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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Daily DeLay 

Wednesday, March 9, 2005:
Documents Suggest Bigger DeLay Role in Donations

Documents subpoenaed from an indicted fund-raiser for Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, suggest that Mr. DeLay was more actively involved than previously known in gathering corporate donations for a political committee that is the focus of a grand-jury investigation in Texas, his home state.

The documents, which were entered into evidence last week in a related civil trial in Austin, the state capital, suggest that Mr. DeLay personally forwarded at least one large corporate check to the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and that he was in direct contact with lobbyists for some of the nation's largest companies on the committee's behalf . . . .

Under Texas law, corporations are barred from donating money to state political candidates. The Texas committee acknowledged receiving large corporate donations during the 2002 campaign but always insisted that the money was used for administrative costs, which is legal.
Thursday, March 10, 2005:
S. Korean Group Sponsored DeLay Trip; Visits May Have Broken House Rules

A delegation of Republican House members including Majority Leader Tom DeLay accepted an expense-paid trip to South Korea in 2001 from a registered foreign agent despite House rules that bar the acceptance of travel expenses from foreign agents, according to government documents and travel reports filed by the House members.

Justice Department documents show that the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, a business-financed entity created with help from a lobbying firm headed by DeLay's former chief of staff, registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act on Aug. 22, 2001. DeLay; his wife, Christine; and two other Republican lawmakers departed on a trip financed by the group on Aug. 25 of that year . . . .

Jan W. Baran, a former general counsel for the Republican National Committee, said that although he was uncertain whether this trip violated the rules, "it's a problem" likely to trigger an investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, known as the ethics committee. DeLay was admonished three times last year by the ethics committee.

An aide to DeLay who asked not to be named said DeLay staff members had general discussions about the trip with the ethics committee before leaving and received verbal approval.

A veteran House official familiar with the case, who declined to be named because of DeLay's involvement, said verbal approval is not granted by the committee on such matters.
Friday, March 11, 2005:
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