Thursday, April 07, 2005

Slowed to a trickle because of the drip, drip, drip

According to a story by Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News (registration required), DeLay's legal defense fund's receipts slowed to just $50,000 in the first quarter of this year, as compared to the $430,000 it took in for the last half of 2004. Since a major source of funds for his legal defense is members of Congress, you can't help but put one and one together and conclude that members of Congress don't want to be associated with him or his legal defense.

Also, American Progress Action Fund released a series of reports on DeLay's paybacks to various industries and called on activists to demand that specific companies cut off their ties with DeLay. (My favorite is the one linked to "paybacks" -- we had something to do with that research and ran a radio ad on it last year in DeLay's district.) Gillman writes:

The latest barrage came Wednesday from the Center for American Progress. The Democratic think tank, founded by Bill Clinton's former chief of staff, John Podesta, launched a campaign to try to embarrass corporations that have helped pay Mr. DeLay's legal bills. Its new Web site, www.dropthehammer.org, spotlights donations from American Airlines, Bacardi USA, Nissan USA, RJ Reynolds and Verizon, and some of the legislation those companies have sought help with over the years.

"Consumers shouldn't have to facilitate Tom DeLay's unethical behavior with their purchases," said Laura Nichols, a vice president of the center. "We demand that these companies ask for their money back and drop their support of Tom DeLay."

At American Airlines, which gave $5,000 in late 2002, spokesman Tim Wagner said that "we were told that Mr. DeLay, a member of Congress from our headquarters state of Texas, was facing substantial legal bills that he was unable to pay personally because of their size and his limited resources." He added that American made no further donations.

None of the other four companies responded to messages.

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