Dinesh D'Souza, Anti-Obama Filmmaker, Indicted for Campaign Finance Violations


It's a quick Americanism test, of the sort they should be giving to would-be citizens on the day they get naturalized: is it a good thing that someone should face fines and/or jail time for deciding to express his support of a political candidate by reimbursing people he knows for the amounts of money they donated to that candidate?

The correct answer is no.

Yet, in this land of free speech and democracy, where political expression is highly valued, you can and indeed do face criminal charges for such actions.

See the fate today of conservative politico and writer (and anti-Obama filmmaker, but we can be sure that had nothing to do with this) Dinesh D'Souza.

From Reuters:

According to an indictment made public on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan, D'Souza around August 2012 reimbursed people who he had directed to contribute $20,000 to the candidate's campaign. The candidate was not named in the indictment….

D'Souza was charged in the indictment with one count of making illegal contributions in the names of others, and one count of causing false statements to be made.

Federal law in 2012 limited primary and general election campaign contributions to $2,500 each, for a total of $5,000, from any individual to any one candidate.

"As we have long said, this Office and the FBI take a zero tolerance approach to corruption of the electoral process," the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, said in a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bharara is an Obama appointee….

New York Times thinks they know who is involved:

The Senate candidate was not identified in the indictment. Mr. D'Souza donated to only one federal candidate in 2012, giving $5,000 to Wendy Long, a New York Republican who lost her challenge to Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, a Democrat…..

Prosecutors also charged Mr. D'Souza with causing the unidentified candidate's campaign to unwittingly file false campaign documents. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan.

It is not clear from the court documents what led investigators to Mr. D'Souza in a fund-raising case involving relatively small donations in a race that ended in a blowout win for Ms. Gillibrand. Ms. Long raised about $785,000 in the race.

Ms. Long and Mr. D'Souza were students together at Dartmouth College, where they worked on the staff of The Dartmouth Review, a conservative newspaper on campus. In the 2012 race, he was a host for one of Ms. Long's fund-raisers.

Maximum sentence could be two years in prison.

Expressing your support for a candidate above an arbitrary legislative limit–or, even, giving some cash to friends of yours for whatever reason you want, money is fungible–is corruption of the electoral process.

That laws like this exist to slam enemies of the regime when such laws might be needed, well, that's just politics.