Politicians who received letters from the Fiesta Bowl requesting that they return tainted campaign contributions are responding, and none appear too happy to be tarred with the same brush as the bowl's ousted CEO.
U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona has offered the latest pushback, sending a caustic letter to the bowl's lawyer that called the return of the money inappropriate since the Fiesta Bowl had admitted improper conduct.
Kyl said he would give the $3,000 he received to a charity. The bowl's lawyer would not comment.
A Fiesta Bowl report released March 29 detailed reimbursements to employees and their families for political donations, which was in apparent violation of federal and state laws. There was no indication the politicians knew the money they received was in fact coming from the bowl, a tax-exempt group that is barred from making political donations.
About two dozen local, state and federal politicians received donations totaling more than $48,000 between 2000 and 2009. The report also documented thousands of dollars in inappropriate spending. The bowl fired longtime president and CEO John Junker in response.
The bowl said it is obligated to try to recover the money to maintain its non-profit status.
Federal election law requires candidates who learn of illegal campaign contributions to return them to the donor, said Mary Brandenberger, a spokeswoman for the Federal Election Commission. She said she could not be certain if making a donation to charity met that requirement.
* Sen. John McCain and Rep. Peter King again are pushing a congressional resolution urging a presidential pardon for Jack Johnson, who became the world's first black heavyweight champion a century ago. Johnson was imprisoned because of his romantic ties with a white woman in a case that critics call a stain on the U.S.
* NASCAR driver Kyle Busch was clocked by a North Carolina sheriff's deputy going 128 mph in a 45-mph zone and was cited for careless and reckless driving and speeding, a law enforcement spokesman said. Busch was driving a 2012 yellow Lexus sports car.