) earmarked $12.5 million to his wife’s employer, the Idaho National Laboratory.
In the case of Lewis, $500,000 was earmarked in 2008 for Barracks Row in Washington, DC. CREW stated that Lewis’ wife, Arlene Willis (who was paid $512,293 to work in her husband’s office between 2007 and 2010) “is a likely beneficiary of his earmark, since the improvements to Barracks Row will probably cause her $943,000 property four blocks away to rise in value.”
Also, Lewis earmarked $22.6 million for the Loma Linda University Medical Center, where the congressman’s brother, John Lewis, serves as the director of government relations.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Family Affair (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) (pdf)
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