Wednesday, October 05, 2005


The Associated Press kicked this story out on Wednesday. The lede sounds dangerous to Blunt, but a close reading shows the money shuffling was probably legal. Sleazy and oozy, like a scab on a pimp, but technically legal. Probably.

It begins:
Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.

When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Then there's this especially ballsy part:
Blunt and DeLay planned all along to raise more money than was needed for the convention parties and then route some of that to other causes, such as supporting state candidates, said longtime Blunt aide Gregg Hartley.

"We put together a budget for what we thought we would raise and spend on the convention and whatever was left over we were going to use to support candidates," said Hartley, Blunt's former chief of staff who answered AP's questions on behalf of Blunt.

Hartley said he saw no similarity to the Texas case. The fact that DeLay's charity, Christine DeLay's consulting firm and Blunt's son were beneficiaries was a coincidence, Hartley said.
Nothing but an M thing -- money from a DeLay organization flowing to a Blunt non-federal PAC, then out to Missouri Republicans. Democrats have done much the same -- recall the 2004 orgy of spending by 527 groups, most of it by Democrats -- and if existing laws allowed Blunt and DeLay to do this, the story won't grow.

But Roy Blunt and Tom DeLay are starting to sound a lot like Al Gore and his "no controlling legal authority" refrain when asked about monks and shady fundraising. Mainstream Republicans criticized the practice then, and rightly so. Where are they now that DeLay and Blunt are proving equally worthy of criticism?

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