The New York Times reports today that many lawmakers in addition to embatted Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) have educational endowments in their honor heavily funded by corporations with business before Congress.
Although their spokesmen deny any similarity, the endowments have echoes of the Rangel Center, the CCNY educational center at the center of alleged ethics charges against Rangel.
From the Times:
An endowed chair at the University of Hawaii honoring Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was financed in part by $100,000 from a cruise ship line that the senator helped with legislation allowing it to expand its American ports of call.
A program at South Carolina State University named for Representative James E. Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat and a key backer of legislation to promote new nuclear power plants, stands to benefit from donations by Fluor and Duke Energy, which want to build plants.
And an endowment at the University of Louisville intended as a tribute to Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from a military contractor that later got a $12 million earmark sponsored by the senator.
Interestingly, Rangel mentioned McConnell’s endowment in his defense.