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What's the Deal With the Tom DeLay Indictment?(Laura Rozen, Village Voice)

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swag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 09:42 PM
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What's the Deal With the Tom DeLay Indictment?(Laura Rozen, Village Voice),rozen,68344,2.html

On Wednesday, a Travis County, Texas grand jury transformed national power-politics in Washington, handed down an indictment of the powerful House majority leader, Tom DeLay (R-TX). DeLay, 58, was forced to resign his majority leader position, the second most powerful in the House, after he was indicted on one count of criminal conspiracy. The case alleges that DeLay and two political associates laundered corporate contributions to a now defunct Texas political action committee they formed, Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC), to benefit Texas GOP candidates, in violation of state campaign finance laws.

A press release from the Travis County District Attorney's office summarized the charge against DeLay as follows:

The indictment charges DeLay with conspiring with Ellis and Colyandro to violate the Texas Election Code by contributing corporate money to certain candidates for the Texas Legislature. It describes a scheme whereby corporate, or "soft" money, was sent to the Republican National Committee where it was exchanged for "hard" money, or money raised from individuals, and sent to those candidates. Criminal conspiracy is a State Jail Felony punishable by six months to two years in a State Jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Specifically, D.A. Ronnie Earle has accused TRMPAC of receiving $190,000 in corporate donations, sending the money to an arm of the Republican National Committee for the express purpose of having it sent back in the form of campaign contributions to seven Texas GOP candidates running in the 2002 state elections. The corporate fundraising," CBS reported earlier this year, based on an interview with Earle, "was done to elect Republicans to the Texas legislature so they could redistrict the state and ensure that more Republicans would be elected to the house in Washington."

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