In the wake of a growing scandal, the McCain campaign has announced they are getting rid of $50,000 in contributions bundled by Harry Seargent (with some help from his Jordanian business partner,Mustafa Abu Naba’a):
The McCain campaign is now returning $50,000 in donations that were bundled through Harry Sargeant, following reports that the money was solicited by Sargeant’s business partner, a dual citizen of Jordan and the Dominican Republic.
It’s illegal for foreign national to donate to American campaigns, though the law is unclear on how this would apply to bundling. Either way, it’s not a question the McCain campaign would want to have to deal with.
The McCain campaign would also be eager to get rid of the money and put this whole episode behind them. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the Associated Press that is “just didn’t sound right to us” when press reports showed that many of the officially-listed donors didn’t actually have any intention of supporting McCain for president — raising suspicions about whether those people in fact donated the money or were just a conduit for someone else to exceed contribution limits.
That’s some progress, but nowhere near enough.
First off, keep in mind that Harry Seargent has bundled more than $500,000 for McCain’s presidential bid. That $50,000 collected with the help of Naba’a (who isn’t an American citizen and whose bundling might have violated federal election laws) is now no longer in question, but what about the other $450,000?
How much of that nearly half-million dollar sum was collected through similarly shady–and quite possibly illegal–means? And how does John McCain explain the other questionable donations–like the $57,000 donated by a Hess office manager and her husband, an Amtrak foreman?
By getting rid of that $50,000, the McCain camp is clearly trying to get everyone to back off investigating their finances. The question is, will the media fall for it? Or will they do their job and follow the money straight to the bottom of McCain’s questionable finances?
The American people have the right to know. Someone needs to keep digging until they find the truth behind these questionable donations. Until then, the McCain campaign better get their books in order.