Robert Allen Stanford is the latest money manager accused of defrauding his investors out of billions. He is also the latest major Bill Nelson donor caught up in controversy.
Yesterday, we told you about the tens of thousands of dollars Sen. Bill Nelson accepted from embattled lobbying firm PMA. Now we're here to bring you up to
speed about the tens of thousands in campaign donations he took from the PAC and employees of Stanford Financial Group. Nelson received $45,900, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, more than anyone else currently in Congress. These controversies, of course, rest with Nelson's donors, and there's no
evidence, yet, that Nelson acted improperly -- or at least any more improperly than campaign finance laws allow a congressman to act.
Most of the donations came during the 2002 election cycle. Congress was debating measures to crack down on financial fraud (gee, that might have came in handy). At the time, Nelson was vice chairmen of the DSCC. The bill ended up stalling in a Senate committee, of which Nelson was not a member, after passing in the House.
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"Based on the fact that Mr. Stanford has been indicted in a fraud case,
I will give to charity any campaign contributions from him or his
employees," Dan McLaughlin, a spokesman for Nelson, told the Orlando Sentinel.
Other Florida congressmen, including Kendrick Meek and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, were also found to have accepted money from Stanford, but all in amounts of $3,500 or less.