Updated to reflect Rep. Chocola’s similar situation
According to the Courier Press, Rep. Sodrel will donate campaign money he received from Rep. “Duke” Cunningham who has been under investigation for the past year or so for taking bribes from defense contractors in exchange for using his pull to steer big government defense contracts their way. Sodrel received $2,000 in campaign money from Cunningham and, now that Cunningham has finally confessed to bribery charges, Sodrel will donate the $2,000 to a children’s home in Sellersburg and a homeless shelter in Bloomington.
In getting rid of the dirty money, Sodrel is doubtless caving to the enormous pressure of Taking Down Words November 30, 2005 blog post. Doubtless this means Rep. Sodrel will be coughing up his Tom DeLay money soon since he was taken to task in the same TDW post for failing to do so.
It would appear that the Ninth District’s beloved U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel has more tainted money in his campaign bank account.
In October 2004, Sodrel received a donation from the aptly named “American Prosperity” PAC, which belongs to now-former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, who resigned earlier this week after pleading guilty to fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery and tax evasion.
Discerning readers may recall that Sodrel’s spokesman, Cam Savage, told the Seymour Tribune in October that the Congressman would not be returning money he received from indicted U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s PAC because “[w]e believe in the presumption of innocence in this country, and we should wait to see what happens in this case. Congressman DeLay says he’s innocent and plans to fight it and wants his day in court.”
Hopefully there is nothing in the Sodrel bank account from “Scooter” Libby, Karl Rove, or Bill Frist.
Update A reader was kind enough to forward me this link to a story by James Wensits for the South Bend Tribune entitled “Campaign Gift going to Charity: Chocola won’t return Cunningham’s $6,000 donation.”
Chocola spokesman Brooks Kochvar said Chocola received a $5,000 campaign contribution from Cunningham in 2002 and a $1,000 contribution in 2003. A $1,000 contribution has already been given to the South Bend Center for the Homeless, Kochvar said Friday.
Donations totaling $5,000 will be given shortly to the We Care organization in Kokomo and to the Women’s Care Center in South Bend, according to Kochvar, who didn’t specify how those donations will be split.
Personally, I think all of these donations should be returned to the United States Treasury which is, after all, the origin of the donations: the lobbyists arrange some donations to politicians, the politicians arrange fat government contracts funded by our tax dollars for the lobbyists’ interests, and the lobbyist arranges more donations. Round-and-round we go.