"When Tom Noe invited some people to a fund-raiser for President Bush with the promise of reimbursement, some were suspicious but took his money anyway, their attorney said yesterday.
“Some thought it smelled a little bit,” Bill Connelly said yesterday. “But they didn’t inquire further.”
According to prosecutors, Mr. Noe gave most of the conduits less than $2,000 and each made up the difference with his or her own money. Mr. Connelly said his clients thought they were paying for the actual cost of the luncheon itself.
An estimated 700 people attended the fund-raiser, which generated $1.4 million for the Bush-Cheney campaign.
By the end of the campaign, Mr. Noe had been recognized as a “Pioneer” for the Bush-Cheney campaign, raising at least $100,000. Mr. Connelly said his clients were unaware of Mr. Noe’s fund-raising goal. “They were absolutely flabbergasted to learn it was part of his effort to be a Pioneer,” he said.
Mr. Noe told Mr. Connelly’s clients he would reimburse them after the fund-raiser. But prosecutors say all of the checks to the “conduits” were written in the week before the event. It is unclear if they were cashed before the event.
Although his clients have told him they thought they were being “comped” — or given complimentary tickets, Mr. Connelly said that “in hindsight” his clients realize that accepting the money was wrong."
Just another chapter in the Republican saga, Culture of Corruption.
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