December 10, 2003
PAC-ing them in

This Statesman article about the Tom DeLay PAC Texans for a Republican Majority (TRM) and the grand jury investigation into its dealings doesn't really cover any new ground but does give a good overall picture of the PAC and its history. Given that the article's subhead is "Prosecutors are looking at how corporate money was spent", one might have expected a quote or two from an actual member of the Travis County DA's office, but whatever.

We Report, You Decide:

State law prohibits corporations or labor unions from making political expenditures, but their money may be used to establish a political action committee and to pay its administrative costs.

At issue before the grand jury is whether some of the activities that DeLay's group used corporate money to pay for polling, screening candidates and fund raising were part of the committee's administrative costs or political expenditures for candidates.


[Jim Ellis, who runs DeLay's Americans for a Republican Majority] and [TRM Executive Director John] Colyandro say prosecutors will find that Texans for a Republican Majority didn't do anything other Texas political action committees haven't done. But in a printed pitch to corporate donors, DeLay's committee promised corporations more bang for their bucks.

"Unlike other organizations, your corporate contribution to (Texans for a Republican Majority) will be put to productive use," the pamphlet read. "Rather than just paying for overhead, your support will fund a series of productive and innovative activities designed to increase our level of engagement in the political arena."

The committee promised to use the corporate donations for "active candidate evaluation and recruitment, monitoring of campaign progress, message development and communications, market research, and issue development."

Emphasis mine. I guess it all depends on what the definition of "administrative costs" is.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 10, 2003 to Scandalized! | TrackBack