LAS VEGAS — In what can certainly can be considered an abuse of power, Senate Majority Leader of Nevada Harry Reid will reimburse campaign funds paid to granddaughter Ryan Elizabeth Reid in order to avoid an audit.
The Federal Election Commission sent a letter to Reid’s campaign, Friends of Harry Reid, that requested an explanation for more than $15,000 in Holiday gifts that were disbursed on Oct. 7 and Oct. 23.
The letter dated March 21, warned the campaign that if a response was not received by April 25 that an audit might be conducted.
Interestingly, or perhaps what can be considered an attempt to hide the true identify of who was actually paid, the FEC Disbursement from submitted by Reid’s campaign (see page 166) in January lists the person paid as Ryan Elizabeth.
Ryan Elizabeth is actually Ryan Elizabeth Reid.
Steve Tetreault of the Las Vegas Review Journal was the first one to spot out the questionable expenditure to Reid’s granddaughter and John Ralston was able to obtain confirmation from Reid’s office that Ryan Elizabeth was indeed Ryan Elizabeth Reid.
Reid in an attempt to explain what appears to be a blatant abuse of power said,
I thought it would be nice to give supporters and staff thank-you gifts that had a personal connection and a Searchlight connection, but I have decided to reimburse the campaign for the amount of the expenditure.
So Harry Reid will reimburse campaign funds paid to granddaughter Ryan Elizabeth Reid just because, “out of the blue,” he decided to.
His statement appears to be nothing more than a political clean-up attempt to explain away a sketchy expenditure that he hoped would go unnoticed. Chris Anderson, a spokesman for the campaign, insists that the payment to Reid’s granddaughter complied with campaign rules.
Although campaign rules allow gifts to be purchases from family members. the move to conceal his granddaughter’s full name and his subsequent and swift action to reimburse the campaign speaks volumes.