All money may be legal, but it ain’t all good.
Senator Amy Klobuchar appeared to show that she knows this by returning a presidential campaign donation from Linda Fairstein, the former New York State attorney who oversaw the prosecution of the Central Park Five.
Or at least she’s acting like she does—in hindsight.
The Guardian was the first to bring the contribution to light, citing that Federal Election Commission records indicate that Fairstein donated $1,000 to Klobuchar’s campaign committee in March 2019.
“The campaign shouldn’t have accepted this contribution and we’re returning it,” a campaign spokesperson said this week—almost a year after the donation was exposed.
The Minnesota lawmaker, who’s running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the 2020 election, has touted her “tough on crime” record as a former prosecutor throughout the years.
But just like Fairstein, she has been criticized for a problematic track record concerning police and black people.
The 59-year-old Yale graduate and University of Chicago-trained lawyer may be acting like she doesn’t want the dirty money, but her hands are not clean.
According to Vox, Klobuchar pushed for harsher prison sentences against nonviolent offenders, such as graffiti taggers and drug dealers, and called for changes to the law that would allow even longer prison sentences, particularly against repeat offenders.
Police shot and killed 25 people, while another four died in custody under Klobuchar’s watch as chief prosecutor, an American Public Media exposé brought to light.
She directed all but one case to a grand jury, and none of the officers involved were ever charged.
“I don’t have a perfect record. But I promise you, every single day in that job, I tried to put myself in other people’s shoes to try to do the right thing,” she told The Washington Post in March.
As far as Fairstein is concerned, she was living a pretty lofty life after destroying most of the lives of five innocent New York City teenagers who she prosecuted for the brutal rape of a Central Park jogger in 1989.
After her victory, she reinvented herself as a bestselling crime novelist (spinning fiction) and held prominent board positions.
That was all before 2019's Emmy Award-nominated Netflix miniseries When They See Us exposed how Fairstein and the justice system railroaded innocent blacks.
After the series aired, online petitions and a hashtag, #CancelLindaFairstein, called for a boycott of her books and her removal from prominent board positions, including that of Vassar College, her alma mater.
With lightning speed, her book publisher—Dutton, the Penguin Random House imprint—dropped her and she gave up the board seats.
Through the years, the once-celebrated sex crimes prosecutor had no problem spreading her money around in politics.
Newsweek reported Fairstein has a history of donating to Democratic candidates—donating thousands to Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s Senate campaign, Hillary Clinton’s presidential run and the Democratic National Committee.