Opponents are lining up against legislation put forth by Rep. Hal Rogers to provide $5 million in grants for conservation groups that work overseas to save “great cats” such as the cheetah. It’s not that they have anything against the endangered speedy kitty; opponents say they’re concerned the Kentucky Republican’s daughter could benefit from the bill.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Rogers’ daughter, Allison, is grants administrator for the Cheetah Conservation Fund, one of the organizations that could receive money should the measure pass. That has caught the eye of watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste, which says the bill makes Rogers look like a stereotypical government fat cat.
“Who’s against helping cheetahs? Nobody. But c’mon, this reeks of nepotism,” David Williams, the watchdog group’s vice president for policy, told the newspaper.
But father and daughter insist there is no conflict of interest, with Rogers’ Congressional office noting more than two dozen conservation groups could benefit from the grants.
“Dad is, I think, very involved in the environment, both in his district and on a global level,” Allison Rogers told the paper. “Neither his or my involvement in this is cheating the public or taking advantage of my dad’s position.”
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