Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) is taking heat for some possible campaign-finance violations.
The Federal Election Commission on Wednesday sent a letter to Nunes’ campaign committee, raising red flags about some particular contributions received in 2017. The letter, sent to Nunes’ campaign treasurer and mother Toni Dian Nunes, requested “information essential to full public disclosure” about three potentially illegal contributions.
A total of $3,000 was contributed to Nunes’ campaign fund by Harris Lee Cohen, whose FEC contribution information lists him as the manager of “SIFI,” or Setton International Foods, Inc. in Terra Bella, CA. According to their website, Cohen is the general manager of Setton Pistachio. Cohen contributed $1,500 in July 2017, and again in November.
FEC reports also show that Joshua Setton, listed as the President/CEO of Setton Farms in Terra Bella, contributed a total of $16,700 towards Nunes’ campaign committee and victory fund.
$3,000 was also contributed to Nunes from Jeffrey J. Kimbell, president of a Washington lobbying firm specializing in “legislative, regulatory and policy solutions to clients in the life sciences community,” according to their website. Kimbell’s FEC contribution information lists him as a self-employed “health care consultant” in his June contribution of $1,000 and his two December contributions of $1,700 and $300.
According to ProPublica, Kimbell’s firm lobbied on behalf of clients Acadian Ambulance and Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Services on bills like the Ambulance Medicare Budget and Operations Act of 2017, introduced in July, and the Comprehensive Operations, Sustainability, and Transport Act of 2017, introduced in September. Both bills were sponsored by Nunes.
Both Kimbell’s and Cohen’s contributions violate FEC limits, prohibiting “an individual…[from making] contribution(s) to a candidate for federal office in excess of $2,700 per election.”
An additional $10,000 was also contributed last November by Stone Land Company, a “family farming operation” operating near Nunes’ California district. The company sent an undated letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Bay Delta office pushing for a “reliable water supply” in the state and that it repair “California's broken water system.”
Stone Land Company’s money to the Nunes campaign violates the FEC rule that forbids contributions “from corporations and labor organizations unless made from separate segregated funds established by the corporations and labor organizations.”
Nunes has until April 24 to respond to the FEC.