February 16, 2012

Donor turned pariah

Jon Ralston calls out politicians who at one time soaked up Harvey Whittemore's campaign cash only to now disavow him following allegations of campaign donation fraud and the announcement of an FBI investigation:

I make no judgment yet on the sulfurous allegations that have made their way into court documents and the media as part of the acidic breakup of Whittemore and his business partners. But without knowing exactly what Whittemore may or may not have done (the schadenfreude contagion notwithstanding) and putting aside years of cozy, unquestioning interaction, suddenly these politicians have adopted a guilty-until-proven-innocent posture and shed Harvey’s campaign cash like it was mob money.

This I do judge. And I judge it to be craven, pathetic and phony.

It may be "craven, pathetic and phony" but it's also a no-brainer for politicians. Keeping the money opens them up to attack ads come November, while donating it to charity buries the issue long before most people start tuning into the election.