straw donor

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Mon Mar 3 14:54:52 UTC 2008

>From today's L.A. Times, about the corruption trial of Chicago businessman
Tony Rezko...

Obama is not implicated. But U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve made it
likely that Obama's name would come up in court when she ruled that
prosecutors could introduce evidence that Rezko used "straw donors" to give
to politicians, apparently including Obama.

Nothing in OED for this or any other extensions of "straw" from "straw man"
(in the sense of '**a person set up to serve as a cover for a usually
questionable transaction'). Earliest cite on ProQuest:

1989 _L.A. Times_ 18 May 3 (ProQuest) Assistant U.S. Atty. George B.
Newhouse Jr., who is prosecuting Goland and two business associates, told
jurors that Goland sought out straw donors to secretly finance the
television campaign in an attempt to get around federal election spending

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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