Political consultant gets 18 months for campaign schemes

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A longtime Philadelphia political consultant has been sentenced to a year and a half in federal prison over campaign finance violations involving two Democratic congressional campaigns.

Kenneth Smukler told the judge Friday that he regretted that he “gamed” the Federal Election Commission throughout his career. He added he’s now “toxic” in the political consultant business.

In 2012, Smukler helped arrange a $90,000 payoff to get then-Rep. Bob Brady’s primary challenger to withdraw. Smukler was also convicted in connection with his work on former Rep. Marjorie Margolies’ unsuccessful 2014 campaign to reclaim her seat.

Brady and Margolies were not charged.

Brady, who since left Congress, joined dozens of others in writing letters to the judge that vouched for Smukler’s character and pleaded for leniency.

Categories: National News