Bunning augments income from baseball fame

June 12, 2009 at 7:27 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 12 (UPI) -- Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., has collected $20,000 by capitalizing on his career as a baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, records indicate.

The senator accepts the money through the Jim Bunning Foundation, which charges for his appearances related to his former baseball career, The Hill reported Friday. Bunning has reportedly paid himself a total of $155,000 in salary from the foundation since 2001.

The Hill said the Jim Bunning Foundation was created in 1996, when Bunning was a member of the House of Representatives.

In 2008, Bunning attended two autograph-signing events, for which the foundation was paid $12,595. Along with a licensing program run by the Hall of Fame, his foundation brought in a total of $16,091.

The newspaper said the foundation has consistently donated less than the $20,000 the senator collects. Last year, the foundation donated $16,350. In 2007, it handed out $18,200 to non-profit organizations.

"It's probably legal, but I think it's really questionable," said Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "He created a charity to allow himself to do what he otherwise couldn't do, which is taking money for signing baseballs."

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