Josh Shapiro, the Montgomery County commissioners chairman and Democratic nominee for state attorney general, saw the political hit coming.
Shapiro had received $11,500 in campaign contributions in the last decade from Herbert Vederman, the lobbyist and former Philadelphia deputy mayor who was convicted last week on federal racketeering, bribery, and bank fraud charges along with former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah.
The Republican Attorneys General Association on Tuesday called on Shapiro to return the $5,000 he received from Vederman in March 2015. The Washington-based group called it "shameful" that Shapiro had not done so already.
Shapiro's campaign quickly hit back, accusing RAGA of "recklessly lobbing false attacks."
Shapiro spokesman Joe Radosevich said the campaign cut two checks on Monday for $5,750 each to two Montgomery County nonprofits, Laurel House and Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center, which assist victims of domestic violence and child abuse.
The campaign produced for the Inquirer copies of the checks, which cover the full $11,500 Shapiro received from Vederman since 2006, not just the $5,000 from last year.
Jordan Russell, a RAGA spokesman, said it was "mighty interesting" Shapiro had moved so fast.
"I think the timing is awfully convenient, considering the conviction came down last week and they didn't say anything about it until a reporter called to ask about it," Russell said.
RAGA, which advocates for Republican candidates running in state attorney general races, supports State Sen. John Rafferty, the Republican nominee in the Nov. 8 general election. Rafferty, who also lives in Montgomery County, is in his fourth term in the Senate's 44th District.
Radosevich knocked RAGA as playing "Harrisburg games" in the race.
"Sen. Rafferty's allies are recklessly lobbing false attacks before checking the facts," he said.
Mike Barley, a spokesman for Rafferty's campaign, said Shapiro had been silent as Fattah's legal troubles played out.
"The issue he has is his close relationship with the former congressman," Barley said of Shapiro. "It wasn't that long ago that he was accompanying Congressman Fattah to the president's State of the Union address."
Shapiro in 2013 issued a statement that he was "honored and grateful" for Fattah's invitation.