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UNITED STATES v. CHESTNUT

April 8, 1975

UNITED STATES of America,
v.
Jack L. CHESTNUT, Defendant


Edward Weinfeld, District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEINFELD

EDWARD WEINFELD, District Judge.

The defendant, Jack L. Chestnut, is under indictment upon a charge that he willfully and knowingly accepted and received, and did cause another to accept and receive, a corporate contribution to Hubert H. Humphrey's 1970 senatorial campaign, in violation of 18 U.S.C., sections 610 and 2. He now moves to dismiss the indictment on three grounds: (1) it violates the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution; *fn1" (2) it fails to state an offense; and (3) the statutes in force in 1970 at the time of the alleged offense, 18 U.S.C., sections 610 and 591, were unconstitutional in that they were vague, overbroad and in violation of the First Amendment.

 THE INDICTMENT

 The indictment charges that from February 1, 1970 to November 3, 1970, within which period Hubert H. Humphrey was a candidate for the nomination of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party for the office of United States Senator from the State of Minnesota, and later its candidate for that office, the defendant was Humphrey's campaign manager; that from on or about March 1, 1970 to on or about June 25, 1970 the defendant willfully and knowingly accepted and received a contribution from a corporation, American Milk Producers, Inc. ("AMPI"), on behalf of the Humphrey campaign; that this was accomplished by the defendant's arranging with AMPI's corporate officials that AMPI would pay the advertising firm of Lennon & Newell, Inc. ("L & N") for one month's services rendered by L & N to the Humphrey campaign; that the defendant arranged with an official of L & N that it would prepare invoices addressed to AMPI for one month's services rendered to the Humphrey campaign; that the defendant forwarded and caused to be forwarded these invoices to AMPI and further that he forwarded and caused to be forwarded to L & N two checks drawn on corporate accounts of AMPI, each payable to L & N in the sum of $6,000, dated June 1 and June 11, 1970, respectively.

 Against the background of the indictment's charges we consider each branch of his motion.

 I

 That the indictment violates the ex post facto clause of the United States Constitution.

 Defendant's claim is that the indictment is based upon a statute not in existence at the time the acts charged in the indictment occurred. At that time, the year 1970, the statute read:

 
"It is unlawful for . . . any corporation . . . to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election at which . . . a Senator . . . [is] to be voted for, or in connection with any primary election or political convention or caucus held to select candidates for . . . [such office], or for any candidate, political committee, or other person to accept or receive any contribution prohibited by this section."

 Thus, under the foregoing statute, it was unlawful for (1) a corporation to make "a contribution or expenditure," and (2) any person to accept or receive a "contribution." The 1970 version of section 610 contained no definition of "contribution" or "expenditure." These were defined in section 591 of Title 18, as follows:

 
"The term 'contribution' includes a gift, subscription, loan, advance, or deposit, of money, or anything of value . . . ."
 
"The term 'expenditure' includes a payment, distribution, loan, advance, deposit, or gift, of money, or anything of value . . . ."

 The defendant, in support of his argument, observes that "expenditure" is the broader term since it adds "payment" and "distribution" to ...


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