Governor Corbett is keeping the money. His campaign rejected calls by the Democratic party to return 3-year old contirbutions from a businessman whose company was recently raided by state and federal investigators.
Brian Bolus’ Minuteman Environmental Services, which identifies itself as an “oil and gas field services” company, was searched by authorities on Wednesday.
So far it’s unclear what sparked the inquiry as authorities have yet to specify why they visited the business’ headquarters as well as Bolus’ home. The company said no wrongdoing has occurred.
Corbett visited the facility in February 2012, calling the company “an American success story.”
Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Marc Eisenstein jumped on the Governor for his ties to Bolus.
“Tom Corbett should immediately return the $10,000 to show there is no conflict of interest during an ongoing investigation. This is just another example of Governor Corbett looking out for special interest benefactors instead of fighting for the middle-class Pennsylvanians.”
Bolus also gave money to U.S. Reps. Tom Marino and GT Thompson, as well as Dave Freed’s 2012 Attorney General race.
Corbett’s Campaign Manager Michael Barley brushed aside the demand.
“Any donation from the 2009-10 cycle was used for that election,” he said. “The Governor believes that the investigators should follow the evidence wherever it may lead them.”
“If the Democratic Party wants to start publicly examining the campaign donations they have received in the past, we can have that debate for the next 6 months.”
The Democrats’ demand comes from a campaign playbook that both parties use, as neither party has a monopoly on ethical misdeeds in Pa.
As Eisenstein pointed out, Barley himself called on Democratic members of Congress to return all past donations from embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (who was never ultimately convicted for anything).
Only rarely does money leave a candidate’s campaign account.
It’s highly unlikely, for example, that the Pa. Democratic party will return the $62,500 it received from since-convicted ex-Sen. Vince Fumo in 2005. Or that Sen. Bob Casey will give back the $75,000 since-convicted ex-Senator Bob Mellow contributed to his gubernatorial campaign.