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Private foundation sponsored international travel of congressman

Bob Williams of The Center for Public Integrity and Steve Henn of Marketplace examine the organizational structure and business activities of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources, or the IFCNR in their "Power Trips" series. IFCNR has alienated mainstream environmental groups and its tax documents show its major financiers include the Japan Whaling Association, the International Fur Traders Association, Monsanto and a company whose president was convicted of smuggling and violating endangered species protections. The report shows that "Congressman [Richard] Pombo is chairman of one of the most important environmental committees in the House of Representatives. He, his wife and a staffer have accepted $23,000 in international travel from the IFCN in the last 5 years." Experts on tax issues said the law requires Pombo to return the costs of the foreign trips to the foundation. "If not, both the foundation and the member of Congress could face stiff penalties from the IRS. "

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