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Former DeLay aide gets $1 million from nonprofit

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

* Edwin Buckham, an advisor to former House majority leader Tom DeLay, received $1 million from the U.S. Family Network, a nonprofit he created while working for DeLay to promote a conservative political agenda centered on family, The Washington Post reported March 26. The money, more than one-third the group’s total revenue over five years, came mainly from clients of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, officials say.

* On behalf of each customer who agrees to receive online bank statements instead of hardcopies, Bank of America says it will donate one dollar to The Nature Conservancy, an international nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of land and water, The New York Times reported March 29. The bank will limit its donation to $500,000, officials say.

* The American Red Cross, which received over half of all Hurricane Katrina donations, is internally investigating accusations of irregularities and possible criminal actions among relief volunteers, The New York Times reported March 24. Possible misconduct includes improper diversion of relief supplies, failure to follow Red Cross procedures when tracking and distributing supplies, and use of past felons as volunteers.

* The American Red Cross has fired three volunteers, at least two of whom were supervisors, as it continues internal investigations of misconduct concerning Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, The New York Times reported March 25 and March 26. Organization officials anticipate making criminal referrals to law enforcement authorities.

* The Federal Election Commission failed to give adequate justification for refusing to restrict nonprofit political groups to the same financial regulations as federal political action committees in the 2004 presidential election, Newsday reported March 30. According to U.S. District Judge Sullivan’s opinion regarding the case brought by the Bush’s administration, the FEC must “articulate its reasoning” why nonprofits are not banned from raising “soft money.”

* Long Island Head Injury, the largest New York State nonprofit that provides services for people with serious brain injuries, has agreed to repay $2.9 million to the state because it employed unqualified workers and did not maintain adequate records, Newsday reported March 23. Besides financial compensation, the Commack, N.Y. nonprofit has changed its management and developed a compliance program, officials say.

* Jane Forbes Pope, who married into the wealthy Raleigh, N.C. family four years before John Pope’s death, will not inherit $50 million, half of her deceased husband’s share of a family trust, The News & Observer reported March 28. The money from the trust, created before their marriage, will be transferred to the John W. Pope Foundation, a nonprofit that donates to artistic, educational and politically conservative causes.

–Compiled by Laura Newman

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