NEPOTISM

Earmarks Linked to Family Ties

More than a dozen members of Congress send earmarks to organizations affiliated with members of their immediate family, according to a Washington Post investigation. Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) supported adding $4 million to the budget of a Pentagon childhood-education program that his wife, Barbara, was hired to evaluate and may have lobbied for. In all, 16 members of Congress sent tax dollars to companies, schools, and community groups where immediate family members worked. Some vetted their actions with congressional committees, but Congress isn't bound by as strict conflict-of-interest regulations as the executive branch or private companies.