CONCORD – Republican 2nd District U.S. House candidate Gary Lambert’s second quarter campaign finance report contains two questionable contributions that the campaign says it is checking on as part of a regular “rigorous” review of all of its contributions.
Lambert for Congress accepted a $1,000 contribution on June 30 from The Palmier Foundation, which is described by its founder, Boston investment firm head Dan Palmier, on his web site, as a “501(c)(3) charitable corporation created for the purpose of ‘giving back.’”
The Internal Revenue Code prohibits 501(c)(3) charitable organizations from contributing to candidates for federal office.
Also, the Lambert for Congress campaign report lists receiving a $1,000 contribution, also on June 30, from “Fairfield’s,” with the same Keene address as Fairfield’s Cadillac, Buick, GMC, Inc. The firm is listed on the Secretary of State corporate division’s web site as a corporation. Federal candidates are forbidden under federal election law from accepting contributions from corporations.
Questions about a third contribution appear to have been resolved. The campaign received a contribution of $1,000, also on June 30, from the Anagnost Investment Group, which is listed as a “trade name” on the Secretary of State’s corporate division web site.
Dick Anagnost, a Manchester real estate investment executive, told the New Hampshire Journal the Anagnost Investment Group is a sole proprietorship. According to the Federal Election Commission, sole proprietorships are allowed under federal election campaign finance law to make contributions to federal candidates in essentially the same way that individuals can.
The Lambert campaign’s chief adviser, Ethan Zorfas, said in an email, “The campaign has rigorous controls in place to ensure that it only accepts permissible funds. Any corporate checks are immediately returned to the contributor. If the corporate status is unknown (based on the appearance of the check), the campaign requests verification that the funds are personal.”
Zorfas wrote, “The Federal Election Commission gives campaigns 60 days in which to verify or return such contributions. We are still within the 60-day window and will verify their status accordingly.”
An FEC spokesman said she could not comment on any specific campaign finance report and said all reports are reviewed by the FEC’s Reports Analysis Division, which routinely contacts candidates’ committees if any question arise.
The three contributions were among many received on the final day of the quarter.
(Tuesday night update:)
Following our initial report earlier Tuesday evening, the campaign manager for one of Lambert’s primary foes, Marilinda Garcia, accused Lambert of breaking the law.
“It seems that Gary Lambert has repeatedly broken one of most fundamental campaign finance laws on the books,” said Tom Szold.
Szold said Lambert’s acceptance of what he called “illegal campaign contributions” from “at least two” entities “shows either that he has lost control of his campaign, or that he is willing to break the law in order to win. Either way, the people of New Hampshire deserve better.”
There was no immediate response from the Lambert campaign. If one is received, it will be added to this story.