Senator Harry Reid has nominated Las Vegas attorney Jennifer Dorsey to become a federal judge, however two senior partners at the law firm where Dorsey works made large contributions to the political action committee ‘Majority PAC’ founded by Reid to electing Democratic Senate candidates.
Records show Will Kemp made a $100,000 contribution, while J. Randall Jones made a $50,000 contribution. Critics are now questioning whether Reid’s support was “bought” with the law partners’ donations.
In 2006, when the Jack Abramoff scandal broke, Reid took the lead in attacking Republicans for fostering a “culture of corruption.” But shortly after making these comments, it was found Reid took almost $68,000 from Abramoff’s firm, its PAC and its Indian casino clients.
Reid then tried to distance himself from Abramoff as MSNBC reported him stating, “…don’t lump me in with Jack Abramoff. This is a Republican scandal. Don’t try to give any of it to me.”
Meanwhile, Reid also intervened on government matters at least five times in ways helpful to Abramoff’s tribal clients, once opposing legislation on the Senate floor and four times sending letters pressing the Bush administration on tribal issues. Reid collected donations around the time of each action.
Twelve years later, a federal grand jury indicted a Nevada developer with ties to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on criminal charges related to campaign contributions.
The indictment accuses Harvey Whittemore of devising a scheme to solicit campaign contributions from family members and employees in 2007 and skirt federal election law limits by reimbursing them.
Federal Election Commission records show Whittemore, family members and employees of his former company, Wingfield Nevada Group Holding Co., contributing more than $100,000 in a single day to Reid in March 2007. Reid’s office claims that money has been given to charity.
As for Dorsey, she also donated $2,500 to Reid’s PAC in March 2012 after mentioning her interest in becoming a judge. That donation was also reportedly returned by Reid and his office took her name into consideration, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal:
“Reid declined comment on the firm’s contributions to the political action committee. His spokeswoman, Kristen Orthman, emphasized that Dorsey’s personal contribution to Reid’s campaign was returned as the senator weighed her possible nomination and wanted to avoid an appearance of conflict.”