of the fruit of the forbidden transaction -- it forbids the sale. The sale is what is here alleged. Whether the corrupt transaction would or could ever be performed is immaterial. We find no basis for allowing a breach of warranty to be a defense to corruption.'
In the instant case we are not dealing in a sale, rather an attempted purchase.
Sections 214 and 215, supra, first appear, substantially in pari materia, as a single act, approved December 11, 1926, 44 Stat. 918, H.R.10739, Public, No. 525, as follows:
'An Act To prevent purchase and sale of public office.
'Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it shall be unlawful to pay or offer or promise to pay any sum of money, or any other thing of value, to any person, firm, or corporation in consideration of the use or promise to use any influence, whatsoever, to procure any appointive office under the Government of the United States for any person whatsoever.
'Sec. 2. It shall be unlawful to solicit or receive from anyone whatsoever, either as a political contribution, or for personal emolument, any sum of money or thing of value, whatsoever, in consideration of the promise of support, or use of influence, or for the support or influence of the payee, in behalf of the person paying the money, or any other person, in obtaining any appointive office under the Government of the United States.
'Sec. 3. Anyone convicted of violating this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than $ 1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
'Sec. 4. All Acts and parts of Acts inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.'
This is a criminal statute and with the reservations made in United States v. Hood, supra, must be strictly construed. United States v. Five Gambling Devices, 7 Cir., 252 F.2d 210. The construction of a statute should be with reference both to the history of the legislation and to other sections of the law with which it is in pari materia. Gutschalk v. Peck, D.C.N.D.Ohio 1919, 261 F. 212.
As above indicated, Sections 214 and 215 first appeared in 1926 as a single act. The soliciting section (215) specifically mentions 'political contribution.' No such characterization is found in Section 214 under which this Information is drawn. The Information here alleges that the defendant offered or promised to donate $ 1,000 a year to the Republican Party. The section in question specifically limits the payee to 'any person, firm or corporation.' A political party has been defined as a body of persons associated for the purpose of promoting certain views, opinions, or principles with respect to government. 29 C.J.S. Elections § 84, Political Parties. It is in no sense of the word a person, a firm, or a corporation. Had the Congress so desired, or intended, it could have added to the words 'person, firm or corporation' the further words 'or political party.'
Having in mind the obvious evil at which both Section 214 and Section 215 are directed, namely, the traffic in federal offices, it is interesting to note that only in § 215 (solicitation) was Congress concerned about a political contribution. The two sections have stood with no substantial change for nearly thirty-two years. It is not, in my judgment, the province of the courts to attempt to rationalize this apparent deliberate omission.
In the instant case the Information does not charge that the offer was to contribute to the individual named therein, a Congressman; the offer was made to the individual to contribute to the Republican Party. Considering Sections 214 and 215 as a whole, and having in mind the rules of construction above referred to, particularly in the light of the Hood case, supra, it is my conclusion that the Information does not state facts sufficient to constitute an offense against the United States of America.
Motion to dismiss the Information will be granted.
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