Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore

"The reality is, Jack Abramoff and I were not close personal friends. I met with him only occasionally…"- Tom Delay 2/6/2006

CONTRIBUTIONS — DELAY RECEIVED $65,000 FROM ABRAMOFF: “Since 1997, Abramoff and his wife have contributed $40,000 to DeLay’s political action committees, and last year the Capital Athletic Foundation [Abramoff’s bogus charity] donated $25,000 to the DeLay Foundation for Kids, a charity the lawmaker founded. Abramoff has long been a member of DeLay’s Congressional Council, which DeLay describes in promotional materials as a ’special group of supporters.” In January 2006, DeLay pledged to donate $57,000 of the contributions to charity. [Washington Post, 9/28/04; Washington Post, 1/5/06]

GIFTS — DELAY ACCEPTED EXPENSIVE GIFTS FROM ABRAMOFF: “DeLay was Abramoff’s guest at skyboxes Abramoff maintained at MCI Center and the Redskins’ FedEx Field, and his staff members were flown to a Super Bowl game in Florida and to the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach, Calif.” [Washington Post, 9/30/05]

CRONYISM — ABRAMOFF HELPED RUDY OBTAIN HIGH-POWERED LOBBYING JOB: Tony Rudy, former deputy chief of staff to DeLay, left the congressional office in 2001 for a lucrative lobbying position obtained with the help of Abramoff. E-mails between Rudy and Abramoff reveal that Rudy “was in close contact with a future employer [Abramoff] about issues in which the employer had an interest.” Federal prosecutors “are examining whether he [Abramoff] brokered lucrative jobs for Congressional aides at powerful lobbying firms in exchange for legislative favors.” Rudy is now at the Alexander Strategy Group, run by Buckham, another former DeLay aide. [Business Week, 7/11/05; New York Times, 12/2/05]

COUSHATTA CAMPAIGN — DELAY ORGANIZED HASTERT, BLUNT, AND CANTOR TO BACK ABRAMOFF EFFORT: One of Abramoff’s tribal clients, the Coushattas, “opposed a plan by the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians to open a casino at a non-reservation site, expected at the time to be outside Shreveport, La., not far from a casino owned by the Coushattas.” Abramoff lobbied DeLay’s office to organize a June 10, 2003, letter to Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton endorsing a view of gambling law benefiting the Coushattas. The letter was eventually co-signed by DeLay, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Deputy Whip Eric I. Cantor (R-VA), a “group of people, who do not normally weigh in on Indian issues.” [Washington Post, 9/28/04]

SUNCRUZ — BURNS AND DELAY STAFFERS ACCEPTED SUPER BOWL TRIP FROM ABRAMOFF, SUNCRUZ: Two Burns staff members “traveled to the 2001 Super Bowl on the Abramoff corporate jet, along with several staffers from the office of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).” The trip was funded by Abramoff-owned SunCruz, a Florida casino cruise line, and “staffers were taken out to a Suncruz gambling ship during the trip.” [Washington Post, 3/1/05]

MARIANA ISLANDS — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO SAIPAN: Abramoff “arranged a lavish overseas trip to the island of Saipan for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, over the New Year’s holiday in 1997. DeLay, his wife and daughter, and several aides, stayed for free at a beachfront resort.” The trip “was part of an effort by former aide Jack Abramoff to stop legislation aimed at cracking down on sweatshops and sex shops in the American territory, which is known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.” Abramoff was paid $1.36 million by Saipan officials. On that trip, DeLay promised a prominent factory owner that he would use his position to stop the reform laws: “[I]f they elect me majority whip, I make the schedule of the Congress, and I’m not going to put it on the schedule.” [ABC, 4/6/05]

TRIP (RUSSIA, 1997) — DELAY AND BUCKHAM ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO RUSSIA: Abramoff also set up a legally questionable six-day trip to Moscow for DeLay in 1997, arranged by “Ed Buckham, a lobbyist and former DeLay staffer and spiritual advisor, who also traveled with DeLay to Russia.” Abramoff eventually joined them in Moscow. The $57,000 trip was “underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government” and allegedly paid for by a DC non-profit, the National Center for Public Policy Research. But sources involved in planning the trip revealed that an Abramoff client, Chelsea Commercial Enterprises, which was registered in the Bahamas and deeply involved with Russian oil executives, actually paid for the trip. “House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.” [Washington Post, 4/6/05]

TRIP (SCOTLAND, 2000) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO LONDON AND SCOTLAND: In 2000, Abramoff arranged another trip for DeLay, his wife, and several congressional staff members, allegedly through the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research, as in the Russia trip. But DeLay’s airfare to London and Scotland was charged to Abramoff’s American Express card. While in Europe, the guests played golf at St. Andrews and attended the musical The Lion King. “House ethics rules bar lawmakers from accepting travel and related expenses from registered lobbyists.” “Multiple sources, including DeLay’s then-chief of staff Susan Hirschmann, have confirmed that DeLay’s congressional office was in direct contact with Preston Gates [Abramoff’s lobbying firm] about the trip itinerary before DeLay’s departure, to work out details of his travel.” [Washington Post, 4/24/05; New York Times, 4/25/05]

TRIP (KOREA, 2001) — DELAY ACCEPTED ABRAMOFF TRIP TO KOREA: In 2001, DeLay, his wife, and staff, including Buckham, took a “$106,921 educational and golfing trip…to Korea on the tab of a registered foreign agent — a violation of House rules.” Similar to the arrangement in the Russia trip, the funding “was funneled through a Washington tax-exempt group and the trip arranged by longtime DeLay associate Jack Abramoff.” [Salon, 4/8/05]

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