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Jeff Thompson, the D.C. Medicaid contractor who allegedly funded a $650,000 illegal shadow campaign and gave more than $40,000 in straw donations to help get Vince Gray elected mayor in 2010, was part of a small group of Gray associates who donated to a Maryland campaign by the mayor’s cousin.
In late 2007, Maryland Del. Jim Proctor threw a fundraiser in D.C. He says Gray, his first cousin, suggested some potential donors Proctor’s campaign might contact. Proctor’s campaign finance records show that Gray, who was then D.C. Council chairman, and several of his close friends donated on the same day. Gray gave $1,000. His closest friend and former campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green gave $150. Thomas Gore, another longtime friend and former campaign treasurer who recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, gave $200. Those are the only donations Green and Gore have ever made to a Maryland politician in the last seven years, campaign finance records show.
On that same day, Thompson gave Proctor $3,000. Thompson gave a $1,000 personal donation, $1,000 from one of his healthcare companies, and $1,000 from his accounting firm. Thompson has donated to a few Maryland politicians before (Gov. Martin O’Malley recently gave away some of, but not all, of the money Thompson gave his 2010 campaign). But this was his only donation to Proctor.
Other connected types who gave to Proctor around the same time as Gray include David Wilmot, who has lobbied on behalf of Thompson and helped him fundraise; Rod Woodson, one of Gray’s favorite lobbyists, whose nomination to the D.C. Water board of directors was recently rejected by the D.C. Council; and developer Herb Miller, a former fraternity brother of Gray’s who says he doesn’t remember any details of his donation to Proctor. None of them gave more than $200. There’s also a $500 donation from a company called D.C. Services, which shares an address and a similar giving pattern in D.C. politics with the former lottery company contractor controlled by Gray ally Leonard Manning.
Pedro Ribeiro, a spokesman for Gray, says the mayor doesn’t remember soliciting any donations for his cousin but may have forwarded the fundraiser’s invitation to some of his associates. Ribeiro adds that Gray hardly knew Thompson in 2007 and that Thompson would have been on the top of any fundraiser’s list given his prolific giving in past campaigns. (Thompson’s attorney has declined all media requests for comment ever since the FBI raided his client’s home and office earlier this year.)
Proctor says he doesn’t know Thompson and that he isn’t sure who invited him to the fundraiser; he says it could have been Gray or any of his D.C. friends. Readers with good memories may recall that Maryland super lobbyist Bruce Bereano, an ex-con and another Gray fraternity brother, once raised money for Gray by telling potential donors that Proctor “would be very appreciative of any help or support you can give to his cousin Vince.”
Bereano declined to comment when asked if he was involved in Thompson’s donations. Asked if D.C. businessmen donated to his campaign simply as a favor to Gray, Proctor says, “They may have, yes.”
In Thompson’s case, that might have been a $3,000 favor for a guy he supposedly wasn’t even close with.
Photo via C-SPAN