WASHINGTON — A review of federal disclosures has turned up more payments from Sen. Harry Reid’s campaign fund to his granddaughter for purchasing gifts for supporters.
Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday he would pay back his campaign for all expenditures made to Ryan Elisabeth Reid. She has been the target of harassing phone calls and “negative unwanted attention on the Internet,” he said.
“This has gone too far and it needs to stop now,” Reid said in a statement issued through his office. “I deeply regret any role I had in creating this situation but now, as a grandparent, I say enough is enough.”
Fresh disclosures on top of those made in recent days show Reid’s political organization paid his granddaughter $31,249 in 2012 and 2013 for gifts to be given to supporters and staff. Ryan Elisabeth Reid, 23, the daughter of former Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid, designs jewelry and is creative director of a New York theater company.
The issue came to light after the Federal Election Commission inquired last week about “holiday gift” expenditures on Reid’s 2013 year-end campaign report. The payments totaling $16,786 were listed as being made to “Ryan Elisabeth,” the name of a jewelry and gift line that was run by his granddaughter.
Republican Party operatives who dug into earlier campaign reports flagged another $14,481 in payments made during 2012. Those were independently confirmed.
Reid said the payments complied with federal law and Federal Election Commission rulings that campaign finance experts say allow the purchase of goods from relatives if they meet a fair market value test. But the potential appearance that Reid could be using funds from political donors to enrich a family member prompted a decision to reimburse the campaign.
Reid said his office was reviewing records to ensure the full amount is reimbursed.
“Landra (Reid’s wife) and I are extremely proud of our granddaughter, we love her very much and we regret any unwanted attention that these stories have brought to her,” Reid said.
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau chief Steve Tetreault at 202-783-1760 or STetreault@stephensmedia.com Follow @STetreaultDC on Twitter.