"I Am Not a Criminal" Senator Harry Reid says as Illegal Campaign Donor is Jailed

Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Reid’s re-election committee

Harry Reid

Nixon's "I am not a crook" is listed as one of the top 10 unfortunate political quotes. Senator Reid's "I am not a criminal" may shortly join that list.

On Monday, Harry Reid’s close friend and donor, Harvey Whittemore was sentenced to two years in prison for funneling more than $130,000 in illegal campaign funds to Sen. Harry Reid’s re-election committee in 2007.  He received three felony convictions, his sentence includes $100,00 in fines and 100 community service hours.  Whittemore was a former Nevada power broker and named the most powerful lobbyist in Nevada who worked for gambling, alcohol and tobacco industries.  His nickname was the “64th legislator”.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Reid and Whittemore go way back; four of Reid’s sons were hired by the law firm in which Harvey Whittemore was a senior partner. Sen. Reid and Whittemore were involved in very big land deals, including federal legislation to help the development of Coyote Springs.

So Senator Reid decided that this was the perfect time to defend his character.

The Nevada Democrat also defended his role in fighting Republican attempts to water down Obamacare as a condition to keeping the government open, responding directly to a National Review piece that called him the “villain of villains.”

“When I read this yesterday, I thought, no one likes to be called a villain,” Reid said, reading aloud definitions of the word that mean “uncouth,” “scoundrel” or “criminal.” “I am not a criminal. I am not a scoundrel. So they better get a different definition of me.”

How about crook?

Since 2000, Whittemore, his wife and the Coyote Springs company have given Reid's senatorial campaign and political action committees at least $45,000. That included $35,000 for Reid's leadership PAC, the Searchlight Leadership Fund, which helped him advance as a Senate leader.

Most of that money was contributed in 2002 shortly after Reid introduced the Clark County land bill.

In 2000, Whittemore gave an additional $20,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Reid promoted as a party leader. Prior to 2000, the Whittemores had given Reid and his Senate campaign committee a total of $6,500, plus $5,000 for his leadership PAC.

Nixon could at least honestly say that he had never taken a cent. Harry Reid can't say that. His position was bought for him by a crook in exchange for favors.

2007: Whittemore meets with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and promised to raise $150,000 for his re-election bid.

June 2012: Whittemore is indicted on charges for making illegal campaign contributions to Reid, which included making excessive contributions and making contributions in the name of another person.

Nothing criminal to see here.


Tags: Harry Reid