Officials with a Kentucky super PAC supporting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blame a computer error for a $100,000 contribution that appeared more than a month after the donor died. Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party filed a federal lawsuit to lift limits on posthumous donations.
“This is pure free speech,” an attorney for the Libertarian party, Alan Gura told USA Today. “A dead person can’t corrupt someone.”
The lawsuit, currently pending before a federal appellate court, seeks to count a $217,000 donation by a deceased Tennessee man, Raymond Groves Burrington, as a lump sum donation for the party’s national committee instead of dispersing it in annual installments. Records show a trust in Burrington’s name has already given the party $153,200.
Federal regulations currently limit posthumous political donations to no more than $5,200 a year for a federal candidate during an election cycle and $32,400 for parties.
USA Today reported that 32 people listed as dead on federal campaign records are credited with more than $586,000 in contributions since Jan. 1, 2009, with just under 20 percent of that coming from the donation to McConnell’s group, Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, from Texas home developer Bob Perry, a longtime Republican supporter.
The donation was initially filed with the Federal Election Commission with a June 3 date, only Perry actually died on April 13. The group’s treasurer, Caleb Crosby, told the Louisville Courier-Journal on July 31 that the check for Perry’s contribution was actually received on April 12, and was subsequently corrected with federal officials.
But the donation was quickly questioned by an advisor for Alison Lundergan Grimes, McConnell’s Democratic challenger in his re-election bid.
“This raises a lot of questions that Kentucky voters deserve answers to,” Jonathan Hurst told the Courier-Journal. “The report appears to be as dishonest as their television ads.”