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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Joe Scarborough suspended for donating to Matt and Don Gaetz



MSNBC anchor Joe Scarborough, a former Congressman from Pensacola, will serve a two-day suspension Monday and Tuesday for violating NBC News policies regarding political contributions. The suspension is the second scalp to come from Politico's reporting on contributions by MSNBC personalities, coming two weeks after the cable newschannel suspended its biggest star, Keith Olbermann for unauthorized donations to three candidates.

In Scarborough's case, Politico found the anchor had made five previously undisclosed $500 donations since 2005 to candidates running for office in the Pensacola area, including contributions to his brother, state house candidate George Scarborough, state House candidate Matt Gaetz and his father, state Senate candidate Don Gaetz. After looking through his records, MSNBC told Politico Scarborough found three more $500 gifts to David Stafford, his former Congressional Chief of Staff , who was running for Escambia County supervisor of elections.

In a statement, Scarborough said he gave the donations to help friends and family, never thinking that NBC News policy required him to get prior approval.  Politico reported that some donations Scarborough gave were recorded in variations on his full name, Charles Joseph Scarborough, and his wife gave matching contributions on the same day. Matt Gaetz also got a $500 contribution last year from Scarborough's son Charles, who was a college student in Alabama.

"I recognize that I have a responsibility to honor the guidelines and conditions of my employment, and I regret that I failed to do so in this matter," Scarborough said in his statement. "I apologize to MSNBC and to anyone who has been negatively affected by my actions."

[Last modified: Friday, November 19, 2010 3:58pm]


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