March 17, 2007

Earlier this week I posted about Chiquita Brands International receiving a $25 million fine for their funding of terrorist organizations in South America. In that post I pointed out that during the time this was happening, the CEO of Chiquita was GOP donor Carl Lindner. When looking for Lindner's FEC records on Newsmeat, I quickly found that his last name was misspelled on their site. I thought this may have been some sort of clerical error, but it appears more like this may have not been an error, but rather a way to circumvent the caps placed on donations. Citybeat, a Cincinnati based publication has dug further into these misspellings and uncovered this:

Cincinnati’s own Chiquita Brands International is in the headlines for paying a $25 million fine to the federal government after admitting it gave cash for years to a known Colombian terrorist group that traffics in cocaine as protection money. But a review of other federal documents raise troubling questions about Chiquita’s former owner, billionaire financier Carl Lindner Jr., and his family.

Lindner, his wife, sons and other family members are well known as big-money political campaign contributors, mostly to conservative Republican candidates and causes including President Bush. A review of documents filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), however, show that the family also gives money to candidates under the similar name of “Linder.”

The pattern of listing campaign contributions without the second “n” in the family’s name isn’t limited to one or two reports, and appears to be a pattern going back several years.

Read on

If Lindner is using some sort of loophole to bypass campaign donation caps then that loophole needs to be closed. At the very least this should merit a closer look by the FEC to see exactly what is happening here.

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