Nursing homes settle lawsuit involving Texas campaign financing

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A legal imbroglio that put nursing homes in the spotlight of a Texas campaign financing controversy in 2002 has ended well for providers, according to a spokesman.

The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care was one of a handful of defendants that settled out of court with Democratic plaintiffs who claimed that corporate donations were illegally used to defeat them in elections. Alliance President Alan Rosenbloom said a trial court entered summary judgments on all counts in favor of the defendants and that the Alliance entered a sealed settlement last month with the plaintiffs to avoid potentially costly appeals and "nuisance" claims.

"From our perspective, we made a political contribution entirely legally and got caught up in claims that it was legal. So far, all courts have said it was legal," Rosenbloom told McKnight's on Wednesday.

At $300,000, the Alliance tied as the largest donor among those solicited to help raise $1.7 million with the intent of helping elect the first Republican majority in the Texas House in more than 100 years. The money included a $100,000 check handed off by then-CEO of Mariner Health Care C. Christian Winkel, according to the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, which updated the story this week. The funds went toward mailings that were coordinated with Texans for a Republican Majority, a group headed by former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.