Wednesday, September 22, 2004

DeLay Under Investigation – Getting Closer

From the New York Times:

Three aides who helped run a political action committee created by the House majority leader, Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, were indicted by a grand jury in Texas on Tuesday on charges that included raising illegal corporate contributions and funneling them to state candidates during the 2002 elections.

Eight companies were also charged, including Sears Roebuck & Company and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.

The 32 separate indictments sprang from a two-year investigation by local prosecutors into Texans for a Republican Majority P.A.C., a political action committee created by Mr. DeLay that spent $1.5 million to help Republicans gain control of the Texas House. The Legislature later redrew the boundaries of the state’s Congressional districts in favor of Republicans, which helps the party maintain control of Congress.

The charges against the aides come at a time when Mr. DeLay himself is under investigation by the House ethics committee over accusations of improper fund-raising. News of the indictments led to fresh calls for the committee to move forward with its inquiry.

[…]

In Washington, Mr. DeLay is the subject of a complaint before the House ethics committee that is deeply intertwined with the Texas investigation – and with Texas politics. The complaint, filed by Representative Chris Bell, a Texas Democrat who lost his primary race after the redistricting, accuses the majority leader of illegally soliciting campaign contributions, laundering campaign contributions to influence state legislative races and improperly using his office to influence federal agencies.

Maybe he and Ken Lay can share a cell. They’d make a lovely couple.