Friday, September 30, 2005

Even DeLay's Replacement is Questionable

Let me just echo Unfogged, and say that I hope Texas Attorney General Ronnie Earle really has the goods on Tom DeLay. From the charges that have been filed, and the arcane structure of campaign finance law, I'm not really convinced that there's a very strong case there. They have to prove not just that money changed hands, but that DeLay knew the diversion of corporate campaign contributions to the RNC was designed to circumvent state law. Tall order.

Meanwhile, I'm surprised that the person chosen to replace DeLay as Majority Leader in the House, Roy Blunt, is being investigated for ethics charges himself.

As he worked to unite the party and turn its attention back to the legislative agenda, Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri, DeLay's successor as majority leader, faced ethics questions himself.

Records on file with the Federal Election Commission show that since 2003, Blunt's political action committee has paid $94,000 in salary to the consulting firm of Jim Ellis, a longtime associate of DeLay. Ellis has been indicted in the same case as DeLay, for allegedly conspiring to illegally influence the outcome of Texas legislative elections by channeling corporate money to Republican candidates.

Congressional watchdog groups and Democrats pointed to Blunt's employment of Ellis' firm, J.W. Ellis Co., as evidence of what they said is an atmosphere of corruption on Capitol Hill.

It's not even a separate case! What, exactly, are the Republicans thinking?

(Another sign of life in autumn: the start of a juicy new political cycle.)


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