While several politicians are scrambling to return campaign donations made by lobbyist Jack Abramoff who pleaded guilty to federal fraud and corruption charges — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he won’t return the one-thousand dollar contribution Abramoff made to his campaign.
Grassley, a republican, was asked about the contribution during a town meeting in Oelwein Wednesday. Grassley says the contribution couldn’t have been made to influence him, as he wasn’t even aware of the donation. Grassley says he doesn’t collects the campaign checks, somebody else does, and he says he learned about the donation from Abramoff’s campaign by reading it in the paper just like everyone else.
Grassley says he doesn’t track every donation. He says, “When you have seven or eight thousand people that contribute to your campaign, you don’t remember everybody that contributes to your campaign.” Other politicians such as First District Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester, and President Bush returned campaign contributions from Abramhoff after the lobbyist pled guilty.