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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Globalization & Capitalism : Government & Elections

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay Takes Cover from Fund-Raising Scrutiny

As 2004 came to a close, Ronnie Earle, district attorney in Travis County Texas, made gains in pursuing associates of US House Majority leader Tom DeLay for illegal corporate fundraising. Eight corporations have been indicted: several have had their indictments dismissed on the basis of having been misled by the fundraisers. At least one of the corporations indicted, Sears Roebuck & Co, will be cooperating with the prosecution.
Texans for a Republican Majority helped the GOP take control of the state House, a goal that was important to DeLay because he wanted the Legislature to draw new congressional districts that favored Republicans. This is what we commonly call gerrymandering, and it is a clear violation of the principle of "one man, one vote," as enunciated in Baker v. Carr (1962). Courts have been increasingly willing to review legislative redistricting that is obviously designed to give one party an advantage over another in upcoming elections: keep an eye out for more litigation here, especially from minority voters.

This is what we commonly call gerrymandering, a clear violation of the principle of "one man, one vote," as enunciated in Baker v. Carr (1962).

Three associates of Delay have been indicted, and Delay himself has stated that he fully expects that he will be joining them on the docket: so he is preparing himself with a fundraising campaign (?!). Dennis Hastert has helped him by smoothing things over on the house floor. 3 of the Republicans on the ethics committee have already reprimanded Delay for previous offenses: they've been summarily removed and the word on the floor is that investigation of high-ranking Republicans will not be tolerated.

The Houston Chronicle commented on the strange nature of DeLay's defense...

DeLay's defense fund is a curious animal. DeLay maintains he has done nothing wrong and is not the target of a criminal investigation, so why canvass the House for donations?
and his sources of support:
The new ethics committee chairman, Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., said he would focus on trying to keep House members out of trouble. The other new Republicans on the panel, Reps. Lamar Smith of San Antonio and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, each gave DeLay $5,000 for his defense fund and can be trusted to view DeLay's behavior in a more charitable light.

Delay heads 2 of the organizations currently being investigated by Earle in Texas: Texans for a Republican Majority and Americans for a Republican Majority. The Texas Association of Business is also a target. Details of these investigations are available at along with a analysis of what kind of return corporate "donors" expect on their investment: read Quid Pro Quo.

David Roknich


background source:
Austin Chronicle


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