|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
New York Times News Service
Published March 13, 2005
WASHINGTON -- A legal defense fund established by Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican who is House majority leader, has dramatically expanded its fundraising effort, taking in more than $250,000 since the indictment last fall of two of his closest political operatives in Texas, according to DeLay's latest financial disclosure statements.
The list of recent donors includes dozens of DeLay's House Republican colleagues and several of the nation's largest corporations and their executives.
Among the corporate donors to the defense fund is Bacardi USA, the Florida-based rum-maker, which also has been indicted in the Texas investigation, and Reliant Energy, another major contributor to a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay that is the focus of the criminal inquiry.
DeLay is facing scrutiny by a grand jury in Austin over his role in the creation and management of Texans for a Republican Majority, the political action committee that he helped establish in 2001. The committee has been accused of funneling illegal corporate donations to state Republican candidates in the 2002 elections.
A grand jury in the case issued indictments last September against James Ellis, the director of DeLay's national political action committee; a major Washington-based fundraiser for DeLay, Warren RoBold; and eight companies that donated to the committee.
A spokesman for DeLay, Dan Allen, said the contributions "were an acknowledgment that Congressman DeLay is a fixture within the conservative movement and has been a very effective leader."
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