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Beltway Confidential

Lobbyist friend of Harry Reid sentenced to two years of prison for illegal contributions to Reid

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Beltway Confidential,Crime,Timothy P. Carney,Senate,Harry Reid,Campaign Finance,Lobbying

A lobbyist, friend and business partner of Harry Reid has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegal contributions to Harry Reid's 2010 reelection.

From USA Today:

Calling the case "an incredibly criminal, intentional act," a federal judge sentenced fallen Nevada power broker Harvey Whittemore to two years in prison and fined the former multimillionaire $100,000 for using family and employees to make illegal campaign contributions to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

This isn't the first sketchy connection between Whittemore and Reid. As I wrote last year:

Reid pushed many policies to help one of his loyal donors, lobbyist-turned-developer Harvey Whittemore, build a huge resort and development north of Las Vegas.

Reid crafted a measure moving a federal "power corridor" — an area reserved for power lines and off-limits to development — away from the area where Whittemore wanted to build his houses and golf courses, and onto federal land set aside for "wilderness study." Federal bureaucrats objected to Reid's measure, particularly because it wouldn't require Whittemore to pay anything for the move, which would enrich him. (Eventually, Reid gave way on that detail, and Whittemore paid $10.4 million.)

Whittemore, of course, was pouring cash into Reid's campaign coffers through all of this. A final lagniappe was reported by the L.A. Times in 2006: "Whittemore also helped advance the legal careers of two of Reid's four sons. One of the two, Leif Reid, who is Whittemore's personal lawyer, has represented the developer throughout the Coyote Springs project, including in negotiations with federal officials."

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