July 13, 2004
More on the DeLay front

Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) has filed an FOIA request with the FEC to find out more about Westar's illegal campaign contributions. The Stakeholder was first to note this yesterday afternoon. Still no original coverage in the Chron, by the way, though they do reprint a WaPo editorial about the Kenny Boy indictment.

Elsewhere on the DeLay front, there's a new Bacardi bill development. Turns out that a couple of expert witnesses who have testified for the bill DeLay favors that would give Bacardi exclusive rights to the Havana Club rum label have financial ties to Bacardi that they failed to disclose before testifying.

Jaime Suchlicki, a University of Miami professor, sought to counter claims that the bill would jeopardize other trademarks in a May 3 letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.).

Suchlicki said he is aware of claims “that the Castro regime may retaliate against U.S. products regarding this law.” But, he added: “As an expert in Cuban history, policies and political framework, and Director of the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies [ICCAS] at the University of Miami, I assure you it is not in Fidel Castro’s best interest to retaliate nor does he have any rights to retaliate.”

What Suchlicki does not disclose in his letter is that his full title is “Emilio Bacardi Moreau professor of International Studies” and that ICCAS is housed at the “Casa Bacardi” at the University of Miami. The Bacardi Family Foundation gave $1 million for the construction of Casa Bacardi and the Bacardi logo is etched into the building’s glass doors.

Suchlicki’s wife, Joy Suchlicki, works as assistant marketing manager for DiSaronno Amaretto, a subsidiary of Bacardi-Martini.

Jaime Suchlicki could not be reached for comment.

In a June 21 letter to the Senate and House Judiciary committees, Bruce Lehman, who headed the PTO during the Clinton administration, strongly supported the Bacardi bills.

Lehman, scheduled to testify at today’s hearing as a majority witness, currently serves on the board of directors of the International Intellectual Property Institute (IIPI), but said in his letter that the views expressed are his own and “do not necessarily represent the Board of Directors.”

The IIPI on its website displays a Bacardi logo, says that the company “supported the Institute” and links to Bacardi’s corporate website.

In an interview, Lehman reiterated that the views in his letter and the ones he will express at today’s hearing are his personal views, which he has held for a long time.

It's all one big happy back-scratching family in DeLayLand, isn't it?

Paul Krugman gives a synopsis today of the DeLay-Enron emails. No new revelations, but as the Chron prints the occasional Krugman column, we may get to see this in DeLay's home paper.

Finally, Chris Bell was scheduled to speak about his ethics complaint against DeLay today at the Harris County Democratic Party's monthly Brown Bag Lunch, but he's been called back to DC. Richard Morrison will be speaking in his place. Steve Bates will be attending a similar event tonight, at which Morrison appears to be pinch hitting again. Please let us know how it goes, Steve!

UPDATE: Via TBogg via Jack O'Toole, this priceless quote from DeLay spokesperson Jonathan Grella:

“The last sign of a defeated and intellectually bankrupt party is a hate-filled strategy of caricature assassination,” said Jonathan Grella, a DeLay spokesman.

He really is a national treasure, isn't he?

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 13, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

"Caricature" assassination? A Freudian slip, perhaps?

I hope this miserable man is hoist on his own Sword of Damocles. (See, I can do it too!)

Posted by: Linkmeister on July 13, 2004 12:59 PM

I sure hope that the investigation proceeds, so Grella can start switching to increasingly hyperbolic exterminator analogies... like "Tom DeLay is guilty of nothing more than applying the potassium thiocyanate of truth to the cockroaches, mites, ticks, termites, and fleas that comprise the objectively anti-American Fifth Column in America."

Posted by: norbizness on July 13, 2004 1:07 PM

Sweet blog.

I only hope that when DeLay goes down, that assclown Hastert suffers the same fate.

Posted by: restlessgeist on July 13, 2004 2:01 PM

They didn't exactly "reprint" the WaPo editorial. They excised some 200 words. Better off reading the real version. As usual, for the Comical.

Posted by: kevin whited on July 13, 2004 10:42 PM
“The last sign of a defeated and intellectually bankrupt party is a hate-filled strategy of caricature assassination,” said Jonathan Grella, a DeLay spokesman.

This is so typically Repug, even aside from the Freudian slip. Eerily reminiscent of the "the increasing death toll in Iraq just shows the desperation of the resistance" line.

Posted by: Mathwiz on July 15, 2004 5:29 PM