U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is giving away her $4,800 share of a donation from the missing leader of a charitable veterans’ group that's under investigation in at least five states.
The money comes from a fundraiser the Minnesota Republican held in Minneapolis this year with former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. It will be divided between two charities: the Minnesota Military Appreciation Fund, and the Disabled Veterans Rest Camp.
The funds are part of a $10,000 donation made by Bobby Thompson on behalf of the now-defunct Minnesota Chapter of the United States Navy Veterans Association. The group has attracted the attention of state officials around the nation, including U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, a former secretary of the Navy who has asked the IRS to investigate.
The rest of Thompson’s contribution went to the Minnesota Republican Party. (Update: a MN GOP spokesman said Thursday the party's portion also will be donated to charity).
Thompson, who has been reported by St. Petersburg Times to be in hiding, has given money to a number of Minnesota Republicans over the years.
The Minnesota DFL Party has urged candidates who received the donations to give the money to a reputable veteran organization.
Bachmann campaign spokeswoman Gina Countryman said on Thursday that “it was important to keep the campaign above reproach.”
(Second Update: Hat Tip to Karl Bremer, who writes to say he has been writing about the Thompson story in Minnesota for weeks now on the DumpBachmann blog).
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