The Church of Scientology's friends in Washington - 2011-02-10
Brad Sherman, D-Calif., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., are two of the church's best friends currently serving in Congress. They were both honored at a 2004 Celebrity Centre gala. (Here's Ros-Lehtinen with John Travolta and Kelly Preston, and here's Brad Sherman praising the church publicly.)
The church avoids "official" political donations (it is, after all, a tax-exempt religious organization), but prominent members still support politicians and politicians return the favor. Florida's Mark Foley was a Scientology ally. (It was rumored that he checked into a church-affiliated recovery center after his resignation from Congress.) As a state legislator, Nevada's Sharron Angle supported a Scientology-affiliated drug treatment therapy program for prisoners.
Craig Jensen, founder of the software company Diskeeper, and his wife, Sally Jensen, are major Scientologists, and their donations help identify which politicians are friendliest to the church. Former congressman James E. Rogan, now a Bush-appointed judge on the Superior Court of California, received thousands of dollars from prominent Scientologists throughout the 1990s. Even Ron Paul gets Scientology love, because he supports its tax-exempt status and opposes mental health screening for children.