U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet won’t be returning a smarmy $10,000 campaign donation to his colleague Sen. Robert Menendez, who was indicted this week for peddling political influence in exchange for nearly $1 million in donations and gifts.
However, Bennet said he would donate to charity the $10,000 that came from Menendez through his political action committee, you know, one of those organizations so despised by Democrats.
Specifically, Politico reports that Bennet will donate $10,000 to an unnamed “veterans charities” in Colorado, and since we don’t know who will allegedly receive the contribution, there’s no way for us to actually check whether or not he does so.
This is standard damage control for political campaigns that get caught taking money from the wrong people – pledging to donate the money to unnamed charities.
Sometimes politicians follow through and they collect the bonus tax credit for the donations. Other times they just keep the money for their reelection.
Either way, there doesn’t appear to be any penalty at all for the politician caught with their hands in the wrong pile of cash.
We suggest Bennet return the money to Menendez, AND THEN make a donation of $10,000 out of his own pocket to named veteran charities in Colorado. And decline the tax credit.
That would show he is serious about keeping his campaign clean.
We reported on the donation from Menendez yesterday, with a challenge from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) to return the funds.
“We’re glad to have provided Senator Bennet with some moral guidance, since he is apparently lacking in that department,” Matt Connelly, NRSC spokesman told us.