|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
An aerial view of U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's Rancho
Santa Fe home after it was raided by federal agents.
Texas prosecutors probe possible Cunningham-Delay cash link
By Seth Hettena
6:31 p.m. January 24, 2006
SAN DIEGO – The Texas district attorney prosecuting Rep. Tom DeLay has issued a second round of subpoenas to San Diego County businessmen seeking records surrounding donations to the former GOP leader and disgraced former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham.
The subpoenas issued by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle's office zero in on 2002 transactions involving PerfectWave Technologies LLC, a Poway company controlled by Brent Wilkes, a businessman with ties to DeLay and Cunningham. Wilkes' attorney has identified him as an unidentified co-conspirator of Cunningham, the North County Republican who resigned from Congress after pleading guilty in November to accepting $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors.
DeLay, charged with conspiring to launder campaign money that was given in 2002 races for the state Legislature, flew three times on a jet owned by another Wilkes company, according to campaign records.
According to the subpoenas, businessman William B. Adams wrote a $40,000 check to PerfectWave on Sept. 18, 2002. Two days later, PerfectWave sent $15,000 to TRMPAC, the state committee whose spending is at issue in DeLay's criminal case. On Oct. 3, PerfectWave gave $25,000 to "Tribute to Heroes," Cunningham's annual black-tie charity gala in San Diego.
Wilkes' charitable foundation spent nearly $36,000 hosting "Tribute to Heroes" in 2002. Cunningham, a former Vietnam war fighter ace, was feted with a trophy at the event, according to the event's Web site and tax filings.
Subpoenas were issued last week to Adams and Max Gelwix, PerfectWave's president and CEO. Before joining PerfectWave, Gelwix worked with Adams in a small San Diego soil products company. Adams declined to comment and Gelwix did not return a message left seeking comment.
The subpoenas sought records of any communications between DeLay, Cunningham, House Majority Whip Roy Blount of Missouri and Wilkes over federal legislation that may have benefited Adams and his businesses.
Matt Hennessy, an attorney for DeLay, said the subpoenas were not worth the paper they were printed on. Cunningham's lawyer, Lee Blalack, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Adams, a golf course developer who lives in Bonita, gave $5,000 in 2002 both to Delay's Americans for a Republican Majority PAC and Blount's Rely on Your Beliefs fund, according to campaign finance records.
Earle's office, which did not return a message left seeking comment, also issued subpoenas regarding a $10,000 contribution received by a San Diego YMCA that may have come from an Idaho mining company.
According to the subpoenas, Atlas Mining Co. of Osburn, Idaho wired $10,000 to PerfectWave on Oct. 24, 2002 – the same day PerfectWave cut a $10,000 check to the Copley Family YMCA. Wilkes, whose foundation gave an additional $15,000 to the Copley YMCA in 2002, was named its man of the year.
But Ron Short, Atlas Mining's operations manager, said Tuesday that he could find no record that money was wired to PerfectWave and added that he had never heard of PerfectWave or Wilkes.
"We didn't have $10,00 to give away three years ago," Short said.
Also named in the subpoenas was San Diego attorney Paul E. Smithers, who co-signed checks from PerfectWave to TRMPAC and Tribute to Heroes. Smithers did not return a message left seeking comment.
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