NYT: The Corruption of the Congressional Black Caucus

Mark Hemingway
Washington Examiner
2/14/2010

Today’s New York Times has a bombshell of an investigation into the Congressional Black Caucus. Here’s an interesting fact from the article — “All eight open House investigations involve caucus members, and most center on accusations of improper ties to private businesses.” The bottom line is that it appears the Congressional Black Caucus is devoted to two things — spending millions of dollars on lavish parties and raising money from corporations and lobbyists. And many of the caucus’ fundraising arrangements are suspect at best:

From 2004 to 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus’s political and charitable wings took in at least $55 million in corporate and union contributions, according to an analysis by The New York Times, an impressive amount even by the standards of a Washington awash in cash. Only $1 million of that went to the caucus’s political action committee; the rest poured into the largely unregulated nonprofit network. (Data for 2009 is not available.)

The caucus says its nonprofit groups are intended to help disadvantaged African-Americans by providing scholarships and internships to students, researching policy and holding seminars on topics like healthy living.

But the bulk of the money has been spent on elaborate conventions that have become a high point of the Washington social season, as well as the headquarters building, golf outings by members of Congress and an annual visit to a Mississippi casino resort.

In 2008, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation spent more on the caterer for its signature legislative dinner and conference — nearly $700,000 for an event one organizer called “Hollywood on the Potomac” — than it gave out in scholarships, federal tax records show.

The article continues at the Examiner.

Comments are closed.