- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, is hardly the only member of Congress closely tied to a charity.

Dozens of members over the years have founded, operated, raised money for or held positions with charitable organizations, according to a review of nonprofit tax filings.

Some are self-funded, with the donations disclosed on Internal Revenue Service records. In other cases, the source of the donations remains unclear.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, for example, has a private foundation in his name. IRS papers from the past three available tax returns indicate he and his wife are the only donors.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is - along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea - an officer of the Clinton Family Foundation, also a private foundation, which took in $3 million in 2007 and donated money to other charities.

But until Mrs. Clinton became a candidate for secretary of state, the public wasn’t told how her husband’s foundation had raised about a half-billion dollars since 1997, including tens of millions from foreign governments and other overseas sources.

And in 2006, the North to the Future Foundation, formerly named the Ted Stevens Foundation after the former Alaska Republican senator, raised $150,000, but IRS filings don’t identify the source of those donations. Nor is the organization required to make the donations public.

• Jerry Seper and Jim McElhatton