Romney super PAC donor once fined for laundering campaign contributions

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Eighty-four percent of donors to the Romney-aligned Restore Our Future super PAC have also given the maximum amount allowable to Romney’s campaign committee, essentially evading contribution limits to candidates.

While Restore our Future donor Geoff Palmer, who handed over $250,000 to the committee in January, has yet to donate to Romney’s 2012 campaign committee (though he was a 2008 donor), he does know a thing or two about evading contribution limits.

According to California Watch, his company, G.H. Palmer Associates, was “fined $30,000 in 1992 by the [California] Fair Political Practices Commission on allegations of laundering campaign contributions through company employees. “

The Los Angeles Times reported in 1992:

A Brentwood-based development firm has agreed to pay $30,000 in fines for illegally laundering campaign contributions in 1987 to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Joy Picus and a group that opposed cityhood for Santa Clarita, state investigators said Monday.

G. H. Palmer Associates agreed to the fines after an investigation by the state Fair Political Practices Commission found that the company had committed 15 violations of the California Political Reform Act, the commission reported.


The FPPC said six Palmer employees and the mother of one employee each gave the Picus campaign $500 checks -- the maximum contribution that council candidates are allowed to accept from one source under city law. But all of the "donors" were later reimbursed by the company in violation of state laws requiring that the true source of campaign donations be listed on state-mandated disclosure reports, the FPPC said.

(Accessed via Nexis)

Twenty years later, Palmer has found a new way to pump big sums of money into politics. This time, though, the Supreme Court has given him a legal avenue to do it.