The New York Times has a story about the amount of money the Congessional Black Caucus has pulled in over the years from big-name corporate donors, often for programs specifically designed not to advance politics but to give underprivileged kis a shot at college and whatnot.
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.
Is it a sign of progress, racial or otherwise, that African-American elected officials who refer to themselves in the story as the conscience of Congress are as phoney-baloney as their Anglo counterparts?
Hat tip: The Talented Mr. Vanneman.