August 02, 2004
The railroad connection

The Sunday Chron had an editorial that connected a few of the more recent DeLay dots.

First came the grand jury investigation. The Travis County district attorney is trying to find out whether House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority spent corporate funds to gain control of the Texas House.

Then came Rep. Chris Bell's complaint to the U.S. House ethics committee. The Houston Democrat alleges DeLay's PAC and the Republican National Committee exchanged checks for $190,000, thus trading restricted corporate cash for unrestricted donations.

Now comes news of the links joining DeLay, Marc Racicot and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. The railroad has given to DeLay's PAC. Racicot, President Bush's campaign chairman, is a director on Burlington's board and was GOP national chairman at the time of the exchanged checks.

The railroad wants to build a controversial line in the Clear Lake area. The same Houston-based law firm that represented Burlington in Washington represents DeLay during this investigation-prone period.

Of course, everything is coincidental. But many Houstonians might not like to have their representation in the nation's Capitol quite so shaped by corporate cash and influence peddling.

It would be nice if they did a bit more original reporting on this, not to mention kept up with the full extent of the story line (Bacardi and Westar, for example), but that's a post for another day. The Racicot/railroad connection was something they reported on here, which was noted by Taking On Tom DeLay. The original story about that controversial railroad line, which is no longer online, was noted by the Morrison campaign blog. One hopes that this sort of issue, in which the voters' interests clash with DeLay's national money machine and its interests, is the sort of thing that will help drive DeLay's poll numbers ever southward.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 02, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

Generally, even the Chronicle editors know they can't treat allegations as proven fact in news reporting -- so they save such things for their editorial page. Connecting allegations is not really connecting dots.

It's crafty in a sense, but it's not especially responsible journalism.

Posted by: kevin whited on August 3, 2004 7:55 AM