Democratic congressional candidate Andre Carson returned a $1,000 donation from a man included but never charged in a 2002 terrorism investigation because, his spokeswoman said, that person doesn't "reflect the values" of his campaign .
The donation, made at a Feb. 8 fundraiser, came from M. Yaqub Mirza, CEO of Sterling Management in Herndon, Va.
Until it dissolved in 2000, Mirza was an officer with the Saar Foundation, which became one of several Muslim nonprofits in Northern Virginia to fall under scrutiny in a 2002 federal terrorism-financing investigation. Mirza's home and offices were raided, according to a 2006 story in The Washington Post, but Mirza was not charged with a crime. Mirza did not respond to a call Friday to his business.
The Carson campaign returned the donation Feb. 20, according to its most recent financial disclosure in the race for the 7th District. Those filings showed Carson raised $376,000, more than five times the $71,000 raised by Elrod.
What Mr. King intentionally omits from his story is the fact that the contribution was raised at a D.C. fundraiser hosted by CAIR, an organization founded with the support of Hamas, which has also been linked to terrorist organizations by our own government. Carson traveled to D.C. to raise beaucoup bucks from out-of-state special interest groups. More than three-fourths of his campaign money has come from out-of-state, while close to 95% of Republican Jon Elrod's money has been raised from within Indiana, mostly from individuals. The Carson campaign's response from a DCCC staffer is increduluous:
Andre is a person who has a strong background in law enforcement, a background in homeland security," Jennings said. "If there is an individual who doesn't reflect the values of the campaign, if that's found out, their contributions will be returned."
Elrod's campaign was quick to point out that Carson has boasted of his homeland security experience from working as an anti-terrorist watch officer for the state's Department of Homeland Security as recently as six months ago. "He is a former homeland security officer," said the spokesman, Kyle Kasting. "Why did he take the donation in the first place?" King gives us that the contribution could be a problem for Carson. "Mirza's money could be a thornier matter for Carson, who is a Muslim running at a time when polls show a sizable chunk of the electorate has steep reservations about Muslim candidates," he writes. That's quite the understatement. Thank heavens for blogs who are doing the work of the mainstream media in getting the truth out to the public. If I hadn't hammered this issue hard all week, I highly doubt this story would have even made into the newspaper. At a certain point, even the Star understands it starts looking pretty bad when everyone in town is talking about the big elephant in the room it's ignoring on its news pages.