The Federal Election Commission has fined an Arkansas law firm for making illegal contributions to John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign. Tab Turner solicited four $2,000 contributions from his co-workers at Little Rock law firm Turner & Associates in January 2003 and illegally reimbursed them for their contributions using a company credit card, according to the FEC. He also used a company credit card to make an illegal campaign contribution in his own name and to pay for various campaign expenses. Federal law prohibits donors from making contributions in others’ names and prohibits direct corporate contributions to a federal candidate. Edwards for President also agreed to pay a $9,500 fine, and called the commission’s announcement “old news,” reported the AP.
We covered the laundering story Apr. 28, 2003.
* * *
Clarifying note by W.O. [editor], Jan. 25, 2014: This archival post has drawn reader interest in light of more recent straw-donor enforcement controversies. It is worth noting that while the Edwards campaign paid only a $9,500 civil fine for accepting the illegal contributions, the lawyer and law firm that arranged the donations paid a larger fine of $50,000, several times the size of the original contributions, in a civil (not criminal) penalty.