Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do Tuesday defended himself against allegations of laundering campaign contributions, arguing he received none of the money alleged and chalked it up to a clerical error on the part of the Orange County Republican Party.
The complaint filed by Mario Angeles Jr. to the California Fair Political Practices Commission alleges that Do attempted to get around campaign contribution limits of $2,100 by donating $24,000 to the Orange County Republican Party, which sent out mailers on his behalf.
Do said Angeles is a roommate of someone who works for Do’s opponent for re-election, Sergio Contreras.
Do said the allegation that he was money laundering is “factually untrue. Categorically, no money was ever transferred or donated to the party’s account to my supervisor account.”
Do said his donation of $24,000 to the party is routine for candidates. He made the donation from his central committee account to the party to help with outreach to Republican voters on behalf of the party’s candidates.
Donations to a candidate’s central committee account is intended by law to only be used to reach out to the party’s voters. Do said his donation was meant the party to reach a larger pool of voters.
“Candidates do that all the time,” he told City News Service.
After receiving the donation, “It is up to the party at that point” how it is spent, Do said.
“They can decide how to allocate that,” he added.
The party decided to send out mailers for Do, and has spent $60,000 on behalf of his re-election campaign, Do said.
Do likened it to an “in-kind contribution” to his re-election campaign and not a donation. The party filed a form indicating the expenditures as a donation, which Do believes was a mistake.
“When the party spends money on the part of a candidate that is not a donation,” Do said.
Do added, “I feel that once the FPPC sees clearly there is no money transferred from the party to my supervisor account that I will be exonerated quickly.”