Massa Took $2550 From Billionaire Swindler

Reader Stanley writes to point out that Eric Massa's October financial statement has a $2550 donation from Allen Stanford, the billionaire bank owner who is accused of running a Ponzi scheme.

Stanford's donation was channeled to the Massa campaign via Charlie Rangel [NY-12], who announced last week that he's donating $10,800 (the amount of Stanford's donations) to charity.

I have a request for comment in to the Massa press operation and will publish it when I get it. Here's the word from Massa's Communications Director, Jared Smith:

Last week, we received a notice from a court appointed authority informing us that the case against Mr. Stanford was developing. In that Rep. Massa did not want to return the contribution to someone that would likely not return it to his investors, and since we do not yet know the legality of giving it to charity or turning the money over to a court receiver, Rep. Massa sent the notification letter to the legal authorities at the Democratic National Committee to see what the legal options are. Because the books are long closed on the FEC's 2008 3rd quarter filing, Rep. Massa has been very careful to ensure that everything is done correctly. Rep. Massa will act upon the recommendation of the DNC authorities. He also mentioned that this is yet another reason why America needs Clean Money/Clean Elections reforms. In our current campaign finance system, this sort of thing can happen to anyone and then the campaign bears the burden of unraveling someone else's mess.