Under pressure from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid disclosed that his campaign cut two checks worth a total of $16,787 to Reid’s granddaughter for “holiday gifts.”  And while it stinks, its perfectly legal.

The FEC sent the treasurer for Friends of Harry Reid a letter insisting that he “must include a brief statement or description … to clarify the following description: ‘holiday gifts.’” Those holiday gifts were two checks cut for Ryan Elisabeth of Berkley, Calif.  Ryan Elisabeth is actually Ryan Elisabeth Reid, 23-year-old daughter of his son, Rory.

Once the word got out about who his campaign sent the money to, Reid returned the money.

“I thought it would be nice to give supporters and staff thank-you gifts
that had a personal connection and a Searchlight connection,” Reid said
in a prepared statement. “But I have decided to reimburse the campaign
for the amount of the expenditure.

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 Gee $17K is a hell of a thank you.

When first contacted by Las Vegas journalist Jon Ralston, Reid’s office said Ryan Elisabeth was a campaign vendor — without acknowledging she was Reid’s granddaughter.

Reid’s aides later said the payments were for purchases from her Berkeley, Calif., jewelry business and that the items went to campaign donors.

FEC regulations allow only for the purchase of gifts of “nominal value” for occasions like holidays, graduation or marriage.

If given to a member of a lawmaker’s family, gifts are considered as personal use — and aren’t allowed. But the rules don’t include grandchildren in the list of prohibited relatives.

Therefore the transaction was perfectly legal.

According to her vimeo site Ms. Reid is:

… a Las Vegas native but has been living in NYC or Paris for the past five years.

Ryan runs a namesake jewelry company (Ryan Elisabeth), works for Tim Bavington Studio, runs Re-Style closet cleaning company, interned at San Francisco Mime Troupe, among other artistic endeavors.

She likes anything French, with a hat on it, and a silly attitude. Probably why she loves Professor Shnuffle!

While the transactions were totally legal, and  Ryan Elisabeth is the name of the Jewelry company so that name probably wasn’t used to hide anything, it is a prefect example of the cronyism which happens on both sides of the aisle.  This particular time it was campaign funds as opposed to taxpayer funds, but it does happen with campaign funds.

Acts like this one by Harry Reid is why congress has such a low opinion rating.