Thursday, March 31, 2005

Texas Observer exposes more evidence of the law-breakin' TRMPAC

Thanks to the folks at, here's a story to pass along:

The Texas Observer runs a piece today that gives us all more to chew on about DeLay's state political action committee, TRMPAC. They're reporting that more of the subpeonaed documents from the civil trial against TRMPAC officials show clear intent to use corporate donations for political purposes. Here's how the story begins:

"Unlike other organizations, your corporate contributions to TRMPAC will be put to productive use,” reads the document subpoenaed from Texans for a Republican Majority Executive Director John Colyandro. It’s one of hundreds of exhibits offered into evidence for a recent civil trial—and presumedly, presented to the Travis County grand jury for its ongoing criminal investigation as well. The political brochure—paid for with corporate money—was aimed at donors to the Tom DeLay-founded PAC, and titled “TRMPAC GOALS.”

What, you may ask, made TRMPAC so “productive” that it could accomplish what “other” political organizations had been unable to do in a century of political campaigning?

It continues: “Rather than just paying for overhead, your support will fund a series of productive and innovative activities designed to increase our level of engagement in the political arena.” (emphasis mine)

That's illegal. Productive and innovative, certainly. So innovative no one had ever done it (or perhaps, done it and got caught) before, because it's, repeat after me, ILLEGAL.

And the connection to DeLay? He was involved in raising the corporate money from some of the energy companies for TRMPAC, transactions that got him into hot water with the Ethics Committee in the House. Consider this passage describing "former DeLay legislative director turned lobbyist" Drew Maloney's fundraising.

[Drew] Maloney also relates in his e-mails that he will be delivering “2 checks from Reliant” to “TD” (Tom DeLay). The circumstances under which DeLay sealed the Reliant deal earned him a rebuke from the U.S. House ethics committee in 2004. In early June 2002, DeLay held a two-day golf tournament at the Homestead resort in Hot Springs, Virginia. The cost of attending the event was a corporate contribution of $25,000 to $50,000. Five energy companies were invited by Maloney to attend: El Paso Corp., Mirant, Reliant Energy, Westar Energy, and Williams Companies. (DeLay’s dealings with Westar would earn a separate rebuke from the committee.) The golfing took place just before a House-Senate conference on an omnibus energy bill. (It’s understandable why, four months later, Maloney would complain about Reliant’s tardiness.) The Homestead event was supposed to benefit equally TRMPAC and DeLay’s Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC), according to an e-mail from an ARMPAC staffer to TRMPAC’s accountant.



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