CREW Files FEC Complaint Over Illegal Contributions to Sen David Vitter’s Campaign
Washington, D.C. - Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and Louisiana citizen Wayne Jerry Phillips today filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the U.S. Dry Cleaning Corporation, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) and the senator’s campaign committee.
CREW’s complaint alleges that the company reimbursed four of its employees and their spouses for $38,400 in illegal campaign contributions to David Vitter for U.S. Senate in order to obtain Sen. Vitter's assistance in obtaining federal stimulus funds. One of the four employees, Jamal Ogbe, had admitted to the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the corporation had reimbursed him for his $4,800 contribution to Sen. Vitter's campaign.
Campaign finance law prohibits both corporations from making contributions to federal candidates and conduit contributions, where someone is reimbursed for making a campaign contribution. Candidates are also prohibited from accepting illegal contributions.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said, “Corporate conduit contribution schemes like the one described by Mr. Ogbe rarely involve a single employee. Investigations of such schemes often show that a corporation has used its employees as straw donors to funnel tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress in an effort to obtain an unfair advantage over competitors seeking federal funds.” Sloan continued, “The FEC should investigate to determine the extent of U.S. Dry Cleaning’s campaign finance law violations as well as whether Sen. Vitter knowingly participated in this illegal scheme.”
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions. For more information, please visit www.citizensforethics.org or contact David Merchant at 202.408.5565 or firstname.lastname@example.org