Jackie Clegg Dodd, the wife of Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), sits on the board of four health organizations from which she collected at least $4,000 in director's fees in 2008, according to Dodd's recently released personal financial disclosure reports. (Dodd had filed for an extension to the May 15 deadline.)
Those groups include:
-- Assisted living facility and retirement community, Brookdale Senior Living, Inc.
-- Drug maker Cardiome Pharma Corp.
-- Drug maker Javelin Pharma Inc.
-- Non-profit Public Welfare Foundation
Dodd's wife also sits on the board of Pear Tree Pharmaceutical, which gave her less than $1,000 in director's fees, according to the senator's disclosure reports.
Dodd is filling in for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- absent as he battles brain cancer -- at the helm of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. This week, under Dodd's leadership, the panel passed its own health care reform plan, including a public health insurance option.
In addition to the money Dodd's wife has collected for her service to these organizations, she also reported holding between $51,000 and $122,000 in these groups' stock options. The stock options are likely part of her compensation as a director, but they appear to be worth very little at the moment unless the stock prices rise.
"Jackie Clegg Dodd's career is her own; absolutely independent of Senator Dodd, as it was when they married 10 years ago," Bryan DeAngelis, Dodd's spokesman, said in a statement to the Washington Post about this issue. "The senator has worked to reform our health care system for decades, and nothing about his wife's career is relevant at all to his leadership of that effort."
Despite their tie to the Dodd family, the employees of these organizations haven't contributed much to Dodd's re-election efforts. Only the employees at Javelin Pharmaceuticals have given money to his campaign committees -- $6,300 in the 2006 election cycle and $5,600 in the 2008 cycle.