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Dems Call on Rehberg to Return Dirty Money after Sentencing in Corruption Scheme

Many of Rehberg’s GOP colleagues returned tainted contributions in 2007, 2008

( Helena, MT) – Days after VECO executives Bill J. Allen and Richard L. Smith were sentenced for providing approximately $395,000 in corrupt payments to Alaska public officials, Montana Democrats renewed their call for Rep. Dennis Rehberg to return corruption-related campaign money.

Rehberg took at least $1,700 dollars from two men— former VECO Corp. CEO Bill Allen and former lobbyist Jim Clark— who were found guilty of corruption in the scandal that shook the Alaska political world and secured multiple convictions of local, statewide and national figures.  Allen and Clark have pleaded guilty to various felony corruption charges including bribery, fraud, and conspiracy; last week Allen was sentenced to three years in prison and fined $750,000. [ Anchorage Daily News, 10/28/2009]

“Congressman Rehberg has held onto his tainted VECO campaign cash for years, even as his colleagues have returned theirs,” said Montana Democratic Party spokesman Kate Downen. “But now the nail is in the coffin: VECO executives are going to federal prison for bribery and Rep. Rehberg should do the honorable thing and give back the dirty money.”

Republicans who previously divested themselves of Stevens/VECO Corp. campaign cash include GOP Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Rep. Jon Porter (R-Nev.).

A spokesperson for the Alaska Republican Party said of returning their campaign cash in 2008, “It's the right thing to do in our eyes.  We don't want to be associated with these allegations.” [McClatchy Newspapers, 7/31/2008]

The National Republican Senatorial Committee donated $25,000 it received directly from Allen and either returned or donated $50,000 it received from VECO’s employees. [The Associated Press, 10/5/2007]