spotlight follow-up

Candidates returning donations from Thornton Law Firm attorneys

On Sunday, the Globe Spotlight team and the Center for Responsive Politics teamed up to report that attorneys at Boston’s Thornton Law Firm donated $1.6 million from 2010 through 2014 to Democratic Party fund-raising committees and numerous politicians.

In return, Thornton lawyers received $1.4 million in “bonuses” over that period; more than 280 of the contributions precisely matched bonuses that were paid within 10 days.

Thornton was ranked 11th nationally for political contributions in 2014, the report said, even though Thornton isn’t among the 100 biggest firms in the state.

Since the report’s publication, a number of candidates have stepped forward to say they’re turning the donated money over to the US Treasury Department. As of late Tuesday, that amount exceeded $300,000. Among them:


Name Office Returned
Hillary Clinton Democratic presidential nominee $20,000
Catherine Cortez-Masto Nevada US Senate candidate $23,300
Tammy Duckworth Illinois US Senate candidate $26,100
Russ Feingold Wisconsin US Senate candidate $45,000
Deb Goldberg Mass. treasurer $9,500
Maggie Hassan N.H. governor, US Senate candidate $51,000
Jason Kander Missouri US Senate candidate $25,000
Katie McGinty Pennsylvania US Senate candidate $25,000
Joan Meschino Mass. House candidate $5,750
Patrick Murphy Florida US Senate candidate $21,800
Ted Strickland Ohio US Senate candidate $12,000*
Marty Walsh Boston mayor $15,000
Peter Welch Vermont congressman $37,900
Total $317,350
SOURCE: Boston Globe, Politico, Cleveland Plain Dealer reports

* The Strickland campaign only told the Plain Dealer that the $12,000 amount was approximate