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When does a contribution go bad?

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This year has seen a whole sale rejection of campaign contributions provided by certain undesirables to campaign committees. Last December it was Mitchell Wade and Brent Wilkes, in January it was Jack Abramoff, Mike Scanlon, and the various Indian tribes they swindled, and then came Abramoff associates Neil Volz and Tony Rudy. The guilty pleas and investigations into these top donors was the equivalent of a political tsunami forcing congressmen and Senators to donate the dirty money to charity. The past few weeks, however, have brought some different stories about giving back campaign contributions. It isn’t always clear when a campaign should reject a contribution or by what measures it should take to ensure the political safety of said contribution.

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