It’s a quick Americanism test, of the sort they should be giving
to would-be citizens on the day they get naturalized: is it a good
thing that someone should face fines and/or jail time for deciding
to express his support of a political candidate by reimbursing
people he knows for the amounts of money they donated to that
The correct answer is no.
Yet, in this land of free speech and democracy, where
political expression is highly valued, you can and indeed do face
criminal charges for such actions.
According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal
court in Manhattan, D’Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people
who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate’s
campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment….
D’Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making
illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of
causing false statements to be made.
Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election
campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from
any individual to any one candidate.
“As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero
tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process,” the
U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement
released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bharara is an
New York Times
thinks they know who is involved:
The Senate candidate was not identified in the indictment. Mr.
D’Souza donated to only one federal candidate in 2012, giving
$5,000 to Wendy Long, a New
York Republican who lost her challenge to Senator Kirsten E.
Gillibrand, a Democrat…..
Prosecutors also charged Mr. D’Souza with causing the
unidentified candidate’s campaign to unwittingly file false
campaign documents. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday in
federal court in Manhattan.
It is not clear from the court documents what led investigators
to Mr. D’Souza in a fund-raising case involving relatively small
donations in a race that ended in a blowout win for Ms. Gillibrand.
Ms. Long raised about $785,000 in the race.
Ms. Long and Mr. D’Souza were students together at Dartmouth
College, where they worked on the staff of The Dartmouth Review, a
conservative newspaper on campus. In the 2012 race, he was a host
for one of Ms. Long’s fund-raisers.
could be two years in prison.
Expressing your support for a candidate above an arbitrary
legislative limit–or, even, giving some cash to friends of yours
for whatever reason you want, money is
fungible–is corruption of the electoral process.
That laws like this exist to slam enemies of the regime when
such laws might be needed, well, that’s just politics.