The Boston Globe recently uncovered what they say is an illegal campaign contribution scheme carried out by the Thornton Law Firm in Boston, Mass. The findings of their investigation reveal Montana's Senior U.S. Senator, Jon Tester, is involved.
In the scheme, employees of the law firm would contribute thousands of dollars specifically to democratic politicians according to The Globe's report. Then the firm would reimburse those employees with what they called "bonuses" in almost the exact amount they donated.
Reimbursing political donors is illegal because it can conceal the real source of contributions, therefore enabling the unnamed source of the funds to exceed state and federal campaign contribution limits.
Campaign finance reports on Opensecrets.com show that Thornton Law Firm is one of Senator Tester's top ten contributors, donating $46,000 over the course of his career and during Tester's time as chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, he's taken about $200,000 from Thornton.
The Globe does say, there is no indication that any of the politicians who received donations from Thornton knew anything about the firm's questionable reimbursement system.
Senator Tester's communication director, Marnee Banks, released this statement Monday night:
Tester's campaign says he was unaware that the firm was engaging in this practice and as soon as he found out, he immediately donated the money to taxpayers.