For the fourth straight year, U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., has donated his Congressional salary to over two dozen Louisville charities. It’s a practice Yarmuth has been doing since taking office in 2006.
“We are very fortunate to have so many charities and organizations dedicated to improving our city and supporting individuals and families in need,” Yarmuth said in a news release. “At a time when the programs that provide assistance to these groups are facing drastic funding cuts, I am proud to be able to offer some support to the organizations that play such a key role in strengthening our community.”
Last year, the base salary for members of Congress was $174,00.
The following 27 organizations received varying amounts:
· Binet School
· Boys Haven
· Carriage House Education Services
· Center for Women & Families
· Committee for Fairness and Individual Rights
· Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
· Easter Seals of Louisville
· Family Scholar House
· Home of the Innocents
· International Contemporary Art Foundation
· Jewish Community Louisville
· Kentucky Commission on Women Foundation
· Louisville Free Public Library Foundation
· Louisville Fund for the Arts
· Louisville Orchestra
· Louisville Urban League
· Louisville Zoo
· Metro United Way of Louisville
· NAACP – Louisville Branch
· Simmons College of Kentucky
· STAR Autism Treatment Program – UofL
· The Jewish Community Center
· Volunteers of America – Kentucky
· WellSpring/Schizophrenia Foundation
UPDATE: LEO Weekly asked Yarmuth’s office if any other member of Congress is currently giving away even a portion of their salary to organizations back in their districts. A spokesman said they’ve searched for any similar contributions and haven’t found any who do.
That’s disheartening when you consider there are 261 millionaires in Congress, who in 2009 had a median wealth that reached $911,510.
From Open Secrets:
Despite a stubbornly sour national economy congressional members’ personal wealth collectively increased by more than 16 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a new study by the Center for Responsive Politics of federal financial disclosures released earlier this year.
And while some members’ financial portfolios lost value, no need to bemoan most lawmakers’ financial lot: Nearly half of them — 261 — are millionaires, a slight increase from the previous year, the Center’s study finds. That compares to about 1 percent of Americans who lay claim to the same lofty fiscal status.
And of these congressional millionaires, 55 have an average calculated wealth in 2009 of $10 million or more, with eight in the $100 million-plus range.