Casinos slapped for lining Republican’s pocket

Mirage Resorts and Atlantic City Showboat are among those facing federal fines over illegal fund raising for New Jersey Republican William Gormley’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2000.

Under a settlement announced Thursday by the Federal Election Commission, Mirage Resorts agreed to pay a $40,000 fine to settle its part of the case. Gormley’s campaign agreed to pay a $22,000 penalty, and Atlantic City Showboat, Marina Associates, Harrah’s Entertainment executive Herbert Wolfe and Marina executive David Jonas are sharing $53,000 in penalties.

In all, the case resulted in $115,000 in fines.

At issue was the companies’ use of corporate resources to raise money for Gormley in his unsuccessfully bid. Under federal law, corporations cannot give anything of value to a congressional candidate or use corporate resources to raise money for the campaign.

The FEC said Mirage held a campaign fund-raiser for Gormley in Las Vegas in February 2000. Mirage employees helped set up the event and collected $28,000 in contribution checks.

The commission said Gormley contacted Wolfe in early 2000 and asked him to raise money for the campaign. Wolfe invited Showboat employees to donate and told them they could leave their donations with his secretary at his casino office.

Jonas, asked by Wolfe to help raise money for Gormley, asked Marina employees to consider giving and told them they could leave their contributions in his office.

A campaign worker went to the casino offices and picked up the donations, which included $13,000 from Showboat employees and their spouses and $24,275 from Marina staffers and their spouses, the commission said.

On the Net:

Federal Election Commission:

© 2005 The Associated Press