Pepe Cardona: Major Obama campaign donors tied to Mexican fugitive


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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