WASHINGTON – Sen. George Allen and Rep. Heather Wilson, two Republicans in tight re-election contests, plan to donate to charities the contributions they received from Mark Foley, the former congressman ensnared in an e-mail sex scandal.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which has received $550,000 from Foley since 1996, will keep its money, committee spokesman Carl Forti said.
"We will be using the money like every other contribution — to help elect Republicans across the country," Forti said.
Virginia's Allen plans to give the $2,000 his campaign received from Foley last year. Wilson of New Mexico will donate $8,000 she received between 1998 and 2002.
"We're obviously, actively looking to give it to an appropriate charity or entity," said Allen campaign adviser Dan Allen.
Since he was elected in 1994, Foley has contributed $30,000 to congressional candidates. His contributions to the NRCC were his single largest political donations.
Returning money from scandal plagued politicians has become common practice this election cycle amid a series of guilty pleas, investigations and confessions of wrongdoing by lobbyists and members of Congress.
Among those whose contributions have found their way to charities are former House Republican leader Tom DeLay, disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R-Calif., and Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio.