Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Not So Easy Money
Hillary Clinton's campaign has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from some of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City's Chinatown. The Los Angeles Times r eports an April fundraiser in an area known for its gritty urban poverty churned out a whopping $380,000 dollars.
The Times says at least one Chinatown donor has denied making a $1,000 contribution recorded in his name. Another who donated $2,500 appears to be ineligible to do so under federal election law. And many donors could not be tracked down using property, telephone or business records.
The Clinton campaign is expressing concern about the situation. It says it has flagged questionable contributions and returned others.
Can't Take a Joke?
There's one presidential campaign out there that is breaking ground — and could be breaking the law. Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert has made much of his so-called candidacy — which he has played for laughs on his show. But some election experts are not laughing.
They say if Colbert does not clearly declare the whole thing a joke — he could run afoul of federal law. The Politico reports Colbert has actually signed papers to try to get on the primary ballot in south Carolina, unveiled a campaign Web site, and gotten advice from a top election law firm.
As a result — the entire production cost of his show could be considered an illegal "in-kind" corporate donation — and he could be cited for using network employees on campaign activities.
One election lawyer tells Politico — "You don't get a different set of rules because you're running as a joke."
The city of Philadelphia has for years allowed the local Boy Scouts chapter to use a downtown building as its headquarters — for $1/year rent. But now the city wants the Scouts to pay fair market value for the office — $200,000/year — because the Boy Scouts refuse to admit homosexuals. The city says it cannot legally rent taxpayer-owned property for a nominal sum to a private organization that discriminates.
A scouting spokesman says coming up with the rent would mean 30 scout packs would not be financed — or 800 needy kids would not get to attend summer camp.
Turning the Tables
And finally — Rush Limbaugh's auction of a letter sent to a major radio network by 41 Democratic senators — complaining about Limbaugh's "phony soldiers" comment — resulted in a winning bid of $2,100,100 — a record for an eBay auction. The money will go toward a charity that pays for the education of children who lost a parent in the military or law enforcement.
— FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.