Kerry’s finances unlikely to draw same scrutiny as Clinton’s

By Laurie Bennett

December 25, 2012 at 3:58pm

Like the current secretary of State, John Heinz belongs to a family involved in multimillion-dollar nonprofits.

But unlike Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kerry is unlikely to face scrutiny for his spouse’s financial dealings.

When Clinton was nominated, her husband agreed to release the names of donors to the William J. Clinton Foundation. The organization had received millions of dollars from foreign governments and organizations.

Teresa Heinz Kerry
Teresa Heinz Kerry

Funds flow in the opposite direction with the foundations headed by John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

As the widow of Heinz ketchup heir H. John Heinz III, she oversees the distribution of millions of dollars in grants from Heinz Endowments and the Heinz Family Foundation.

The Pittsburgh-based endowments, which had assets of more than $1.47 billion at the end of 2010, give away about $60 million a year. Grant recipients are primarily Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh charities and institutions such as the Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Mellon University.

As the New York Times wrote during Kerry’s presidential run in 2004, “The city of Pittsburgh is in many ways a monument to Mrs. Heinz Kerry’s philanthropy.”

Yet the endowments came under fire from the right during the campaign because of grants to the progressive Tides Foundation. Tides responded with a press release saying the Heinz Endowments had given it $230,000 between 1994 and 1998 for environmental programs.

The Heinz Family Foundation, with assets of $111 million in 2010, administers the Heinz Awards. Recipients are cited for achievements in areas such as the arts, environmental issues, public policy and technology.

Honorees have included Children’s Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Roll Call ranks Kerry, Obama’s nominee for secretary of State, as the second wealthiest member of Congress, with a minimum net worth of $198.65 million.

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