Actress and talk show host Rosie O’Donnell certainly puts her money where her mouth is. The problem is she may be too generous.
The New York Post reports that O’Donnell, who has famously clashed with President Donald Trump and is a prominent supporter of liberal causes, may have violated election laws by giving too much money to at least five Democratic federal candidates.
Federal Election Commission rules limit contributions by an individual to any one candidate to $2,700 per election. The limits apply separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.
Filings show O’Donnell gave a combined $5,400 in contributions over the limit to the five candidates, and used five different New York addresses and four variations of her name.
O’Donnell donated $4,700 to Alabama Sen. Doug Jones in his special election against Roy Moore; $3,600 to Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb for the special general election he won in March; $2,950 to California Rep. Adam Schiff for his primary; $4,200 to Illinois Congressional candidate Lauren Underwood for her primary run; and $3,450 to Omar Vaid, a congressional candidate in Staten Island and Brooklyn.
“Nothing nefarious,” O’Donnell said. “I was not choosing to over donate.”
“If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money,” she wrote. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”
Donors and candiates are legally liable for contributions that go over the limit, but the money can be refunded or used in a different election.
O’Donnell said that she assumed the ActBlue.com web site, through which she made her donations, would automatically limit donations to the max allowed.
One interesting donation:In 2006, O’Donnell gave $1,000 to Republican state attorney general candidate Jeanine Pirro, now a Fox News host.
“I also maxed out to Cynthia Nixon,” O’Donnell told the Post, referring to the former Sex and the City star turned New York gubernatorial candidate. “And I loathe Jeannine Pirro.”