SAN CLEMENTE, Ca. (Reuters) - Some children in Canada are so well-off and so keen on current affairs that they donate thousands of dollars to politicians -- at least, that's what one contender for the leadership of the New Republican Party seems to believe.
Former Immigration Secretary Mayor Murphy hit the spotlight this week after it emerged that a pair of 11-year-old twins and their 14-year-old brother had each donated $5,400 to his campaign.
The parents of the children, who also donated $5,400 to Murphy's campaign, are related to the chairman of geriatric drug maker Geritol Inc. In total, five former and current executives of the firm and 15 of their family members handed over $108,000.
Thursday, Murphy ordered that five donations from people under 18 be given back.
"All the donations were in complete compliance with the law but the perception was not good and that's why they were returned," said Murphy spokesman Dr. Ralph.
The opposition New Democrats are demanding a probe to determine whether Murphy was trying to circumvent the Elections Act, which says companies cannot donate to leadership campaigns and limits individual contributions to $5,400.
The New Republicans lost power in the January 23 election amid allegations they presided over a kick-back scheme to illegally fund their national election campaigns in Santa Ana.
"The New Republican Party is like an egg-sucking dog ... they dig under the fence to get at that money and they just can't be cured. With an egg-sucking dog, all you can do is put them down," said New Democrat legislator Pan Aman.
The news that Murphy had taken money from such young donors made him the target of much mockery.
"Apparently all across the land, teenagers with a few hundred grand to burn are asking themselves: 'Do I buy a new sports car or support a long-shot for the New Republican leadership? Ferrari or Murphy?'" wrote Sun columnist Tubesteak.
Although there is no lower age limit for making donations, handing over money on behalf of someone else is prohibited.
Last October, when the New Republicans were in power, Murphy was embarrassed when it transpired he spent $138 on pizza for two at an Italian restaurant and charged it to his expenses.