Wednesday, April 06, 2005

everything looks like a nail

and these days, tom "the hammer" delay himself is looking like the biggest nail of all. today saw front page "delay scandal" stories on what are probably the two biggest (or most prominent) newspapers in the country. and they're not even about the same scandal!

today's washington post has a story about a very shady trip delay took to russia in 1997.

A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.

DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.


Media attention focused on DeLay's travel last month after The Washington Post reported on DeLay's participation in a $70,000 expense-paid trip to London and Scotland in 2000 that sources said was indirectly financed in part by an Indian tribe and a gambling services company. A few days earlier, media attention had focused on a $106,921 trip DeLay took to South Korea in 2001 that was financed by a tax-exempt group created by a lobbyist on behalf of a Korean businessman.

it's a long story with lots of detail.

today's new york times has another front-pager, which as i mentioned is about a totally different ethical scandal:

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.


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.

"unusually generous" is probably putting it lightly: they were talking about this on today's diane rehm show, and while this is fairly common, delay has pumped like 10x more money than normal into his own family.

and that's just what's happening in those two papers... check the blogs (dkos, americablog, etc) for lots more stories coming out. people are speculating that the gop has decided to cut delay loose, judging not just from how much criticism is coming out, but where it's coming from (the wall street journal, drudge report, even cheney has criticized delay recently).

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