Following the money


Employees of Jeffrey Thompson’s former firm fingered him as the mastermind of a long-running campaign finance corruption scheme. (C-SPAN via AP)

The checks usually came about a day after the fundraiser, consultant Lee A. Calhoun said in court Thursday, and they were sometimes marked “advance on bonus.”  But what they really were, he admitted, were $160,000 in reimbursements from his boss, Jeffrey E. Thompson, for illegal straw donations Calhoun had made in the name of himself and family members. Calhoun’s admissions Thursday laid bare what U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. called an “assembly line” for illicit campaign contributions at the former Thompson, Cobb, Bazilio and Associates. The system, Calhoun said, was run with the full knowledge of the firm’s controller and included — this was an accounting firm, after all — measures for dealing with the tax consequences of the reimbursements. How many more Lee Calhouns are there? One more Thompson associate, Stanley L. Straughter of Philadelphia, was charged Thursday with a similar crime and is expected to plead guilty as well. More from Loose LipsWRC-TVWUSA-TVWJLA-TVWAMU-FM, and DCist.

In other news:

“Mr. Gray’s silence may serve the interests of someone under federal scrutiny, but it does not help the District” (Post editorial)

Four years after Red Line crash, Metro has settled victim lawsuits but won’t say for how much (Post)

Are we safer now than four years ago? Richard Sarles says: “Yes.” (WUSA-TV)

Why do D.C. police report only nine crimes to the public? (Titan of Trinidad)

Vincent Gray education address: Time to “scale up, strengthen and simplify” and “stay the course” on reform measures (PostInformerHousing ComplexWAMU-FM)

Watch Tom Sherwood interrogate Kaya Henderson (WRC-TV)

Capitol authorities evict newspaper boxes for reasons they can’t quite explain (Roll Call)

D.C. Auditor: “Sick and Safe” law isn’t killing city businesses (Capital BusinessWBJ)

Is DCPS failing autistic students? (WRC-TV)

Ahead of next Barry Farm meeting, Empower DC keeps on doing its thing (Housing Complex)

Is DDOT’s bureaucracy stalling bike projects? (GGW)

H.R. Crawford’s office building is on tax sale list (Loose Lips)

Surrogacy legalization bill gets hearing (DCist)

Colombian tourists among those run down by SUV near Union Station (Post)

Four shot Wednesday night at Eastland Gardens high-school graduation party (Post)

Four stabbed Thursday evening in separate incidents (PostWTOP)

Washington Highlands man found guilty, not insane, in mother’s killing (Post)

“Rangers” will patrol Metropolitan Branch Trail starting next week (WAMU-FM)

The Washington Monument is awesome but perhaps not exceptional (Post column)

More than $130,000 raised so far for Frager’s employees (Capitol Hill Corner)

Steak ‘n’ Egg is expanding, not disappearing (Housing Complex)

Could Wegman’s try out a smaller footprint at Walter Reed? (WBJ)

You can play a pretty good version of D.C. Politics Clue (City Desk)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · June 20, 2013