Supporters of Orrin Hatch are raising money to build a center to house his papers but just who is funding the effort is shrouded in mystery.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that The Orrin G. Hatch Foundation had raised nearly $6 million toward building the center at one of Utah's universities, but the nonprofit doesn't have to list its donors.
And so far, less than a half-million dollars of those donations have been publicly disclosed by companies and lobbyists pushing congressional action, according to the newspaper.
That has government watchdogs worried, because with Hatch overseeing key policy issues as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, they fear donors to his foundation could be secretly currying favor.
"We don't know. The public doesn't know," Melanie Sloan, a senior adviser at the government accountability group American Oversight, told the Tribune. "But Hatch knows and he's still in a position to do favors for those who help him because obviously he'd be somewhat indebted to those putting a significant amount of money into this monument to him."
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