Rep. Parker Griffith (R-AL), who switched from the Democratic Party to the GOP in December, appears to be modifying his promise to return donations from Democrats who are unhappy with his switch. He is now including only money raised for this cycle, the Huntsville Times
reports -- the cash spent to elect him as a Democrat a little over a year ago is gone.
Griffith is not required under the law to return any donations, but some form of refund is often made by politicians who switch parties. The Times
points out that Griffith had made an offer to return money to any donor or to the national Democratic Party, upon a request being submitted in writing. However, refund-seekers are now being answered with a form letter telling them that the money spent in 2008 is gone, and will not be given back. Only money donated within the 2010 cycle will be returned.
So is Griffith reneging on a promise, or was there a misunderstanding and he wasn't actually referring to 2008 money? "It wasn't specifically asked about the 2008 election, but about ANY contributions made to him as a Democratic candidate for Congress," said Huntsville Times reporter Patricia McCarter -- who was there when the comment was made -- in an e-mail to TPMDC. "He didn't announce the '2008 election' qualifier until a week or two afterwards."
At the time of the offer, the Times noted out that in the very close open-seat race in 2008, Griffith's supporters and the national Democratic Party had spent a total of $1.8 million to elect Griffith. His cash on hand at the time of the party switch was $600,000.