The Important Heritage Question

Just below, Mark argues that the characters who may have a real problem from Santorum’s continued meetings with lobbyists are the leaders of the Heritage Foundation, who hosted the meetings. Maybe, maybe not. It is my understanding that it isn’t uncommon for think tanks to rent out some of their meeting space when it is vacant. I may or may not be right about this, but if it’s true, the only issue from Heritage’s point of view is whether they charged Santorum like they would anyone else. Heritage is very convenient to the Senate office buildings–it’s about a block or so away. So if all that happened was that these guys wanted to meet, they rented a room at Heritage, and that was it, then it’s no harm, no foul as far as Heritage is concerned. If, on the other hand, they provided it for free–and if this was in fact a common practice–then there are major tax code violation issues here. Does anyone know what the facts are on these questions?

Author: Steven M. Teles

Steven Teles is a Visiting Fellow at the Yale Center for the Study of American Politics. He is the author of Whose Welfare? AFDC and Elite Politics (University Press of Kansas), and co-editor of Ethnicity, Social Mobility and Public Policy (Cambridge). He is currently completing a book on the evolution of the conservative legal movement, co-editing a book on conservatism and American Political Development, and beginning a project on integrating political analysis into policy analysis. He has also written journal articles and book chapters on international free market think tanks, normative issues in policy analysis, pensions and affirmative action policy in Britain, US-China policy and federalism. He has taught at Brandeis, Boston University, Holy Cross, and Hamilton colleges, and been a research fellow at Harvard, Princeton and the University of London.