Harry Reid used campaign funds to give granddaughter $17,000
In a repeat of the same crime that sent Jesse Jackson Jr to prison, Harry Reid’s campaign used $17,000 of campaign funds as a gift to his granddaughter, and covered it up in a mandatory disclosure document by omitting her last name (Reid). Karoun Demirjian of the Las Vegas Sun reports:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has reimbursed his campaign nearly $17,000 paid to his granddaughter for “holiday gifts” in late 2013, after the Federal Election Commission insisted that his campaign clarify why the money was spent.
The FEC sent the treasurer for Friends of Harry Reid a letter insisting that he “must include a brief statement or description … to clarify the following description: ‘holiday gifts.’”
Reid’s campaign operation listed that description on its year-end report for two separate disbursements to Ryan Elisabeth of Berkley, Calif., on Oct. 23 — one for $5,416.93, the other for $11,370.00.
“Ryan Elisabeth” is actually Ryan Elisabeth Reid, the majority leader’s granddaughter, a spokeswoman for Reid confirmed Tuesday.
“I thought it would be nice to give supporters and staff thank-you gifts that had a personal connection and a Searchlight connection,” Reid said in a prepared statement. “But I have decided to reimburse the campaign for the amount of the expenditure.”
Ryan Elisabeth Reid, 23, is the oldest child of Rory Reid, Harry Reid’s oldest son, who ran an unsuccessful race to become Nevada’s governor in 2010. It is unclear whether she currently lives in Berkley, Calif., because her LinkedIn page lists her as being a "performing arts professional" in Brooklyn.
Will Reid claim that he did not know of this appropriation of campaign funds for his granddaughter? That would strain credulity. But if he did direct campaign funds be used for the oldest child of his oldest child, that would be a crime. Ask Jesse Junior. He can be reached at the Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, NC.
Note: the correct spelling is Berkeley, not Berkley, CA, and the Reid campaign got it correctly.