Yesterday, we told you about the foundation closely linked to Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) that’s taken nearly a million dollars from companies with interest in legislation moving through his committees, but given out nothing for its stated purpose, college scholarships for Indiana students.
Here’s a closer look at who has donated to the Frontier Foundation, and how some of the money has been spent.
Keep in mind that Buyer sits on the House Energy Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and, the Internet as well as the Energy Subcommittee on Health.
According to the organization’s tax filings, donors to the Frontier Foundation in 2006 included:
WellPoint - $15,000 (health care)
T-Mobile - $10,000 (telecom)
Amgen - $25,000 (biotech)
Eil Lilly - $25,000 (pharmaceutical)
Pfizer - $10,000 (pharmaceutical)
AT&T - $10,000 (telecom)
Roche Diagnostics - $10,000 (health care)
PhRMA - $50,000 (pharmaceutical)
National Association of Broadcasters - $25,000
USA Today, which first broke the Buyer foundation story, noted that the congressman “helped kill a provision in 2007 opposed by drug companies and broadcasters that would have imposed a three-year ban on advertising new drugs.”
In 2006, the foundation reported a total of $47,637 in expenses. $13,500 was compensation for secretary/treasurer Stephanie Mattix, who, USA Today reported, is also the director of Buyer’s PAC. Another $1,309 was for unspecified employee benefits. But $26,508 of the money is listed as “fundraising expense,” without itemization.
$950 was given out in a single donation that year.
In 2007, the expenses include $20,590 in “travel for fundraising” and $506 for meals, plus another $5,669 for those “fundraising expenses”.
The forms list Buyer’s daughter, Colleen, as the president of the foundation, but list her salary as zero. Of course, it’s possible she used foundation money to pay for travel and meals and other expenses.
The total amount spent by the foundation on expenses over six years is $258,136, the Lafayette Journal & Courier reported Sunday. Mattix was paid between $12,000 and $17,275 annually, since 2004.
Finally, for all our Indiana high school readers, not to worry: the Frontier Foundation includes in its 990 an application for its never-given-out scholarship. You must maintain a 2.75 GPA, and include a “Personal Insight Essay” with your application.