Here's something you don't see every day: Tom DeLay returning campaign contributions.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's legal expense fund accepted improper contributions from two registered lobbyists in 2001 and this week returned the checks, totaling $3,500, fund trustee Brent Perry said Tuesday.
House rules prohibit lobbyists from making contributions to a member's legal defense fund. The Tom DeLay Legal Expense Trust has raised more than $900,000 since its creation in 2000, said Perry, a Houston attorney.
The reimbursement was prompted by Public Citizen, a Washington-based watchdog group, which combed through DeLay's fund and identified the improper contributions.
Perry said he returned a $1,000 check from Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota. In 2001, Weber's clients included the government of Greece and Microsoft, according to Public Citizen. Also returned were $2,500 from Locke, Liddell & Sapp, Perry said. The Texas law firm was registered to lobby Congress in 2001.