A Washington Post investigation uncovered cases where lawmakers directed money to institutions with connections to their relatives.
In 2008, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), then a House appropriations subcommittee chairman, secured a $1.82 million earmark for a Washington state environmental agency where his son, David Dicks, worked as executive director, according to White House records and the Environmental Protection Agency. Over the next three years, the congressman also sent more than $14 million to the EPA, which gave the funds to his son's agency, the Puget Sound Partnership. There were no competitors for the funds. "I don’t think there was a conflict. We are all trying our best to restore Puget Sound," Dicks said. He is pictured with Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire during a 2010 tour of a Taylor Shellfish oyster nursery in Shelton, Wash. Gregoire appointed David Dicks to his post at the partnership.Elaine Thompson/Associated Press
Some members of Congress send tax dollars to institutions where their spouses, children and parents work, according to an examination of federal disclosure forms and local public records by The Washington Post.