By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND – The Republican Party of Virginia called on Democrat Terry McAuliffe to return what GOP officials called a “tainted” campaign contribution from his previous gubernatorial bid.
“Terry McAuliffe has not done what fellow Democrats Barack Obama, Tim Kaine and Martin O’Malley have done, which is to dump donations from Jeffrey Thompson, who has been accused of operating an illegal shadow campaign to elect D.C.’s mayor,” Republican spokesman Jahan Wilcox said Friday.
An analysis by the Center for Responsive Politics found that Thompson and others at his Washington, D.C., accounting firm gave at least $514,350 to candidates and political action committees since the 2002 campaign cycle.
Records show that Thompson contributed $2,500 to McAuliffe’s failed gubernatorial campaign on June 5, 2009.
The Center for Public Integrity quoted federal prosecutors as calling the D.C. operation an “assembly line for illegal campaign contributions.”
Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign received $50,400 from the fund, according to CPI.
The Washington Times reported last year that Obama and the Democratic National Committee received a $10,000 donation from Thompson in 2011, “but officials said they were returning the money.”
“Within days, (Maryland Gov.) O’Malley and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine moved to dump Thompson-tied contributions,” the Times reported.
CPI said Thompson remains “at the center” of an investigation involving off-the-books contributions that helped elect D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray.
CPI said Thompson sold his majority stake in the accounting firm of Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio & Associates last year. The company, now renamed Bazilio Cobb Associates, issued a statement last month saying that its “former CEO may have violated federal campaign law by giving directions to reimburse, with his own funds or with corporate funds, employees and others who made such contributions.”
Following guilty pleas by two former employees, U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen said, “For a decade, the firm and its CEO made illegal campaign contributions through straw donors.”
McAuliffe’s campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Contact Kenric Ward at [email protected] or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward