2005-01-28 / Community

Congressman Weiner Returns ‘Money Order’ Donations

By Howard Schwach

Congressman Anthony Weiner has returned more than $9 thousand in campaign donations earmarked for his campaign for mayor in November in the wake of charges that the donations were illegal.

The money, all in the form of money orders, did not comply with campaign finance rules, according to one city official, because many of them did not include such information as the donor’s profession or place of employment as required by law.

Questions about the donations were raised by the New York Times in a story on Saturday that Weiner’s latest campaign filing showed that he received donations of $250 from 29 people in the form of money orders, all on November 24 and all from one man, Girish Soni, a New Jersey man who has done fundraising for Weiner in the past. According to the Times story, 25 of those money orders did not have the required information and the paper was unable to track down many of those whose names were on the money orders.

Anson Kaye, a spokesperson for Weiner, said, “We believe the campaign acted in accordance with all of the campaign finance rules and regulations.”

He added, “Some questions have been raised about contributions gathered by one individual and therefore, we are acting on the side of caution and returning any contributions from that one individual.”

According to campaign finance records, Soni, who owns several drug stores, raised $9,250 for Weiner’s mayoral race, in addition to $3,000 of his own money, which the campaign will reportedly retain.

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