* Campaign says will return money if Corzine is charged
* MF Global chief was major fundraiser for Obama
By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Nov 2 President Barack Obama's
re-election campaign would return the donations made by
embattled MF Global chief Jon Corzine if he were charged with
any wrongdoing, a campaign official said on Wednesday.
Corzine, who is at the center of a storm over the
securities firm's bankruptcy this week, was a major fundraiser
for Obama. The former Goldman Sachs chief has raised or
"bundled" donations of at least $500,000 so far for Obama's
2012 re-election effort.
Corzine himself has donated the maximum that an individual
can give for a presidential campaign, according to campaign
finance records. He held a lavish $35,800-a-head fund-raising
dinner for Obama at his home in April.
A campaign official, speaking on condition of anonymity,
said Obama's campaign would return the donations from Corzine
as an individual if civil or criminal charges are brought
"Politicians, like business people, are risk averse," said
Jim Kessler, a policy analyst at the Democratic-leaning think
tank Third Way. "Until people know more of what is going on
they will distance themselves from Jon Corzine."
Neither MF Global nor Corzine have been accused of any
wrongdoing, though investigations are under way by several U.S.
Bad European debt trades made by MF Global pushed the
company into bankruptcy, but the heat on the firm now is
concentrated on why it cannot account for large sums of
customer money that was supposed to be kept separate from other
funds, sources told Reuters.
MF Global said in court this week there are no shortfalls
in its brokerage accounts.
Obama has a frosty relationship with Wall Street because of
the regulatory overhaul he ordered following the 2007-2008
economic meltdown. But bankers and other financiers remain
prominent among his big financial backers.
(Editing by Christopher Wilson)