You could have predicted this, but members of Congress are now jostling to see how quickly they can donate political contributions from fugitive financier Allen Stanford — accused of an $8 billion fraud by the SEC — to charity.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) got the ball rolling yesterday, vowing to get rid of his $28,150 in Stanford donations, and The Hill reports this morning that President Obama will follow suit for the $4,600 Stanford gave him during the campaign. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) is also donating his Stanford contributions to charity.
But guess who’s hanging on to the cash? Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), who took slightly less than $20,000 from Stanford, and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX), who received about $41,000, according to local media reports.
Cornyn “believes in the presumption of innocence,” his office told the local Texas TV station that inquired about Stanford. I guess that means Cornyn’s also not giving back the $50,000 Stanford gave to underwrite the Texas State Society’s Black Tie and Boots inaugural ball last month, when the GOP senator chaired the society.
Stanford Financial Group, the alleged fraudster’s Texas company, was a “Lone Star Partner” for the ball, giving Stanford and his fellow executives access to “special … VIP areas” during the party, according to a copy of the invitation. (Special thanks to reader B. for the tip.)