WASHINGTON -- Beaten up by Republicans for taking a $2,500 campaign contribution from Jon Corzine, the former New Jersey governor who presided over the MF Global securities firm as it sank into bankruptcy, Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul Thursday donated that money to the Daemen College Center for Veteran and Veteran Family Services.
Hochul's action came after the National Republican Congressional Committee demanded that she get rid of the donation from Corzine, who told a congressional committee Thursday that he never intended to break rules aimed at forcing MF Global to protect its clients' money.
The NRCC said Hochul should give the donation to the compensation fund for those who lost money through MF Global, but Fabien Levy, Hochul's spokesman, said she wanted to keep the money in her congressional district.
But her action didn't exactly impress Nat Sillin, a spokesman for the Republican campaign committee.
“If Kathy Hochul cared about anything more than saving her political career, she would have given back Corzine’s money and denounced his actions long ago," Sillin said. "Hochul likes to pretend that she’s doing the right thing, but she’s simply running for cover now that the story is hitting a little too close to home."
For his part, Levy dismissed the Republican charges as a political distraction.
"Congresswoman Hochul was elected to address the pressing issues facing Western New York families," Levy said. "This partisan attack is an attempt to distract attention from the work at hand, and an example of the type of Washington politics that continue to frustrate Americans.”
-- Jerry Zremski