Pro-Clinton PAC returns banned donations
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Priorities USA returned the donation after a story appeared in The Hill highlighting how the ban on political contributions from business groups holding federal contracts is frequently skirted.
 
In a statement, Suffolk Construction said Priorities USA had returned the donation.
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“Based on our internal accounting, the contract appeared to be completed as the project was over four years ago," Dan Antonellis of the Boston-based company said in a statement to The Hill. 

"We notified the Committee of this ambiguity and they decided to return their contribution.”

A spokesman for the super-PAC, Priorities USA, confirmed that it had given back the funds.

Companies that hold contracts with the federal government are banned from making political contributions. 

After a review of federal contracting and campaign finance records, The Hill found that Suffolk had given $200,000 to the PAC, while, according to USAspending.gov, holding multiple contracts with the Department of Defense worth $976,560.

The site’s records show that the contracts were for fiscal 2016.

The ban on contributions from federal contractors is a longstanding law meant to prevent pay-to-play deals between companies receiving taxpayer money and public officials.

But the prohibition is often ignored by contractors and campaign committees because the Federal Election Commission is plagued by partisan gridlock and unlikely to take action against infractions. 

The Hill found that ignoring the ban has become a common practice, with super-PACs for Republicans also taking money from companies with federal contracts. 

This story was updated at 2:46 p.m. July 5.