A straw donor is a person who illegally uses another person’s money to make a political contribution in their own name. In the United States, making a political contribution in another person’s name is illegal.
Lobbyist Uses Straw Donors
Lobbyists Paul Magliocchetti is a former congressional staffer who worked with Rep. John P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat, who sat on the powerful House Appropriations defense subcommittee.
Magliocchetti’s firm, PMA Group, was one of the 10 top-grossing lobbying firms in Washington before it imploded after federal agents raided it and his home in November 2008.
According to The Washington Times: The firm made more than $16.4 million in lobbying income in 2007, according to Senate records, and was the go-to lobbyist for contractors who wanted earmarks – especially from the defense appropriations subcommittee, which Mr. Murtha heads.
The Times’ review of public records found a pattern of donations from unlikely sources that were directed to congressmen Mr. Magliocchetti wanted to support. In some cases, the donors did not appear to have the personal funds necessary to make such substantial donations. In others, the donors had rarely voted or given donations before they started supporting Mr. Magliocchetti’s slate of candidates.
The unlikely donors include Mr. Magliocchetti’s first wife’s parents, two business associates – a golf pro and a wine sommelier who lived near his Florida condo – his children, and his former sister-in-law and her husband, a Virginia police officer.
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