Sheriff, er, Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) became one of the first Democrats to succumb to Republican pressure and give back contributions from scandal-tainted Harlem Democrat Charlie Rangel. The National Republican Senatorial Committee called on Ellsworth to give the money back on Thursday; Ellsworth announced he was donating it to charity late Friday.
Here was the NRSC’s volley: “Now that a bipartisan committee of his peers has determined that Rangel likely violated a range of key ethics rules, why does Ellsworth still stand by him and hold tight to his campaign cash?” spokesman Brian Walsh said in a statement. “Actions speak louder than words, and Brad Ellsworth’s decision to condone unethical behavior in Congress speaks volumes.”
Ellsworth got $12,000 in contributions from Rangel since 2005. He kept the money five months after Rangel stepped down as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Ellsworth has now unloaded it, shifting attention to other Democratic Senate candidates like Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway. Ellsworth is the Democratic nominee to replace Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN). He is running against former Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN).