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Corruption Chronicles

Illegal Contributions In Congress

A former defense contractor who recently pleaded guilty to bribing California Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham told federal officials that he gave illegal campaign contributions to U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, a Florida republican, and Rep. Virgil Goode, a Virginia republican.

Mitchell Wade, former president of defense contractor MZM Inc., has pleaded guilty to election law fraud and testified in court that he gave nearly $80,000 in illegal donations to Harris and Goode.

Harris, who is seeking a U.S. Senate seat, immediately released a statement claiming she did no wrongdoing and had no idea the $50,000 in contributions were illegal though MZM was her biggest donor in 2004.

A former Florida secretary of state, Harris has faced illegal contribution allegations in the past. In 1997, a Sarasota firm called Riscorp was federally investigated for making illegal contributions to Harris’ 1994 Florida Senate campaign. Harris took nearly $30,000 from Riscorp but denied that she had any direct knowledge of the illegal contributions.

Think Progress writes that Harris is playing dumb and cites three detailed reasons why that defense is not credible.


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