Bob Casey quiet on fate of Norcross donations

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) isn’t saying for now if he’ll do anything to distance himself from thousands in donations received from New Jersey real estate mogul George Norcross III, who was the target of a thirteen-count indictment from his state’s attorney general earlier this week that rocked politics across the tri-state region.

Federal FEC filings show Casey accepted $8,000 in campaign donations going back to 2012 from Norcross and his brother, Phillip, who was also named as a co-defendant in this week’s indictment. 

A request for comment to numerous emails through Casey’s campaign website was not returned.

When comparing his donations to other local senators, Norcross only donated more to New Jersey’s Bob Menenedez (D) who coincidentally also finds himself the target of a criminal investigation, although Menendez’s case is federal.

Norcross donated $19,800 to Menendez, and $4,800 to fellow New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (D).

Norcross has also given $5,800 to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

The Norcross indictment has the potential to spur the kind of donation returns that have become more common in politics over the last two decades when scandal erupts. The most recent example would be Sam Bankman-Fried, who donated millions of dollars to individual Democrat politicians and Democrat-linked committees, most of which ended up being donated to a charity after Fried’s indictment and subsequent conviction.

For example, when the federal government announced corruption charges against Sen. Menendez, Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman was first to announce he would be returning donations from a Menedez PAC, saying with dramatic flair, “We are in process of returning the money … in envelopes stuffed with $100 bills.”

Five other senators soon followed, including Casey.

The Inquirer described Norcross as a “towering figure who has led South Jersey’s Democratic political machine for more than a quarter century, and who would allegedly use that power to force out potential competitors for the development of a new waterfront in Camden.

“On full display in this indictment is how a group of unelected, private businessmen used their power and influence to get government to aid their criminal enterprise and further [their] interests,” the attorney general said.

As the indictment lays out, Norcross’s muscle wasn’t purely economic. He had been a former member of the Democratic National Committee and had chaired the Camden County Democratic Committee.

Some of that clout was used “to tailor New Jersey economic development legislation to [the] preferences” of Norcross and his associates.

Casey faces businessman Dave McCormick in the November election after McCormick won the Republican nomination in April. A polling average maintained on Real Clear Pennsylvania currently shows Casey with a five-point lead over McCormick.

Todd Shepherd is Broad + Liberty’s chief investigative reporter. Send him tips at tshepherd@broadandliberty.com, or use his encrypted email at shepherdreports@protonmail.com. @shepherdreports

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