David Vitter’s Dirty Laundry

Photo by dsb nola, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/derek_b/3934720053/">via Flickr</a>.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Earlier this month, an employee for the California-based US Dry Cleaning Corporation admitted in an interview that the company had funneled campaign donations through its employees to the campaign of Sen. David Vitter (R-La.). The company was angling for federal stimulus funds to help their ailing business, and allegedly reimbursed four employees for donations totaling $38,400 to Vitter’s campaign committee. This, of course, would be illegal.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against US Dry Cleaning Corporation, Vitter, and his campaign committee. FEC rules prohibit corporations from making donations to federal candidates, and they also bar them from funneling money through their employees. And candidates are prohibited from accepting these illegal contributions. CREW wants the FEC to investigate “whether Sen. Vitter knowingly participated in this illegal scheme.”

Why a California dry cleaning business would choose Vitter as its champion isn’t entirely clear. He voted against the stimulus, so it’s not clear how much he could have helped US Dry Cleaning, which filed for federal bankruptcy last month. The Times-Picayune notes that some dry cleaners are urging the Environmental Protection Agency to slow down rules phasing out the chemical perchloroethylene, which could have something to do with it. Vitter is a big foe of EPA regulations and an ardent supporter of the chemical industry, which is big in his state. This wouldn’t be the first time he’s gone to bat for toxic chemicals.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate