|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Judge rules DeLay ally broke law
The Washington Post
Published May 27, 2005
AUSTIN, Texas -- A state judge ruled Thursday that the treasurer of a political fundraising committee organized by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) violated the state's election law by failing to report $684,507 in contributions from corporations and other donors in 2002.
The civil court decision is the first to uphold a complaint by Democrats about the way DeLay and his advisers financed a 2002 political victory in Texas, which ultimately helped cement Republican control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Following a plan devised by the DeLay camp, the fundraising committee, Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), helped elect the first Republican majority in the Texas House in 130 years. That allowed DeLay's allies in the Legislature to redraw congressional districts and elect four additional Republicans to the U.S. House in 2004.
The decision by state District Judge Joseph Hart focused on the liability of the committee's treasurer, Bill Ceverha, and did not mention DeLay, who has denied involvement in any improprieties. The judge did not rule on the wider issue of whether the contributions themselves--as opposed to the failure to report them--were illegal.
Separate criminal charges related to that issue, including indictments of three political associates of DeLay and four of the corporations that provided contributions, are pending in another Texas court.
Five defeated Texas Democratic Legislature candidates brought the lawsuit, and they were awarded a total of $196,660.
At issue were the activities of TRMPAC, created in 2001 by DeLay and his advisers to reorder the state and national political maps. Documents spelled out how DeLay, who served on the committee's board, wrote a cover letter for its fundraising brochure, and called or met with donors at dinners and other events, where he sometimes solicited their views on pending federal legislation. DeLay's attorneys have claimed, however, that he was not involved in the group's day-to-day operations.
The donors included Philip Morris USA, Bacardi USA, AT&T Corp. and Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Hart rejected arguments that the election law was unconstitutional and that the corporate funds were used for "administrative" purposes and were legal and not covered by reporting requirements under Texas election law.
DeLay Upset Over 'Law & Order' Line
Friday, May 27, 2005
(05-27) 09:53 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is upset that a popular NBC crime drama used his name as part of its show.
DeLay wrote NBC to complain that one of the characters on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" invoked his name in a story line about the shooting death of a federal judge. "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-shirt," the fictional police officer said.
DeLay, in a letter to NBC Universal Television chief Jeff Zucker, called that reference a "slur."
"This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse," he said.
DeLay, R-Texas, criticized the federal judiciary after the courts refused to stop the death of Terri Schiavo. "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior," he said in a statement on March 31, hours after Schiavo died.
DeLay apologized the next week, saying he had spoken in an "inartful" way and meant that Congress should increase its oversight of the courts.
"This isolated piece of gritty 'cop talk' was neither a political comment nor an accusation," NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said. "It's not unusual for L & O to mention real names in its fictional stories. We're confident in our viewers' ability to distinguish between the two."
Creator/executive producer Dick Wolf added: "But I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a television show."
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