Feingold to return $45K from law firm that paid bonuses to employees who made campaign contributions

MASSACHUSETTS -- Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Russ Feingold’s campaign says it will return $45,000 in donations from a Massachusetts law firm that paid bonuses to employees who made campaign contributions.

Thornton Law Firm paid bonuses to its lawyers after they donated to Democratic candidates, The Boston Globe found. Lawyers with the law firm donated nearly $1.6 million to Democratic candidates and committees from 2010 through 2014 and received $1.4 million in bonuses over that time period, the newspaper reported.

Employees of Thornton Law Firm donated $45,000 to Feingold’s campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

“This campaign does not tolerate this kind of activity and is disturbed to learn of these accusations,” said Michael Tyler, a spokesman for Feingold. “The contributions will of course be returned immediately.”

Feingold has a slight lead in the polls in his rematch with Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson. Johnson’s campaign criticized Feingold for accepting the donations in the first place.

“Sen. Feingold was happy to rake in illegal contributions from this out-of-state, high-powered law firm without asking any questions until he was caught red-handed,” said Brian Reisinger, a spokesman for Johnson.