|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
DeLay Court Appearance Set for Late Oct.
Sep 30, 5:06 AM (ET)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Rep. Tom DeLay was ordered to appear in a Texas courtroom on Oct. 21 to face the conspiracy charge that forced him to step down as House majority leader.
As he battles the charge, meanwhile, the Texas lawmaker will serve as a "very powerful adviser" to the Republican leadership, a GOP spokesman said Thursday.
"His experience and insight for over a decade of the Republican majority is invaluable to our leadership and to our members and will be used wisely," said Ron Bonjean, spokesman for House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.
DeLay was charged this week with conspiring with two political associates to use corporate donations to support Texas legislative candidates.
On Thursday, he provided new details about his behind-the scenes effort to try to convince prosecutors he shouldn't be indicted.
DeLay contended that after he recently met voluntarily with prosecutors, he was led to believe "it was pretty much over" and he would be spared indictment in a state campaign finance investigation.
Two weeks ago, he said, the landscape suddenly changed because Travis County (Texas) District Attorney Ronnie Earle buckled under pressure from fellow Democrats and the media, and tried to blame the switch on a "runaway" grand jury.
Earle has consistently denied the investigation of DeLay and his associates was political and has pointed out he has prosecuted more Democrats than Republicans.
The Austin, Texas, grand jury charged that the conspirators carried out the scheme by having the DeLay-founded Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee send corporate money to the Republican National Committee in Washington. The RNC then sent back a like amount - $190,000 - to distribute to Texas candidates.
Criminal conspiracy is a Texas felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The potential two-year sentence forced DeLay to step down as majority leader under House Republican rules.
DeLay was summoned by a judge to appear in court in Austin on Oct. 21, but his lawyers are working to spare him the humiliation of being handcuffed, photographed and fingerprinted.
DeLay went on the offensive Thursday in several broadcast interviews. The lawmaker said he thought he convinced prosecutors in a voluntary interview that he had little to do with operations of fundraising committee, known as TRMPAC.
"I got the impression from his (Earle's) chief prosecutor that they knew I had nothing to do with the day-to-day operation, that there was no conspiracy as far as I'm concerned," he said.
"In the following days after that, it was pretty much over until two weeks ago and Ronnie Earle made the statement that I was never part of this investigation publicly," he said.
DeLay said everything changed because Democrats put pressure on Earle and the local newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, wrote an editorial critical of Earle because the majority leader had not been indicted.
The grand jury has indicted three of DeLay's political associates, a Texas business association, several corporations and TRMPAC.
DeLay said Earle explained the change in thinking by telling DeLay's lawyers "that he has a runaway grand jury, the sixth grand jury he has impaneled and they're going to indict me."
DeLay said the change surprised him, because "we went to work and we were under the impression that he probably wasn't (going to indict), or he would have ... called me to testify before the grand jury. I have not testified before the grand jury to present my side of the case, and they indicted me."
The former leader also said Earle was working with Democratic leaders in Washington to have him indicted.
"There is very good evidence that they announced the strategy publicly, they put it on their Web site and their strategy is in their fundraising letters," he said, adding he was referring to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
"The evidence is coming," he said, but did not immediately offer any.
DeLay, 58, was indicted on a single felony count of conspiring with Jim Ellis and John Colyandro to violate state election law by using corporate donations illegally. Texas law prohibits use of corporate contributions to advocate the election or defeat of candidates.
The Associated Press learned Thursday that one witness before the grand jury was a former political director of the Republican National Committee, Terry Nelson, according to an official familiar with the grand jury deliberations who did not want to be identified speaking about grand jury matters.
The indictment said Nelson received a check for $190,000 in September 2002 that contained corporate donations given to a DeLay-founded Texas political committee. Ellis, the DeLay associate, gave Nelson the check and also the names of Texas state House candidates who were to receive contributions from the donations, according to the indictment.
After Indictment, DeLay Grossly Distorts Role With TRMPAC
Tom DeLay wants you to believe he was completely in the dark about TRMPAC’s activities. Here’s what DeLay said tonight on Hardball:
That’s TRMPAC. That’s not me…I was simply, along with four other elected officials, on an advisory board. They used my name as headliners for fundraisers and I had no idea what they were doing.
The facts suggest otherwise:
DELAY SAID TRMPAC WAS HIS IDEA: “U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, said Wednesday that it was his idea to create Texans for a Republican Majority.” [Austin American Statesman, 3/10/05]
DELAY ADMITTED HE WAS A “CREATOR, ADVISOR AND FUNDRAISER” FOR TRMPAC: “House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Wednesday he served as a creator, adviser and fund-raiser to a Texas-based political action committee now under state criminal investigation.” [Houston Chronicle, 3/10/04]
TRMPAC LITERATURE NAMES DELAY AS ORGANZATION “LEADER”: “Q: Who is Leading Texas for a Republican Majority? A: The leadership of the PAC includes Rep. Tom DeLay…” [TRMPAC, Q&A For Potential Media Inquires]
EVIDENCE SUGGESTS DELAY WAS INVOLVED IN COLLECTING CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS: “Documents, which were entered into evidence last week in a related civil trial in Austin, the state capital, suggest that Mr. DeLay personally forwarded at least one large corporate check to the committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and that he was in direct contact with lobbyists for some of the nation’s largest companies on the committee’s behalf.” [New York Times, 3/9/05]
DELAY PARTICIPATED IN TRMPAC FINANCE COMMITTEE CONFERENCE CALLS [TRMPAC, 10/5/02]
For G.O.P., DeLay Indictment Adds to a Sea of Troubles
By ROBIN TONER
September 29, 2005
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 - This is not what the Republicans envisioned 11 months ago, when they were returned to office as a powerful one-party government with a big agenda and - it seemed - little to fear from the opposition.
The indictment of Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the House majority leader, on Wednesday was the latest in a series of scandals and setbacks that have buffeted Republican leaders in Congress and the Bush administration, and transformed what might have been a victory lap into a hard political scramble. Republicans are still managing to score some victories - notably, Judge John G. Roberts Jr.'s expected confirmation as chief justice of the United States on Thursday - but their governing majority is showing signs of strain.
In the House, Mr. DeLay's indictment removes, even if temporarily, a powerful leader who managed to eke out, again and again, narrow majorities on some difficult votes. In the Senate, Republican ranks have been roiled this week by an investigation of Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, who is under scrutiny for his stock dealings from a blind trust.
Moreover, the string of ethical issues so close together - including the indictment and continuing investigation of the Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who was close to Mr. DeLay, and the arrest of David H. Safavian, a former White House budget official who was charged with lying to investigators and obstructing a federal inquiry involving Mr. Abramoff - is a source of anxiety in Republican circles.
"Even though DeLay has nothing to do with Frist, and Frist has nothing to do with Abramoff, how does it look? Not good," said William Kristol, a key conservative strategist and editor of The Weekly Standard.
At the same time, the White House is grappling with a criminal investigation into whether anyone leaked the name of a C.I.A. operative, an inquiry that has brought both Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's top political adviser, and I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, before a grand jury.
And the administration is struggling to steady itself after the slow response to Hurricane Katrina and defend itself against sweeping accusations of incompetence and cronyism in domestic security.
Joe Gaylord, a longtime Republican consultant and an adviser to Newt Gingrich when he was House speaker, said, "When you couple Iraq, Katrina, DeLay in the House, Frist in the Senate," and other ethical flaps, "it looks like 10 years is a long time for a party to be in power."
"And when you add to that gas prices and home-heating prices that are going through the ceiling this winter, it shouldn't give much comfort to the Republicans," Mr. Gaylord said. Such a wave of internal trouble is characteristic of a president's second term, particularly when his party controls Congress.
"We know that second terms have historically been marred by hubris and by scandal," said David R. Gergen, a former aide to presidents in both parties who is now director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
"We've seen the hubris," Mr. Gergen added, alluding to Mr. Bush's effort to restructure Social Security, now stalled. "And now we're seeing the scandals."
Ross K. Baker, an expert on Congress and a political science professor at Rutgers, argues that the lack of normal checks and balances, with each party controlling part of the government, is also a problem.
"What you're stuck with is oversight as a product of scandal, a product of catastrophe," Mr. Baker said. "It requires a blunder of major proportions, a calamity that is poorly addressed, before you get oversight."
Others say the intense competition of current politics - the ferocious ideological divisions combined with the narrowness of any majority - leads to a heightened emphasis on money and, perhaps, a bending of the rules to get it.
"We've constantly had leaders going down in the last 20 years for related issues," said Julian Zelizer, an expert on Congress at Boston University. "Those who are successful, there's a high chance they've pushed the boundaries of money in politics as far as they can go."
In recent months, conservatives have bemoaned the effects of power on their movement, like mounting deficits and ethics problems.
In the 10th anniversary issue of The Weekly Standard last month, Andrew Ferguson lamented the "ease with which the stalwarts commandeered the greasy machinery of Washington power."
"Conservative activists came to Washington to do good and stayed to do well," Mr. Ferguson said. "The grease rubbed off, too."
Eleven years ago, the Republicans took control of Congress - breaking a 40-year Democratic reign in the House - by campaigning as reformers out to derail a Democratic machine that Mr. Gingrich described as endemically, irredeemably corrupt. In fact, as the 1994 election approached, the Democrats endured several ethics scandals, including the fall of a speaker, a majority whip and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
Now the Democrats are reaching for the reformers' mantle. More and more, they attack the Republicans as a party riddled with corruption and out of touch with the problems and concerns of ordinary Americans.
Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, telegraphed the assault in an interview on Wednesday. "Their party has run out of both legitimacy and intellectual steam," he said.
A year before the midterm elections, the polls show Congress with a strikingly low approval rating - 34 percent in the most recent New York Times/CBS News Poll, conducted from Sept. 9 to 13. One Republican strategist, who asked not to be identified because of his work with Republicans on Capitol Hill, said of the DeLay indictment: "When you pile it on top of everything else - Iraq, Katrina, gas prices - it's pretty grim. We're still waiting for some sign of good news, something our candidates can run on. This isn't it."
The strategist added: "The Democrats will make the case that Republicans are too busy dealing with their own ethical issues to care about the problems facing the country. And guess what? That charge worked pretty well for us in '92 and '94."
Whether Democrats will be able to make that case is another question; they have internal problems of their own, notably their chronic problem in unifying around a clear message , a challenge the Republicans met with the Contract With America.
But for the Republican majority, the problem in many ways is not the challenge from without, but the second-term problems within.
DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe
By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.
DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.
The indictment against the second-ranking, and most assertive Republican leader came on the final day of the grand jury's term. It followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee founded by DeLay and three of his political associates.
The grand jury action is expected to have immediate consequences in the House, where DeLay is largely responsible for winning passage of the Republican legislative program. House Republican Party rules require leaders who are indicted to temporarily step aside from their leadership posts.
However, DeLay retains his seat representing Texas' 22nd congressional district, suburbs southwest of Houston.
DeLay has denied committing any crime and accused the Democratic district attorney leading the investigation, Ronnie Earle, of pursuing the case for political motives.
Democrats have kept up a crescendo of criticism of DeLay's ethics, citing three times last year that the House ethics committee admonished DeLay for his conduct.
Some key events and controversies in the career of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas:
1984: Elected to represent the 22nd District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1994: Elected majority whip.
July 1997: DeLay was part of a group that tried, but failed, to oust House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
October 1998: DeLay attacks the Electronics Industries Alliance for hiring former Democratic Rep. Dave McCurdy as its president and later receives a private rebuke from the House ethics committee.
November 2002: Elected majority leader without opposition.
September 2004: Grand jurors in Texas indict three DeLay associates _ Jim Ellis, John Colyandro, and Warren RoBold _ in an investigation of alleged illegal corporate contributions to a political action committee associated with him. The investigation involved the alleged use of corporate funds to aid Republican candidates for the Texas legislature in the 2002 elections.
September-October 2004: DeLay is admonished by the House ethics committee on three separate issues. The committee chastised DeLay for offering to support the House candidacy of Michigan Republican Rep. Nick Smith's son in return for the lawmaker's vote for a Medicare prescription drug benefit. The panel said DeLay created the appearance of linking political donations to a legislative favor, and that he had improperly sought the Federal Aviation Administration's intervention in a Texas political dispute.
January 2005: House Republicans reverse a controversial rule passed in November 2004 that would have allowed DeLay to keep his leadership post if he were indicted.
March 2005: Media reports spur Democrats to question DeLay's relationship with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is under federal investigation. Delay has asked the House ethics committee to review allegations that Abramoff or his clients paid some of DeLay's overseas travel expenses. DeLay has denied knowing that the expenses were paid by Abramoff.
April 2005: House Republicans scrap controversial new ethics committee rules passed earlier in the year that would have made it harder to proceed with an ethics investigation. Democrats charged the rules were meant to protect DeLay.
September 2005: Ellis and Colyandro are indicted on additional felony charges of violating Texas election law and criminal conspiracy to violate election law for their role in 2002 legislative races.
Today's risk of indictment has been upgraded to ELEVATED. Tom supporters should immediately begin stockpiling bottled water and ammunition.
Abramoff Probe May Threaten Leading Republicans as It Expands
By Jonathan D. Salant
Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The widening investigation of lobbyist Jack Abramoff is moving beyond the confines of tawdry influence-peddling to threaten leading figures in the Republican hierarchy that dominates Washington.
This week's arrest of David Safavian, the former head of procurement at the Office of Management and Budget, in connection with a land deal involving Abramoff brings the probe to the White House for the first time.
Safavian once worked with Abramoff at one lobbying firm and was a partner of Grover Norquist, a national Republican strategist with close ties to the White House, at another. Safavian traveled to Scotland in 2002 with Abramoff, Representative Robert Ney of Ohio and another top Republican organizer, Ralph Reed, southeast regional head of President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who once called Abramoff ``one of my closest and dearest friends,'' already figures prominently in the investigation of the lobbyist's links to Republicans. The probe may singe other lawmakers with ties to Abramoff, such as Republican Senator Conrad Burns of Montana, as well as Ney.
``These people all shared transactions together,'' said former House Democratic counsel Stan Brand, now a partner in the Washington-based Brand Law Group. ``That's always something that worries defense lawyers.''
Some Republicans acknowledge they are nervous. ``Sure there's a concern,'' said former Representative Jack Quinn of New York, who's now president of Cassidy & Associates, a Washington lobbying firm. ``But like everyone else, we have to wait and see where the investigation goes.''
Abramoff, 46, a top fund-raiser for Bush's re-election campaign, is under investigation by a government task force consisting of the Justice Department's public integrity section, the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Interior Department's inspector general. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is conducting another inquiry.
Safavian, 38, who in the 1990s worked with Abramoff at the Washington-based lobbying firm of Preston Gates Ellis & Rouvelas Meeds, was charged Sept. 19 by the Justice Department with making false statements about whether he had any dealings with the lobbyist in the course of Abramoff's attempts to obtain government land. He was also charged with obstructing an investigation. His lawyer, Barbara Van Gelder, told the Washington Post he would vigorously contest the charges.
Safavian took the Scotland trip three years ago aboard a chartered jet. Abramoff was paying for the plane, Safavian said in an e-mail to the ethics office of his employer at the time, the U.S. General Services Administration.
Abramoff's web of connections runs deep in the Republican Party. DeLay, 58, has participated in at least three overseas trips he sponsored; Democrats have demanded that the House ethics committee investigate whether DeLay violated House rules prohibiting lawmakers from accepting trips financed by lobbyists.
One of those trips was to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory. DeLay has opposed legislation requiring the Marianas to follow U.S. minimum wage and labor laws. Abramoff was lobbying for the Marianas at the time.
Two former DeLay aides, spokesman Michael Scanlon and deputy chief of staff William Jarrell, worked with Abramoff. Jarrell later was part of Bush's transition team focusing on the Interior Department, the parent agency for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, at a time when Abramoff was representing casino-owning tribes. The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is investigating Abramoff's and Scanlon's work for the tribes.
Abramoff diverted funds paid to him by Indian tribe clients that were supposed to be used on lobbying activities to a variety of personal projects, according to testimony and e-mails released at a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing. The personal projects ranged from an Orthodox Jewish academy to an Israeli sniper school; some money also went to pay off a personal debt, according to the testimony and e-mails.
Abramoff and Scanlon took in more than $66 million in fees from 2001 to 2004 from tribal clients, according to Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who chairs the Indian affairs panel. In one e-mail released by the Senate committee, Abramoff wrote to Scanlon, ``I have to meet with the monkeys from the Choctaw tribal counsel.''
Abramoff also has a relationship with Ney, the Ohio congressman. Ney's former chief of staff, Neil Volz, worked with Abramoff at the Miami-based law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP.
Reopening a Casino
Ney, 51, in 2002 agreed to insert language in federal legislation to allow an Abramoff client, the Tigua Indians of El Paso, Texas, to reopen a casino closed by state authorities. The provision didn't make it into the final measure.
In 2000, Ney placed two statements in the Congressional Record in support of Abramoff's purchase of SunCruz Casino Ltd., a casino ship company. Abramoff was indicted by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in August on wire fraud charges in connection with the purchase.
Burns, 70, who is up for re-election in 2006, has been the subject of an advertising campaign by the Montana Democratic Party criticizing him for receiving $136,500 in donations from Indian tribe clients of Abramoff and Scanlon from 2001 to 2004. Burns in 2003 pushed for a wealthy Michigan Indian tribe, one of Abramoff's clients, to receive a $3 million federal grant.
Two former aides of Burns, Will Brooke and Shawn Vasell, went to work with Abramoff at Greenberg Traurig.
Burns spokesman Grant Toomey said the request for the grant came from the Michigan congressional delegation.
An Offer to Meet
Ney spokesman Brian Walsh said, ``The congressman has sent two letters to the House ethics committee as far back as last year offering to meet with them. To date, there has been no response.'' Walsh said there have been no inquiries from the Justice Department ``on any matter related to Mr. Abramoff.''
DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden said the majority leader has asked the ethics committee ``to look into everything in order to exonerate him.''
Norquist declined through a spokesman to comment. Reed didn't respond to a request for comment.
Ed Patru, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Abramoff won't be an issue in next year's mid-term congressional elections. ``No member of Congress has ever been kicked out of office because of an allegation against another member or another lobbyist,'' Patru said. ``Democrats are trying to nationalize the 2006 elections. Their approach has been to throw everything up against the wall and hope something sticks.''
Gambling in Alabama
Abramoff's links to the party go beyond lawmakers. He worked with Reed, a former director of the Republican-oriented Christian Coalition, and Norquist to kill an effort to bring legalized gambling to Alabama.
At Abramoff's behest, one of his tribal clients, whose casino could have been hurt by the competition, sent money to Norquist's anti-tax group, Americans for Tax Reform, which in turn wrote a check to help Reed's effort.
One of Norquist's former partners in another venture was Safavian. The two men worked at Janus-Merritt Strategies LLC, a Washington lobbying firm that was later sold to a Richmond, Virginia-based law firm, Williams Mullen.
``Safavian is a small fish, but in combination with Abramoff and his ties to Norquist and DeLay, it presents a very inviting target to Democrats,'' said Ross Baker, a political scientist who studies congressional politics at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Safavian was one of three former Abramoff associates who joined the Bush administration. Another was Patrick Pizzella, assistant secretary of labor for administration and management. The third was Susan Ralston, special assistant to White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.
DeLay declares 'victory' in war on budget fat
By Amy Fagan and Stephen Dinan
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published September 14, 2005
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an "ongoing victory," and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget.
Mr. DeLay was defending Republicans' choice to borrow money and add to this year's expected $331 billion deficit to pay for Hurricane Katrina relief. Some Republicans have said Congress should make cuts in other areas, but Mr. DeLay said that doesn't seem possible.
"My answer to those that want to offset the spending is sure, bring me the offsets, I'll be glad to do it. But nobody has been able to come up with any yet," the Texas Republican told reporters at his weekly briefing.
Asked if that meant the government was running at peak efficiency, Mr. DeLay said, "Yes, after 11 years of Republican majority we've pared it down pretty good."
Congress has passed two hurricane relief bills totaling $62.3 billion, all of which will be added to the deficit.
Republican leaders have been under pressure from conservative members and outside watchdog groups to find ways to pay for the Katrina relief. Some Republicans wanted to offer an amendment, including cuts, to pay for hurricane spending but were denied the chance under procedural rules.
"This is hardly a well-oiled machine," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican. "There's a lot of fat to trim. ... I wonder if we've been serving in the same Congress."
American Conservative Union Chairman David A. Keene said federal spending already was "spiraling out of control" before Katrina, and conservatives are "increasingly losing faith in the president and the Republican leadership in Congress."
"Excluding military and homeland security, American taxpayers have witnessed the largest spending increase under any preceding president and Congress since the Great Depression," he said.
Mr. Keene said annual nonmilitary and non-homeland security spending increased $303 billion between fiscal year 2001 and 2005; the acknowledged federal debt increased more than $2 trillion since fiscal year 2000; and the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill is estimated to increase the government's unfunded obligations by $16 trillion.
Tom Schatz, president of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), said if Mr. DeLay wants to know where to cut, "there are plenty of places to reduce."
His group soon will release a list of $2 trillion in suggested spending cuts over the next five years, and he said Congress also could cut the estimated $20 billion to $25 billion in pet projects that make their way into must-pass spending bills each year.
CAGW and the Heritage Foundation also suggest rescinding the 6,000-plus earmarked projects in the recently passed highway bill.
But Mr. DeLay said those projects are "important infrastructure" and eliminating them could undermine the economy as Congress tries to offer hurricane relief.
"It is right to borrow to pay for it," he said. "But it is not right to attack the very economy that will pay for it."
Mr. Schatz, though, said the highway bill included projects such as flowers for the Ronald Reagan freeway in California, which he said aren't essential spending.
Mr. DeLay said the budget this year was pared down and 100 programs or offices were eliminated in this year's spending bills. "We have been doing that for 11 years," he said. He said it's an "ongoing process" that will be more complete after this year's budget process, which calls for cuts to Medicaid and other entitlement programs.
Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, North Carolina Republican, agreed that Republicans "have been more fiscally sound than the Democrats were in their decades in the House." He acknowledged that "we're still trying to improve," and noted Mr. DeLay is leading the fight to reform the budget process.
"We've had a good start, but many of us want to see the government be more fiscally sound and conservative in the future," Mr. McHenry said.
DeLay associates indicted
September 14, 2005
BY APRIL CASTRO
AUSTIN -- Two associates of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay were indicted Tuesday on additional felony charges of violating Texas election law and criminal conspiracy to violate election law for their role in the 2002 legislative races.
The indictment was the latest from a grand jury investigating the use of corporate money in the campaigns that gave Republicans control of the Texas House.
In Texas, state law prohibits using corporate contributions to advocate the election or defeat of state candidates.
The two men indicted Tuesday, Jim Ellis, who heads Americans for a Republican Majority, and John Colyandro, former executive director of Texans for a Republican Majority, already faced charges of money laundering in the case. Colyandro also faces 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution.
The money-laundering charges stem from $190,000 in corporate funds that were sent to the Republican national party, which then spent the same amount on seven candidates for the Texas Legislature.
DeLay has not been charged in any cases, though he has close ties to individuals and groups that have been.
DeLay to evacuees: 'Is this kind of fun?'
September 09, 2005
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's visit to Reliant Park this morning offered him a glimpse of what it's like to be living in shelter.
While on the tour with top administration officials from Washington, including U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao and U.S. Treasury Secretary John W. Snow, DeLay stopped to chat with three young boys resting on cots.
The congressman likened their stay to being at camp and asked, "Now tell me the truth boys, is this kind of fun?"
They nodded yes, but looked perplexed.
With a group of reporters and press officers in tow, DeLay then moved on, chatting with others, including a local IRS representative. He then visited with job recruiters set up in Reliant Park.
Earlier DeLay spoke with volunteers and thanked them for their service.
"You are becoming famous all over this country and even the world," he said, adding that he's often approached by lawmakers commending Houston's response to the disaster.
Grand Jury Indicts PAC Connected to DeLay
Thu Sep 8,12:56 PM ET
AUSTIN, Texas - A grand jury has indicted a political action committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and a Texas business group in connection with 2002 legislative campaign contributions.
The five felony indictments against the two groups were made public Thursday. Neither DeLay nor any individuals with the business group has been charged with any wrongdoing.
The charge against Texans for a Republican Majority alleged the committee illegally accepted a political contribution of $100,000 from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care.
Four indictments against the Texas Association of Business include charges of unlawful political advertising, unlawful contributions to a political committee and unlawful expenditures such as those to a graphics company and political candidates.