Political strategists trigger questions

Here are the week’s top nonprofit stories reported elsewhere:

* Several political Democratic and Republican strategists have moved between jobs at so-called 527 advocacy groups and political campaigns, causing critics to question the required separation of the two types of groups, The New York Times reported Sept. 8.

* The James Beard Foundation, a New York City-based culinary institute, is under investigation by the state, has not filed tax returns in two years, and cannot account for its spending, The New York Times reported Sept. 6.

* Conservative support for the National Endowment for the Arts is growing, including President Bush’s request for the group’s biggest budget increase in 25 years, The New York Times reported Sept. 7.

* The business school at the University of Michigan received $100 million, the university’s largest gift ever, from Stephen M. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, The New York Times reported Sept. 9. Tufts University also received its largest donation ever, $50 million from the Cummings Foundation, for its veterinary school.

* The U.S. Postal Service ruled nonprofits that mail offers of general insurance coverage can use the nonprofit standard postal rate, DM News reported Sept. 8.

* Robert Edmiston, a British car distributor and property developer, gave 27 million pounds, or over $47.8 million, to Christian Vision charity in 2003, and 11 million pounds, or $19.5 million, in 2002, becoming one of the biggest charitable donors in the U.K., Associated News Media reported Sept. 5.

* As the German government cuts back on their funding, local think-tanks are starting to model their American counterparts by turning to private funding sources and producing more timely reports on current policy issues, the Economist reported Sep. 2.

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