Follow The Money

Dead Guam Woman Listed As Tea Party Donor

In Chicago, the dead have been long known to vote. So it's not surprising that in some places they also make political donations. Apparently Guam is one such place.

From the OpenSecretsblog:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics' research, Joan Snyder Holmes of Guam made three donations in the autumn of 2009 to the group's political action committee — known as the Our Country Deserves Better PAC. The donations together totaled $2,500.

The Tea Party Express' PAC furthermore reported receiving a lump-sum donation of an additional $5,000 from Joan Holmes in September, according to the Center's review of campaign finance records it filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Such activity would have been unremarkable had Joan Holmes not died of cancer on Feb. 1, 2007. She was cremated, and her ashes are now buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia

The woman's widower said he didn't make the contribution using her name and Sal Russo, a power in the Tea Party Express, said he was surprised by the donation.

One of the best lines within the post comes from Larry Noble, formerly the Center for Responsive Politics' executive director and now a Skadden Arps lawyer. Another excerpt:

"Any time a contribution is made in the name of a deceased person, it's potentially problematic," Larry Noble, an attorney at D.C. law firm Skadden Arps and former executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics, told OpenSecrets Blog. "Generally, the dead aren't supposed to give."

This could all be a simple mistake. And, of course, if you were to comb lists of Democratic donors it'd be amazing if you didn't find a few dead people there too. So no one should take any partisan delight in this. Not that this will stop anyone.

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