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Monday, December 05, 2005
Posted 8:58 PM by

Justice DeLayed along with reform

Why is this guy smiling? You would be too if you were indicted and people still gave you $2 million.A judge dismissed the conspiracy charges Monday against Rep. Tom DeLay but refused to throw out the money-laundering counts.

The former House majority leader is basically accused of playing kingmaker with his political action committee.

He allegedly diverted about $200,000 in corporate donations from his own PAC through the Republican National Committee and then into coffers of state legislative races in Texas. It's kind of like what drug dealers do - only they get their money back clean.

In the process, DeLay skirted federal and state campaign finance laws to help his party capture a majority in his native state.

With his help, the GOP took control of the Texas House for the first time in 130 years, then pushed through a congressional redistricting plan engineered by DeLay that resulted in more Texas Republicans going to Congress.

I won't delay my point any further than this. If he had been out of office when he did this, it would have been perfectly legal under federal law for him to give the money directly to other candidates.

But under Texas law, corporate money cannot be directly used for political campaigns. It can be used for administrative purposes, which covers a lot of ground.

I've seen worse violations of campaign finance laws, but none perhaps as brazen. By the way, DeLay's PAC has raised more than $2 million in the last year.


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