While perusing the July, 2004 issue of Discover Magazine, I found this paragraph.
“The office of the world’s leading space elevator designer is across the street from the Foxx Pawn Shop in the somewhat frayed downtown of Fairmont, West Virginia. The little mining community of 19,000—hit hard by the 1990 Clean Air Act, which made the local sulfurous coal a tough sell—aims to become a high-tech hub, helped by lashings of funds from Congressman Alan Mollohan, a ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee. Edwards is director of research for the Institute for Scientific Research, a four-year-old technology development house headquartered here in a new, cool, rather spartan office building. The space elevator is the most prominent of a dozen projects on the institute’s agenda.”
This is the earliest mention I’ve found, so far, of Rep. Mollohan’s funding of ISR.