The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Obama Camp: If Corzine’s Indicted, We’ll Return
1 Percent of What He Raised


The Obama campaign apparently believes that when a former governor is indicted, the campaign is obligated to return the direct donations of this figure, but not the cash bundled by this figure. Somehow that much larger sum is not tainted by the potential criminal actions of the bundler.

Corzine, who is at the center of a storm over the securities company’s bankruptcy this week, has been a major fundraiser for Obama, having donated the maximum of $5,000 that an individual can give for a presidential campaign, according to campaign finance records.

He also held a lavish $35,800-a-head fundraising dinner for Obama at his home in April and raised or “bundled” donations of at least $500,000 so far for Obama’s 2012 re-election effort.

An Obama campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the donations received from Corzine as an individual would be returned if civil or criminal charges are brought against him.

They’re returning $5,000 of $500,000 he raised, so I guess they’re 1 percent redeemed or distanced from him, I guess.

Then again, maybe they should just forget about trying to distance themselves from Corzine:

An Obama-Corzine billboard in New Jersey in 2009.

UPDATE: Keeping 99 percent of the money raised by Corzine is like giving the RNC batting practice. RNC chairman Reince Priebus released the following statement calling on President Obama to return the campaign donations he received from Jon Corzine:

In light of the FBI Investigation into Jon Corzine’s company, President Obama should immediately return the $500,000 that Corzine raised on his behalf.

As Obama’s “great friend” and designated “Wall Street guy,” Corzine did much more than give the maximum $5,000 to the Obama campaign: he bundled at least 100 times that much from his Wall Street friends and fellow executives. While the Obama campaign has entertained the idea of returning the $5,000 Corzine gave himself should he be indicted, that’s simply not enough. The entire amount he bundled should be returned immediately.

President Obama is fond of proclaiming that his campaign is funded by “ordinary Americans.” But ordinary Americans typically are not suspected of losing hundreds of millions of dollars of their customers’ money. It’s time the President lived up to his rhetoric.

Tags: Barack Obama , Jon Corzine


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