Wednesday, March 16


DeLay's ARMPAC linked to Texas group: Records cited in a civil suit deepen the controversy over financing of the 2002 election.

Controversy, my hind leg. We're talking about a violation of the only Texas restriction on campaign finance, in other words LAW BREAKING:

The documents also raise questions about whether ARMPAC used corporate funds to raise the money delivered to the Texas candidates. Such use of corporate money for candidates has been at the core of civil lawsuits and criminal investigations into TRMPAC.

Texas law allows corporate money to be used for a committee's administrative purposes but not for political purposes. Republicans claim any money not given directly to a candidate and spent on his behalf is an administrative expenditure.

DeLay spokesman Dan Allen said the ARMPAC expenditures in Texas were legal because the committee at the time kept two accounts: one for corporate money and another for candidate-eligible money. Allen said no corporate money was used to pay for raising candidate money. "All those contributions were legal and proper," Allen said Tuesday.

TRMPAC kept two separate bank accounts for corporate and candidate money, but the ongoing investigation has shown the corporate money was used to pay for candidate fund raising.

Emphasis mine.

UPDATE: Karen Tumulty has an update on Delay's troubles in the new issue of Time:

After the debacle over the ethics rules, more than a few House members say they can ill afford to put their necks out much farther for DeLay. And their support could erode further--and quickly--if they start hearing complaints about DeLay from their constituents at home. "As members head home, they'll review the various media reports," says Arizona's Hayworth, who has been burned by revelations that he used a skybox supplied by Abramoff for fund raising. "I'm sure that it's in the best interest of the majority leader and the majority to have an accounting of what transpired."

A more ominous sign for DeLay: those who might succeed him have begun quietly positioning themselves to make a move if the opportunity arises, sources say. Among the possible successors most frequently mentioned are majority whip Roy Blount of Missouri, National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Reynolds of New York, House Education Committee chairman John Boehner and leadership chairman Rob Portman of Ohio. Not so long ago, it looked as though the speakership would be DeLay's for the taking after Hastert left the post, probably after the next election. But if DeLay is doing any praying in his office these days, it's probably to hold on to the job he has.

UPDATE: Alternet has an article entitled, "Delay's Dirty Dozen: A scandalous round-up of Tom DeLay's flagrant trespasses against decency."

UPDATE: Okay, so I'm just getting around to the news magazines. Newsweek covers the FBI probe into $2.5 million in payments to accounts at the conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research, accounts controlled by two lobbyists with close ties to DeLay. The FBI is trying to determine whether the monies, which were supposedly earmarked for a PR campaign promoting Indian gaming, were used instead for political contributions or for gifts to members of Congress.


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