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A Few Minutes To Discuss Tom DeLay's Multiple Corruption Scandals

Reported by Ellen - April 6, 2005

Monday night, I chastised John Gibson for spending five minutes on Michael Jackson's trial and zero time on the Tom DeLay scandals (notice the plural). So I have to praise Alan Colmes for bringing up on his FOX News radio show two new corruption scandals involving Tom DeLay last night, brief as the discussion was.

First, Colmes talked about the Washington Post report of allegations that a third DeLay trip was paid for by a registered lobbyist and/or foreign agents. House ethics rules bar DeLay from receiving such reimbursement.

Next, Colmes mentioned the New York Times article reporting that DeLay's wife and daughter have received unusually generous fees from his political action and campaign committees for services not elaborately detailed.

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... 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.

Unfortunately, by my count only one caller to Colmes' show cared to discuss the news. That was Tom in Alabama, who is fast becoming one of my favorites. "Let's watch tomorrow's radio. We won't hear any of the Republican talking heads say a word about it. It's really sad."

Not just the Republican talking heads. Try doing a search for Tom DeLay on the FOX News website.

P.S. Extra points went to Tom for adding that the Republican bloggers who jumped all over Dan Rather for not vetting his news stories didn't say a peep about Shepard Smith erroneously announcing that the Pope had died last Friday while he was still very much alive. Colmes defended Smith by saying "Shep's pretty good." Tom answered, "He might be but so is Dan." Colmes accepted the comparison.

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