Son’s PAC donations matched PAC gifts to father’s House campaign
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The son of Rep. Bob Riley, R-Ala., contributed $1,000 to four different political action committees that later donated identical amounts to Riley’s campaign, federal disclosure records show.
Robert R. Riley Jr., a Birmingham lawyer, contributed another $1,000 to a fifth PAC that donated $500 to his father’s campaign the following day, according to Federal Election Commission records.
A spokesman for the congressman insisted Thursday that the transactions were ``absolutely not″ intended to circumvent federal law that limits individual contributions to $1,000 per candidate per election.
``To say that Rob wrote the checks to the PACs and the PACs wrote the checks to the campaign is incorrect,″ said Mike Scanlon, press secretary to the freshman Republican.
Scanlon said the congressman’s son wrote the five PAC contribution checks and mailed them together in late April or early May to Triad Management Services Inc., a Washington-based firm that advises conservative donors who want to contribute to conservative PACs and candidates.
``Whatever transpired between Triad and these PACs, we have absolutely no idea about,″ said Scanlon. ``That’s between Triad and the political action committees.″
Scanlon said the younger Riley wanted to help conservative candidates and sent the PAC checks to Triad ``under the assumption that there was a very good possibility that none of the money would come back to Bob Riley’s campaign.″
Triad founder Carolyn Malenick was not immediately available Thursday to discuss the contributions.
But she told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the transactions, that she explicitly told the younger Riley there was no guarantee his PAC contributions would translate into donations to specific candidates.
``There’s no quid pro quo, there’s no earmarking, there’s no laundering,″ Miss Malenick told the Journal. ``It’s all legal.″
Triad was among the groups targeted for subpoenas Wednesday by the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, which is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of fund-raising practices during last year’s campaign.
The younger Riley was not immediately available for comment.
The son contributed $3,000 directly to his father’s campaign. He made a $1,000 donation in 1995, and two more $1,000 contributions in June and August 1996. That was the maximum an individual could give for Riley’s primary, runoff and general campaigns.
According to FEC records, he contributed:
_$1,000 on May 9 to the Conservative Campaign Fund PAC, which donated $1,000 to Riley’s campaign on May 29.
_$1,000 on May 13 to the American Free Enterprise PAC, which donated $1,000 to Riley’s campaign on May 23.
_$1,000 on May 22 to Citizens Allied for Free Enterprise, which donated $1,000 to Riley’s campaign on May 24.
_$1,000 on July 12 the Eagle Forum PAC, which donated $500 to the Riley campaign on July 25 and another $500 on Sept. 11.
_$1,000 on May 23 to the Faith, Family and Freedom PAC, which donated $500 to the Riley campaign on May 24.