tom delay may be in more hot water

zimv20

macrumors 601
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Jul 18, 2002
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should be, but we'll see if anyone really cares...

story 1

A 3rd DeLay Travel Controversy

1997 Russia Visit Reportedly Backed by Business Interests

A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.

DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.

It is unclear precisely how the money was transferred from the Bahamian-registered company to the nonprofit.

The expense-paid trip by DeLay and three of his staff members cost $57,238, according to records filed by his office. During his six days in Moscow, he played golf, met with Russian church leaders and talked to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, a friend of Russian oil and gas executives associated with the lobbying effort.

DeLay also dined with the Russian executives and two Washington-based registered lobbyists for the Bahamian-registered company, sources say. One of those lobbyists was Jack Abramoff, who is now at the center of a federal influence-peddling and corruption probe related to his representation of Indian tribes.

House members bear some responsibility to ensure that the sponsors for their travel are not masquerading for registered lobbyists or foreign government interests, legal experts say. House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.

(more)
story 2

Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader

WASHINGTON, April 5 - The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state, Texas.

Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.

Mr. DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."

Mrs. Ferro has managed several of her father's re-election campaigns for his House seat.

His spokesman said that Mr. DeLay had no additional comment. Although several members of Congress employ family members as campaign managers or on their political action committees, advocacy groups seeking an overhaul of federal campaign-finance and ethics laws say that the payments to Mr. DeLay's family members were unusually generous, and should be the focus of new scrutiny of the Texas congressman.

(more)
 

Thomas Veil

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Feb 14, 2004
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Yeah, but he was a Democrat. Only Democrats seem to get in trouble nowadays.

Still, I welcome anything that can get DeLay out of there. The man is getting more arrogant by the day.
 

IJ Reilly

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Thomas Veil said:
Yeah, but he was a Democrat. Only Democrats seem to get in trouble nowadays.

Still, I welcome anything that can get DeLay out of there. The man is getting more arrogant by the day.
The irony is, Wright was hounded from office for very similar ethical lapses. IIRC, he stood accused of taking money for travel from people with an interest in legislation, laundering campaign funds through a book deal, and hiring a relative to do little or no real work. After the Wright affair, the House (then controlled by the Democrats) strengthened their ethics rules. With the accusations against DeLay, the House (now controlled by Republicans) has weakened their ethics rules. All of which brings to mind geese and ganders.
 

zimv20

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yet another scandal story has broken...

link

DeLay's Lavish Island Getaway

Embattled Lobbyist Arranged DeLay Trip

By BRIAN ROSS

Apr. 6, 2005 - A Washington lobbyist under federal investigation for his lobbying activities arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, over the New Year's holiday in 1997.

DeLay, his wife and daughter, and several aides, stayed for free at a beachfront resort.

The DeLay trip to the South Pacific island, originally reported by a "20/20" investigation, was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

Abramoff, who was working for the law firm Preston Gates Ellis and Rouvelas Meeds LLP at the time, was paid $l.36 million by Saipan officials and wrote in a memo obtained by ABC News that such congressional trips were "one of the most effective ways to build permanent friends on the Hill."

Abramhoff is now under federal investigation for his lobbying activities, including Saipan, according to a source familiar with the investigation.

[...]

Later, according to a recording made by a human rights investigator posing as a potential customer, one of the prominent factory owners said that DeLay had promised to stop the reform laws.

"Do you know what Tom told me?" Willie Tan said. "He said, 'Willie, if they elect me Majority Whip, I make the schedule of the Congress, and I'm not going to put it on the schedule.' So Tom told me, 'Forget it, Willie. No chance.' "
(emphasis mine)

this article also has a nice little summing up of other trips under scrutiny:
At least three other DeLay free trips connected to Abramoff and other lobbyists have been coming under intense scrutiny. A 1997 trip to Moscow cost roughly $57,000, a trip to London and Scotland in the year 2000 cost $70,000, and a trip in 2001 to South Korea came to nearly $107,000.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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I'd actually like to see DeLay hang in there for a while longer. Up until closer to the '06 elections at least if he doesn't self destruct before then. Then he can go back to killing bugs. In jail.

Even the GOP establishment is distancing themselves from this guy. He skipped out on a religious hatefest this week after drawing all this fire because he's scared of his new high-profile image. Tom DeLay is badly out of step with America, and it's high time America saw how the GOP's muscle in the HoR behaves.

If he hangs in there though, the '06 election can become a referendum on DeLay and the GOP's ethics, fiscal, and foreign policy problems. DeLay will be the Dems whipping boy, and the only people who'll really back the guy are the American Taliban crowd.
 

IJ Reilly

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More thoughts about DeLay's ethics, or lack thereof:
It Was Only a Matter of Time for DeLay
Jonathan Chait

April 8, 2005

In 2002, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay wanted to redraw Texas' district map to guarantee GOP gains. To pull this off, he needed Republicans to win control of the Texas Legislature, which would undertake the gerrymander.

DeLay went about raising large sums of corporate cash to plow into the Texas Statehouse races. Alas, Texas law prohibits corporations from donating money to candidates. So DeLay's group, Texans for a Republican Majority, raised $190,000 in corporate donations and sent the money to a national Republican campaign group, which in turn donated the $190,000 to individual GOP candidates for the Texas Statehouse.

DeLay is facing possible indictment for this incident. But the above paragraph doesn't contain the accusation. That's DeLay's defense. GOP lawyers say this money trading is a legal loophole. As DeLay told reporters, "When you have lawyers advising you every step of the way, it is very hard [for your opponents] to make a case stick." This defense may or may not work, but either way it doesn't quite meet the usual meaning of the word "innocent."

And that's the funny thing about the hot water DeLay finds himself in these days. He can make a plausible case that he's legally innocent of everything he's been accused of. Yet the things DeLay has admitted to are pretty bad on their own.

Like the controversy over letting a lobbyist pay for his overseas travel, which House rules prohibit. The lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, funneled money through conservative think tanks, which funded the trips. Nobody is questioning that part; the sticking point is that on at least one occasion Abramoff abandoned the pretense and picked up DeLay's tab directly.

DeLay says he didn't know that Abramoff paid the bill, and he probably didn't. Still, he surely knew that Abramoff, his friend and ally, wasn't showing up on trip after trip out of sheer coincidence.

DeLay's story, then, is that he and Abramoff circumvented the ban on lobbyist-funded travel with a transparent ruse, only Abramoff slipped up, dropping the ruse without DeLay's knowledge. Again: not guilty, perhaps, but hardly "innocent."

Then this week, the Washington Post reported that yet another DeLay trip was financed by Russian business interests, also, of course, without DeLay's knowledge. (House rules prohibit traveling at the expense of foreign agents.)

The purpose of the trip was apparently to secure DeLay's support for funding the Overseas Private Investment Corp. Most conservatives scorned OPIC, which provides a subsidy for businesses investing abroad, as corporate welfare. The Russians who allegedly paid for DeLay's trip had a strong interest in seeing the funding pass, and DeLay did not disappoint them. His spokesman, according to the Post, insisted the majority leader had a perfectly valid reason for his "yes" vote: "OPIC had the strong backing of the energy industry, including companies from Texas that received OPIC financing."

This is funny given that DeLay's loyal deputy, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), recently insisted with a straight face that his boss is "driven by philosophy…. I don't think I've ever been in a room where he said, 'We need to do this because some lobbyist needs it done.' " So now DeLay is reduced to essentially admitting he violated his principles at the behest of U.S. companies, which is merely sleazy, in order to deny violating his principles on behalf of Russian companies, which could be illegal.

It was probably just a matter of time before DeLay got nabbed for something or other. The hallmark of his career lies in pushing previously known social, ethical and legal norms further and lower than anybody else had ever had the guts or the indecency to push them.

Congress has always run something of a protection racket, but only DeLay was blunt enough to divide Washington's special pleaders into "friendly" and "unfriendly" camps based on their donations and to invite them into his office to see the lists. It's a tradition for the majority party in the House to run roughshod over the minority, but DeLay has taken majority tyranny to an extreme — wantonly changing voting rules and forbidding Democrats from reading or debating legislation. Gerrymandering is a hallowed American tradition, but DeLay was the first to hit upon doing it without the cover of a census.

DeLay has yet to be judged, but this much is clear: If you constantly violate the spirit of the rules, it will be hard to avoid the charge that you violated the letter.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-chait8apr08,0,2940295.column

But you know, it's the LA Times...
 

Punani

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Jun 16, 2004
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With all these lapses in ethics (as well as his Congressional voting history) I'm remain puzzled why they still stand by him and used him as their bullhorn in the Schiavo case.

Do the Republicans really think that they are that much like Teflon?
 

solvs

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Jun 25, 2002
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zimv20 said:
should be, but we'll see if anyone really cares...
Apparently they don't. :confused: :( :mad:

I'm not sure whether I should be madder at the Neocons for thinking they can get away with it, the Liberals for not actually doing anything about it, or the people who don't care enough so that they actually do get away with it.

I wonder if they know that corrupt politicians are the first to be thrown into the fire during the Apocalypse. You'd think they'd at least read those Bibles they've been a thumpin'. Ah well, maybe he'll do something really dumb and people will actually care.
 

Xtremehkr

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Jul 4, 2004
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Tom Delay really needs to be brought to justice. Beyond that, I would really like to see the fall of the corporate media. Liberal groups have been disastrously unorganized for decades now, perhaps longer considering how long the media has supported the interests of business over those of people.

On a positive note, at least there is an effort being made now to launch an alternative media.

The media has not always been completely slanted, fair would not be the best word to use but over the past 25-30 years it has not been the most objective outlet. With the advent of Fox, there is competition to see who can be the most conservative outlet.

An objective media would never have started a feeding frenzy over the Schaivo matter when the majority leader is acting in such a detesable manner. Especially when there was nothing wrong being done (legally) in the Schaivo case and Delay is treating ethics standards with outright contempt.
 

IJ Reilly

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DeLay deserves the same fate as Jim Wright (and without delay). For the time being, he's been saved by the pope -- but I think this story has legs enough to outlast the papal saturation coverage.
 

solvs

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Xtremehkr said:
An objective media would never have started a feeding frenzy over the Schaivo matter when the majority leader is acting in such a detesable manner. Especially when there was nothing wrong being done (legally) in the Schaivo case and Delay is treating ethics standards with outright contempt.
Especially considering what a hypocrite he is.
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Rumor is that DeLay is calling in the favors he's owed in an effort to save his skin. I'm sure Santorum is just one of the people who 'owe him one'.

Oh and there's also the implicit threat DeLay issued regarding anyone not helping him not getting any help from him or the GOP in the future.
 

IJ Reilly

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DeLay has the Wright stuff. Whenever a politician calls in all his chips simultaneously, he's desperate, which means he's finished. I'd put money on it.
 

zimv20

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Jul 18, 2002
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how low will he go?

link

DeLay Urges GOP to Blame Dems Over Ethics

WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, hoping to hold support among fellow Republicans, urged GOP senators Tuesday to blame Democrats if asked about his ethics controversy and accused the news media of twisting supportive comments so they sounded like criticism.

Officials said DeLay recommended that senators respond to questions by saying Democrats have no agenda other than partisanship, and are attacking him to prevent Republicans from accomplishing their legislative program. One Republican said the Texan referred to a "mammoth operation" funded by Democratic supporters and designed to destroy him as a symbol of the Republican majority.

DeLay also thanked Sen. Rick Santorum (news, bio, voting record), R-Pa., for his recent comments and said the news media had twisted them to make them sound critical, the officials added, all speaking on condition of anonymity.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday, Santorum said DeLay "has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves. But from everything I've heard, again, from the comments and responding to those, is everything he's done was according to the law."

(more)
 

solvs

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IJ Reilly said:
What, he hasn't gone low enough already?
It's going to get worse before it gets better. Problem is (for them at least) I think that more people are finally catching on. How did Jon Stewart put it, "how dare Liberals hold them accountable for their unethical behavior". Something like that. :p
 

IJ Reilly

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solvs said:
It's going to get worse before it gets better. Problem is (for them at least) I think that more people are finally catching on. How did Jon Stewart put it, "how dare Liberals hold them accountable for their unethical behavior". Something like that. :p
It would make for great satire if it weren't true, but in essence, this is the case being made by Republicans. They watered down the house ethics rules to protect DeLay, rules by which the Democrats are now refusing to play. But that's not stopping the Republicans from claiming that it's the Democrats who are "playing politics" with this issue.