MONTPELIER, Vt. – The Latest on questions surrounding Vermont political campaign donations from a Massachusetts law firm (all times local):
Vermont Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Milne is calling on Democratic U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy to return $5,000 in contributions from a Massachusetts law firm after the Boston Globe reported the firm’s partners received bonuses that matched their donations.
Milne says Leahy should follow the lead of other Democrats “who have recognized the impropriety” of keeping the contributions. He says it’s shameful Leahy “refuses to return this tainted money.”
Leahy’s campaign said Tuesday it believes Milne is referring to three donors that collectively gave about $5,000 in August 2003. Leahy campaign spokesman Jay Tilton says Leahy hasn’t received any contributions from the Thornton Law Firm in more than a decade.
The law firm has said its donation reimbursement program was reviewed by outside lawyers and complied with relevant laws.
Vermont’s lone representative in the U.S. House is returning $37,900 in donations from a Massachusetts law firm after the Boston Globe reported the firm’s partners received bonuses that matched their donations.
A review of the records of Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter Welch found that since 2008 he had received donations from Michael Thornton, his wife and employees of the Thornton Law Firm.
Welch spokesman Bob Rogan says the congressman was disturbed to read the Globe story.
Rogan says Welch was unaware of the firm’s practices and that in accordance with Federal Election Commission guidelines the contributions will be returned.
On Monday, the campaign of Democratic New Hampshire governor and U.S. Senate candidate Maggie Hassan (HAS’-uhn) said it would return $51,000 in donations to her campaigns.