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Queens Couple Makes Questionable $61,600 Donation To McCain, RNC

McClatchy: WASHINGTON — Alice Rocchio is an office manager at the New York headquarters of the Hess Corp., drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier and lives i


WASHINGTON — Alice Rocchio is an office manager at the New York headquarters of the Hess Corp., drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier and lives in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., with her husband, Pasquale, an Amtrak foreman.

Despite what appears to be a middle-class lifestyle, the couple has written $61,600 in checks to John McCain's presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee, most of it within days of McCain's decision to endorse offshore oil drilling.

A former FEC official said that it's possible that the Rocchios had the means to make those hefty contributions — their first reported donations to a federal campaign. But the official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that their donations also could trigger a complaint or otherwise catch the eyes of the agency's enforcement staff, tasked to ensure that companies or wealthy individuals don't illegally circumvent contribution limits by using employees or other third parties as "conduits'' for cash. Read on...

TPM has been all over this story and it now appears that the Rocchios aren't the only ones who are under the microscope for questionable donations to McCain and the RNC. And is it a coincidence that only a week after donations from a major American oil company low level employee, Flip Flop McCain changes his attitude on off-shore drilling? On top of that, in a TPM update, the Rocchios are renters and that their donations exceed the median household income for the area they live in.

Late Update: There's a bit of dispute over whether Flushing, Queens, should be described as "middle class" or "lower middle class." It turns out that the median household income in the Rocchios' zip code is $58,069. Read on...

When the Norman Hsu story broke, Hillary Clinton was pounded day after day by the media, so we should expect them to be all over this story -- right? Perhaps Keith Olbermann will run with this story and give it the national scrutiny it deserves.

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