Pepe Cardona: Major Obama campaign donors tied to Mexican fugitive

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President Obama arrives on stage at a campaign event at the University of Illinois at Chicago Wednesday. His campaign raised $68 million in the last three months of 2011.

Credit:

Jewel Samad

The New York Times reported that the American brothers of Mexican fugitive Juan Jose Rojas Cardona, known as Pepe, are among major donors to President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

Cardona jumped bail in 1994 and disappeared, according to The Times, and has since been mentioned in connection with corruption cases in Mexico. Cardona is seeking a pardon, while his brothers, Carlos Rojas Cardona and Alberto Rojas Cardona, raised money for the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Both brothers gave $30,800 apiece to the DNC. When contacted by The Times, Obama’s campaign said it was refunding the money given by the Cardona brothers, equalling more than $200,000. “On the basis of the questions that have been raised, we will return the contributions from these individuals and from any other donors they brought to the campaign,” said Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the campaign.

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Obama reportedly met with around 25 wealthy donors who each contributed $35,800 at a Washington hotel of Feb. 3, according to the Associated Press. He raised more than $220 million for his campaign and the DNC in 2011.

Reuters also reported that Obama leads the Republican front-runner Mitt Romney in small donors, or people who donated less than $200. In 2011, 60 percent or $58.5 million of Obama’s campaign fund came from small donors, whereas Romney only raised 9 percent or $5.2 million of his campaign funds from contributions of less than $200.

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