BY ERIC LIPTON – WASHINGTON — Nearly a dozen current or former lawmakers have been honored by university endowments financed in part by corporations with business before Congress, posing some potential conflicts like that attributed to Representative Charles B. Rangel in an House ethics complaint.
The donations from businesses to the endowments ranged from modest amounts to millions of dollars, federal records show. And the lawmakers, who include powerful committee chairmen or party leaders, often pushed legislation or special appropriations sought by the corporations.
An endowed chair at the University of Hawaii honoring Senator Daniel K. Inouye, the Hawaii Democrat and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was financed in part by $100,000 from a cruise ship line that the senator helped with legislation allowing it to expand its American ports of call.
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