Tuesday, April 05, 2005

COM: DeLay's tracks murkier . . .

From the New York Times posted late tonight . . .

Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader
April 6, 2005

WASHINGTON, April 5 - The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state, Texas.

Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.

Mr. DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."

Mrs. Ferro has managed several of her father's re-election campaigns for his House seat.

His spokesman said that Mr. DeLay had no additional comment. Although several members of Congress employ family members as campaign managers or on their political action committees, advocacy groups seeking an overhaul of federal campaign-finance and ethics laws say that the payments to Mr. DeLay's family members were unusually generous, and should be the focus of new scrutiny of the Texas congressman.

Mr. DeLay, whose position as majority leader makes him the second-most-powerful House member, has offered a vigorous public defense in recent weeks to a flurry of ethics accusations from Democratic lawmakers and campaign watchdog groups, including charges that he violated House rules on travel. The executive director of Americans for a Republican Majority and a major fund-raiser for the committee were indicted in Texas last year on charges of illegal fund-raising, and prosecutors there have refused to rule out the possibility of charges against Mr. DeLay in the continuing inquiry.

Read the rest of the story here.

From The New York Times, 7 April 2005
The guy responds

Eric Lipton and Monica Borkowski contributed reporting for this article.


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