Rick O’Donnell, Republican candidate Congress in CD-7 and his friend and donor Arthur Bushell of Bushell Insurance Agency should take note. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) learned the hard way what a big deal it is when corporations contribute to political campaigns when it paid a $3.8 million fine last April, the biggest civil fine in the history of the U.S. Federal Election Commission (FEC).The FEC had ruled that Freddie Mac illegally used corporate resources to run some 85 fundraisers between 2000 and 2003 raising $1.7 million for federal candidates. The fundraisers benefited members of the House Financial Services Committee, which oversees issues concerning Freddie Mac, and other members of Congress. The agency investigated after the Washington watchdog group Public Citizen filed a complaint.
Freddie Mac did not contest or concede that it had violated the law with the fundraisers, although it did admit to giving an illegal contribution to the Republican Governors Association. But it did agree to pay the hefty fine.
On Wednesday, Democratic candidate Ed Perlmutter said he was filing a complaint with the FEC alleging that a fundraiser organized by Bushell for O’Donnell violated campaign finance law prohibiting direct corporate contributions to a campaign. The invitation for the fundraiser to the event featured the State Farm corporate logo.