Sunday, February 22, 2004

DéLay fundraising group subject of criminal inquiry 

That "rule of law" schtick was old when the Republicans were trying to overthrow Clinton's elected government. Now it's really really old.

From the Fort Worth Star Telegram here (via Pandagon)

A national Republican Party official, a former lobbyist and the Weatherford lawmaker who drew the state's new congressional map are among the people ordered to provide records to a grand jury investigating accusations of illegal fund raising, court documents filed Friday show.

The latest wave of subpoenas -- nine in all -- is part of an expanded investigation of 2002 fund raising, which now includes the race for House speaker. That contest produced the first Republican speaker, Tom Craddick of Midland, since Reconstruction.

Besides Craddick, Travis County prosecutors have subpoenaed six state representatives, including Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, who wrote the recent congressional redistricting legislation.

King did not return phone calls Friday seeking comment.

Craddick, state Rep. Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, and state Rep. Arlene Wohlgemuth, R-Burleson, had already confirmed Thursday that they had received subpoenas for records. They said they had done nothing wrong and will comply with the subpoenas.

The new subpoenas were made public in court filings Friday.

The other representatives, all Republicans, are Beverly Woolley of Houston, Dianne White Delisi of Temple and Mike Krusee of Taylor.

The investigation has centered on the use of restricted corporate "soft money" by the Texas Association of Business and the Texans for the Republican Majority Political Action Committee, a group co-founded by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom ["Frenchy"] DéLay, who spearheaded the unusually aggressive 2003 congressional redistricting effort.

A violation of the sometimes complicated restrictions on corporate money is a felony offense.

I like "unusually aggressive," though I would say something more along the lines of "spearheaded the consolidation of the Republican coup in 2000 by gerrymandering the state of Texas." But that's just me.

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