Raid on political donor shakes D.C. government

Potential fallout could influence campaigns, recall effort

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He also noted Mr. Thompson has not donated to any of them in the current cycle, and previous donations to his campaigns were by the book.

“If he gave me $100,000 I’d be sitting in jail,” Mr. Orange said, noting each donation tied to Mr. Thompson was within campaign limits. “His contributions abided by the law.”

Meanwhile, Frederick Butler, a Ward 2 resident leading an uphill effort to recall the mayor and council chairman, said Friday’s events only buttress “what we’re doing here.” He said the raid proves that an internal network is driving “acts of malfeasance” in the city government.

“I still think our effort is needed and warranted,” he said.

Mr. Butler, a supporter of Mr. Fenty, said his goal is have 40,000 signatures — roughly 20,000 for Mr. Gray and 20,000 for Mr. Brown — by April 3, when registered voters head to the polls for primary elections. The elections will be a key time for additional signature-gathering, he said.

For their part, the mayor and chairman have said they are focused on the business of the city. They formally responded to Mr. Butler’s petitions at the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics with an outline of their accomplishments.

Mr. Butler said he has a rotation of three volunteers per day on the streets and that they will target certain precincts when they reach 10,000 signatures. He could not offer an exact figure for signatures collected thus far but claimed to have “well over a couple thousand.”

“The momentum’s only building,” Mr. Butler said.

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