A Republican candidate for Congress in Georgia has received around a quarter of his donations from out of state--and at least one of those is from the grave.
Bob Barr, a former congressman who served from 1995 to 2003 and a former presidential candidate on the Libertarian party ticket in 2008, is running for the House of Representatives again in 2014, attempting to succeed Senate hopeful Phil Gingrey. In the second quarter of 2013, Barr's campaign raised more than $250,000 from donors in Georgia and elsewhere. One small, $150 donation came from Malvern Gross Jr. of Hightstown, New Jersey. The problem is that Gross, once a generous donor to Republican and conservative causes, appears to have died in 2010.
The donation appears on page 59 of Barr's second-quarter report to Federal Election Commission and shows the money given in the name of Mr. Malvern Gross Jr. of 60 Meadow Lks, Hightstown, New Jersey on April 25, 2013, in the amount of $150.00, intended for Barr's Republican primary campaign. View the image from the report below:
The address appears to be part of a retirement community, Meadow Lakes, in Hightstown, in which Gross may have lived. But a 2010 New York Times death notice says Gross, who was a partner with the accounting firm Price Waterhouse, died on December 5, 2010 at his home in East Windsor, New Jersey, the township surrounding Hightstown. The notice also indicated gifts could be given in Gross's name to the Meadow Lakes Scholarship Fund, which awards college scholarships to employees of the retirement community.
In life, Gross gave much and often to political candidates and groups. Between 2007 and 2010, Gross, who split his time between New Jersey and another home on the Puget Sound in Washington state, gave thousands of dollars to groups like the Club for Growth, the Republican National Committee, and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth PAC. He also gave to candidates like Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, George W. Bush, Marco Rubio, and Pat Toomey, with his donations in that three-year period totaling more than $33,000. His final donation, $5,000 to the Club for Growth, came on October 22, 2010.
Final, that is, until the $150 "he" gave to Barr this year. There does not appear to be any other Malvern Gross Jr. living in Hightstown. Gross had two children, a daughter and a son (whose name is not Malvern). His wife, Inge Gross, has donated to Republican candidates as recently as last year, but she did so under her name, not her late husband's. A phone call to his surviving son confirms that Gross lived at the address listed on the FEC report but has been dead since December 2010.
Federal election law allows for donations to candidates from the estates of deceased citizens. There is no indication from the Barr campaign's report that the donation in Gross's name came from his estate.
A call and an email to the Barr campaign have not been returned.