For Immediate Release
Peter Bjork 202.408.5565
CREW Files FEC Complaint Over Illegal Contributions to Sen. David Vitter's Campaing Committee
WASHINGTON - 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
here to read CREW's complaint to the FEC.
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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.