July 12, 2004
Enron funds solicited for redistricting

All I can say is wow.

In May 2001, Enron's top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

DeLay requested that the new donation come from "a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives," with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson.

The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of Houston-based Enron, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by The Washington Post that show DeLay and his associates directed money from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers in Texas in 2001 and 2002 as part of a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.

I'm going to be in a class this week and may not have much time for blogging as a result. I've no doubt that others will be all over this story, and I'm hearing that there'll be some Westar-related news tomorrow. This certainly puts an interesting spin on DeLay hiring lawyers for the ethics and TRMPAC investigations.

If I had the time and resources, I'd go back about ten years and review all of the things that Dan Rostenkowski and Jim Wright were accused of, and compare them to the accusations which are being made against Mr. DeLay. Of course, if someone else wants to take that ball and run with it, that'd be fine by me. Meantime, stay tuned.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 12, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

Are you really surprised by this, Chuck? Because if you are, there's a nice bridge a few miles from where I'm sitting here typing this that I'd like to sell you.

The nicest interpretation we could ever have put on DeLay's behavior is that he fundamentally doesn't give a shit about the few laws the state of Texas has about campaign finance. That there is finally some evidence of this is as surprising as the news the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. That it came out of Enron is just gravy.

Posted by: Ginger on July 12, 2004 8:15 AM

That was a "wow" of awe, not surprise. There's precious little that Tom DeLay could be accused of that would actually surprise me.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on July 12, 2004 8:36 AM

Yep... If Bush loses this year - expect to hear the name Jim Wright uttered in the same breath as Tom DeLay more often.

Posted by: Chris on July 12, 2004 1:35 PM