Reid paid granddaughter for "holiday gifts" to give donors, supporters

Update, 2:30PM: Reid will reimburse campaign: "I thought it would be nice to give supporters and staff thank-you gifts that had a personal connection and a Searchlight connection, but I have decided to reimburse the campaign for the amount of the expenditure.”

 

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The Federal Election Commission has sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's campaign, asking for more information on why he listed an expenditure of more than $11,000 $16,000 in "holiday gifts."

The gifts, I have learned, were purchased from his granddaughter, Ryan Elisabeth Reid, who is a jewelry vendor in Berkeley, CA. The gifts were later passed on to donors and supporters, a Reid spokeswoman told me.

Reid has previously been asked to explain holiday gifts to his Ritz Carlton doorman by the FEC. But in the letter from the FEC sent last week, the agency wants to know what payments of  $11,370 and $5,416 (UPDATED) were. "Itemized disbursements must include a brief statement or description of why each disbursement was made," the letter said.

Reid's granddaughter is listed only as "Ryan Elisabeth" on the FEC report, which is attached here (see page 166). But her full name is Ryan Elisabeth Reid.
 
When I saw her name and did some research, I found the last name and asked Reid's office on Monday if she were a relation. I got nothing and later was told " it is a jewelry company/vendor."
 
Yes, one who happens to be named Reid.
 
After the Review-Journal's Steve Tetreault speculated publicly Tuesday that the vendor might be Reid's granddaughter, I asked again. This time, her identity was confirmed.
 
As for the FEC, Chris Anderson of Friends of Harry Reid replied: "The campaign complied with all FEC rules."
 
The FEC wants an answer by April 25. But even if that agency does its usual dithering and wrist-slapping, many will wonder why Reid needs to use campaign funds for holiday gifts to give to supporters and donors and why he enriched his granddaughter in so doing.