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Democrats Have Lucrative Links to Milberg

Posted Oct 18, 2007 6:02 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Four Democratic presidential candidates have accepted campaign contributions from lawyers connected to Milberg Weiss since the securities class action firm was indicted on charges of paying kickbacks to lead plaintiffs.

John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joseph Biden are among 26 Democrats who have accepted $150,000 in Milberg-related contributions, the New York Times reports.

Edwards received $16,000 in contributions from firm-connected people, $4,600 of it from one of his fund-raisers, William Lerach, who led a California law firm that split from Milberg until he pleaded guilty in the kickbacks probe last month, the newspaper says. An Edwards spokesman said the Lerach contribution was donated to charity.

Clinton received $4,600 from Milberg’s indicted leader, Melvyn Weiss, also accused of paying kickbacks. A Clinton spokesman said she did not intend to return the money.

The newspaper says Milberg Weiss has also contributed $500,000 to help build a new Democratic National Committee headquarters, and some Milberg partners invested in a private venture with several prominent Democrats.

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