Research

Reid Scandal Deepens: Campaign Actually Paid His Granddaughter $31,000

According To New Reports, Harry Reid’s Campaign Paid His Granddaughter More Than $31,000 – Up From A Previous Total Of Nearly $17,000. “After additional reporting found that Harry Reid’s campaign paid his granddaughter’s company approximately $31,000 for jewelry, the Senate majority leader said he will repay the full sum, but he pushed back against journalists probing into his family’s affairs.” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid To Reimburse Campaign $31K Paid To Kin For Gifts,” Real Clear Politics, 3/27/14)

  • “On Wednesday, Nevada Political Reporter Jon Ralston Discovered That Reid’s Campaign Had Paid Out An Additional $14,000 To Ryan Elisabeth Reid’s Jewelry Company For ‘Holiday Gifts’ For Staff And Campaign Donors. Originally, The Total Was Thought To Be Approximately $17,000.” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid To Reimburse Campaign $31K Paid To Kin For Gifts,” Real Clear Politics, 3/27/14)

Raltson Reports’ Jon Ralston: “This Isn’t Quite Yet Over For The Senator Who Hoped To Make This A One-Day Story.” (Ralston Reports, KRNV [Las Vegas, NV], 3/27/14)

Yesterday, Reid Said The Scandal Was “Done” After He Returned The $17K

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Asked About The Controversy Over His Campaign Paying His Granddaughter Nearly $17,000, Said His Decision Soon After The Story Broke To Reimburse His Campaign Was Not An Admission Of Wrongdoing.” (Jon Ralston, “Reid The Elder Dismisses Gifts Controversy At Presser; And Reid The Younger Defends Daughter/Dad,” Ralston Reports, 3/26/14)

  • Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) After Reimbursing His Granddaughter: “It’s All Done.” REPORTER: “Your decision yesterday to reimburse the campaign $17,000, is that in a knowledge meant that it was wrong … ” REID: “No, in fact, it wasn’t. We complied with all the rules. That was said. I just wanted to avoid …and I am very fortunate that I can write that check. So it’s all done. But everything was complied with beforehand.” (Sen. Harry Reid, Press Conference, 3/26/14)

Reid Now Plans To Reimburse His Campaign For The Additional Funds. “The amount Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to reimburse his reelection campaign jumped from about $16,000 to at least $31,000, according to reports. On Tuesday, Nevada journalist Jon Ralston reported that 2016 campaign funds were given to Reid’s granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, which she used to buy gifts for donors.” (Rebecca Shabad, “Reid To Reimburse More Campaign Funds For Gifts,” The Hill, 3/27/14)

Reid Has Other Interests Tied To His Granddaughter

Reid’s Ability To Help His Granddaughter May Extend “Well Beyond” His Jewelry Purchases. “And those bothered by the revelation may have more reason to react: The five-term senator’s ability to help his relatives may extend well beyond $17,000 for jewelry.  His granddaughter has also received financial support for her fledgling New York theater company from two Nevada-based foundations that typically prohibit donations to organizations outside of their service areas. The foundations belong to gaming and energy companies that have also donated to the lawmaker.” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid’s Kin May Have Benefitted Beyond Gift Puchase,” Real Clear Politics, 3/26/14)

Ryan Elisabeth Is The Artistic Direct At Sprat Theatre Company – Which Reports That It’s Funded Organizations Including The Clinton Global Initiative And Caesars Foundation. “Ryan Elisabeth, in her early 20s and a recent college graduate, describes herself as a ‘performing arts professional.’ In addition to her jewelry company — which is not mentioned on her LinkedIn profile — she also works as an assistant at the Tim Bavington Studio in Las Vegas and as artistic director at Sprat Theatre Company in Brooklyn, N.Y. Donations to the latter organization, which she founded, may raise some eyebrows. According to the Brooklyn Arts Council, Sprat ‘is supported by funds from Clinton Global Initiative, Caesars Foundation, NV Energy Foundation, and individual donors.’ (The Sprat website also lists these contributors, along with others.)” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid’s Kin May Have Benefitted Beyond Gift Puchase,” Real Clear Politics, 3/26/14)

  • Reid Has Received $28,000 In Contributions From Caesars Entertainment. “So far, Reid has received $3,850 from NV Energy in the 2013-2014 election cycle. Caesars Entertainment has also given $28,000 to him or political action committees that support his candidacy.” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid’s Kin May Have Benefitted Beyond Gift Puchase,” Real Clear Politics, 3/26/14)
     
  • “The Donor List On The Sprat Website Also Lists Nevada Real Estate Investment’s Peter Palivos, Who Gave $1,000 To Sen. Reid Last Year.”  (Adam O’Neal, “Reid’s Kin May Have Benefitted Beyond Gift Puchase,” Real Clear Politics, 3/26/14)

Reid’s Former Chief Of Staff Is Serves On Sprat’s Board Of Directors. “Also, while Sen. Reid’s exact level of involvement with the theater company remains unclear, more information suggests that he has some imprint on the organization: Susan McCue, Reid’s former chief of staff who now runs a public affairs firm, is listed on the Sprat website as serving on the board of directors.” (Adam O’Neal, “Reid’s Kin May Have Benefitted Beyond Gift Puchase,” Real Clear Politics, 3/26/14)

If Experts Were Already Concerned With Reid’s Payments At $17K, What Do They Think At $31K?

“Paul Ryan, An Election Lawyer At The Campaign Legal Center, Said ‘You’d Need To Buy A Heck Of A Lot Of Gifts Of ‘Nominal’ Value To Spend $16,000.’” (Aaron Blake, “Reid Will Reimburse Campaign After Inquiry About Gifts Purchased From Granddaughter,” The Washington Post, 3/25/14)

  • “‘I’d Consider Anything Over $25 Or $30 To Be Pushing The Limits Of ‘Nominal Value,’’ Ryan Said.” (Aaron Blake, “Reid Will Reimburse Campaign After Inquiry About Gifts Purchased From Granddaughter,” The Washington Post, 3/25/14)

Craig Holman, Lobbyist For Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen:  “Automatically It Raises Alarms …  It’s An Iffy Practice Once You Start Dipping Into Campaign Funds And Paying Family Members For Buying Gifts.” “‘However, automatically it raises alarms,’ said Holman, who lobbies for the Ralph Nader-founded Public Citizen. ‘Is Reid using campaign funds to enrich his own family that could run afoul of personal use of campaign funds? It’s an iffy practice once you start dipping into campaign funds and paying family members for buying gifts.’” (Steve Tetreault, “Reid To Pay Back Campaign For Gifts Bought From Granddaughter,” Las Vegas Review Journal, 3/25/14)