in Houston, Texas
Cornyn, Dewhurst, Reyes make charitable gifts of (some) campaign cash from convicted felon; Perry still has $80K from El Paso businessman Bob Jones
Monday, Feb 06, 2012, 11:39AM CST
By Mark Lisheron

It is Texas Watchdog’s privilege to extend a laurel and hearty handshake to the El Paso Times for dogging state politicians given more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from convicted felon Bob Jones.

The newspaper two months ago extracted promises from U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, Gov. Rick Perry and  Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst to give their Jones donations, catalogued here by Texas Watchdog, to charity.

A federal judge last February sentenced Jones to 10 years in federal prison and ordered him to pay $68 million in restitution for embezzling millions of dollars from government programs while he headed the National Center for Employment of the Disabled.

Perry, the primary beneficiary of Jones’ generosity, raking in $80,000 between 2002 and 2005, has not yet given away the tainted campaign money, the Times is reporting today. A Perry spokesman, however, says the checks are in the mail. Almost.

Dewhurst has shed $10,000 of the $22,500 he received, and a spokesman said the rest would be handed out by the end of the month.

Cornyn has so far donated $5,100 of about $12,000. Reyes gave $3,500 of a total of $18,500 to the U.S. Department of Treasury. His staff says he is in the process of purging his campaign accounts of all Jones and Jones family donations.

All of Jones’ contributions were made before his indictment in 2008 on 37 counts of public corruption. Texas law does not require elected officials to return donations from people later convicted of crimes.
Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or or on Twitter at @marktxwatchdog.

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