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DeLay's PAC closes shop

The political action committee for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) was quietly closed last week after a decade-long run as one of the most influential - and infamous - PACs run by members of Congress.

With a final $1,400 payment to the Federal Election Commission last month settling an audit dispute, Americans for a Republican Majority then filed its termination papers with the commission April 24.

Thus ends one more chapter in the storied political rise and fall of DeLay.

Unlike congressional re-election committees - used solely for campaign efforts back in members' districts - so-called leadership PACs are designed almost purely for lawmakers to gain influence inside the Capitol. These PACs take in cash in larger chunks ($5,000 per year) and are used to make contributions (up to $10,000 per election cycle) to other lawmakers.

And, in an 11-year run among GOP leadership ranks, no one in Congress used political money to maximize his own influence more than DeLay. From 2001 through 2005, as DeLay's power reached its apex, his PAC dished out more than $2.6 million in donations to other House and Senate candidates as well as national political party committees.

In 2004, the PAC, known on Capitol Hill as ARMPAC, gave out $781,299 in donations, according to FEC reports. [That's about $150,000 more than the man above him in leadership, then-Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), gave out that year.]

But ARMPAC also helped precipitate DeLay's fall. In the late 1990s, the PAC was run out of a Capitol Hill townhouse that housed a lobbying firm and a questionable non-profit, both of which were run by lobbyist Edwin Buckham, a former chief of staff to DeLay. For several years Buckham's firm employed DeLay's wife, paying her more than $100,000 for what has been widely considered undefined work.

Several years later, the FBI and Justice Department began investigating DeLay's connections to now imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. To date, the investigation has yielded guilty pleas by Abramoff, two former aides to DeLay, ex-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), two former Ney aides and a former Interior Department official, among others. Abramoff's and Buckham's clients became major donors to ARMPAC in the late 1990s as well as to non-profits run by the two lobbyists, sometimes with fund-raising help from DeLay. The investigation, which won multiple awards for The Post's investigative team, ,is considered ongoing.

In addition, an offshoot of ARMPAC embroiled DeLay in a separate, ongoing legal saga. He helped form Texans for Republican Majority early in the decade to help push for a GOP takeover of the Lone Star State's legislature, an effort that paid off in a mid-decade redistricting of congressional seats that led to Republican gains on Capitol Hill.

A local prosecutor indicted DeLay in the fall of 2005 on charges he laundered corporate contributions from TRMPAC into local races, in violation of state law which clearly forbid corporate donations. That indictment led to DeLay's stepping down from leadership in late 2005. Those charges are still awaiting trial.

The last remnant of DeLay's political career in federal government, the Tom DeLay Congressional Committee, is just about completely empty as well, reporting just $7,015 left in its coffers as of March 31. DeLay spent almost $1 million last year from this committee defending himself. A separate legal defense fund, which folded when he left Congress, doled out an additional $1.1 million to DeLay lawyers in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Hardly a shrinking violet, DeLay has not gone away quietly. He just published a book and has started his own blog, where, proving he can dish it out against his arch rivals in mainstream media, DeLay posts daily rants against the MSM and liberal elites that he believes drove him from office.

Here's a portion of today's post: "The old media, with its three main news networks and daily papers of record in the major cities controlling most of the news, has always been a bad thing. Now, however, there are more ideas and more opinions for people to choose from. Internet news, cable, and blogs such as ours are quickly hastening the decline of these dinosaur media elites - and thank goodness. The quicker outfits like the Dallas Morning News and New York Times are relegated to permanent fossil status the better."



By Paul Kane  |  May 1, 2007; 12:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

And the quicker Tom DeLay and his political ilk are relegated to a fossilized status, the better off the whole world will be.

Never before has anyone so personified the caricature of a 'crooked politician' devoid of a shred of statesmanship and intent only on imposing his own warped views on a subject population.

Posted by: C. Davie | May 1, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Well, someone's been relegated to permanent fossil status, but it ain't the Times.

The entire world should get down on its hands and knees and thank this miserable creep(DeLay) for handing the control of Congress back to the Democrats.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | May 1, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

when does this nightmare end

bring on the show trials

Posted by: hurryupharry | May 1, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately another will rise in it*s place. I believe we are well beyond any ability to get back to honest government, if we ever really had one. As long as there are people who get to Washington, there are those that will get Potomac Fever. There aren*t enough politicians who will put the country and the people before personal gain. Either in power or money. We have seen how scurrilous and brazen they can be, just because they can. The past 12 years have proven that. The collegialty in the Senate is phony and there was none at all in the House. The Republicans ran rough shod over the minority and NEVER gave them a chance to put forth any legislation. The shoe is on the other foot and who is whining the loudest? Bohner, one of the worst offenders, next to DeLay. It is purely a sad state of affars and if the Democrats can salvage something after the Iraq war ends it will be a miracle. We have NO ONE that resembles a statesman who can speak for the country. All the candidates think they do but they are speaking to their base trying to get back to the original premise. Power and Money.

Posted by: nellieh | May 1, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

", which won multiple awards for The Post's investigative team,"

I just checked out this link and it fails to mention, probably because he didn't work at The Post when this happened, that Paul Kane also won some awards for his coverage of the Abramhoff fiasco. At least, I think he did.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | May 1, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Horray for HONESTY and SCUM REDUCTION in DC!

Let the part-time christians and their NEO-CON criminal buddies look for something else to do.

Oh I know! They can visit DeLay in PRISON WHERE HE BELONGS!

Posted by: JBE | May 1, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I sleep a little better at night knowing I was one of those activists, who in my own small way, helped bring the king of pond scum down.

Posted by: taters | May 1, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps he and Wolfowitz can get together at Chuckie Cheese to whine about their comeuppance.

Posted by: man with a scruple | May 1, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Phoenix Woman | May 1, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The trailing '.' in PW's link (comment @_04:21 PM) messes it up. Here's the corrected URL:
http://www.publicampaign.org/

Posted by: RglrLrkr | May 1, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

PK you are on top of your game as always but your statement about the corporate contributions being clearly forbidden is inaccurate - it's actually what this court case is all about. Ronnie Earle is claiming the Texas Election Code was violated through corporate fundraising. But Texas law allows corporate money to be raised for indirect political activity (as opposed to direct donations to candidates), which is what TRMPAC did.

Posted by: LT | May 1, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

ARMPAC - otherwise known as ARMPit. Goodbye, and good riddance to bad garbage. I suppose the demise of his PAC, like everything else that's gone wrong with DeLay's career will be someone else's fault.

Posted by: Reich Winger's NightMare | May 1, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

kyle sampson just opened shop, wonder what his client list will look like?

KYLE SAMPSON is working as a lobbyist, shudder to think but there ya go.

Posted by: pre AmeriKKKan | May 1, 2007 6:19 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fascist Goes to Washington.

Goodbye and good riddance, Mr. DeLay. You represent the worst of what American politics can become when oversight fails and ethics and integrity don't matter.

Posted by: Mark F. | May 1, 2007 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"Free at last, free at last, thank God allmighty, free at last!" ~MLK

Posted by: Armstrong | May 1, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to pay for his Botox and hair dye??

Posted by: drbill | May 1, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure he can find a cheap place in New Orleans to cover his beauty expenses.

Ciao

Posted by: Armstrong | May 1, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Whats taking so long to put this whiner on trial? I want to hear him scream about the vast left-wing conspiracy that has destroyed this country and racked up huge deficits fighting a war of political convenience. Its time unmask *the hammer* as a little boy from texas who couldn't play fair so he broke all the toys and went home.

Posted by: thebob.bob | May 1, 2007 11:42 PM | Report abuse

The wheels of justice are maddeningly slow sometimes and often incomplete. He belongs in jail, but all justice has done so far is get him out of the Congress.

The slave labor camps he helped establish in the Mariana Islands and protected for pay in the Congress are, by themselves, enough to prevent me from wishing him well. ("Capitol Crimes" - Moyers-PBS).

The stink of him lingers.

Posted by: gmkuhn | May 2, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Tom Delay, Bob Ney, Duke Cunningham and Mark Foley were all part of the right wing culture of coruption.

Posted by: an ohio man | May 2, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Re: Tom DeLay

Seems to me it was Roy Rogers and Dale Evans who used to sign off their TV show with: "Good bye, good luck, and may the Good Lord take a liking to you". To that I can only add: Get back under your rock and stay there Tom. (That is until ole Ronnie comes acallin' for you.)

Posted by: Joe Grecco | May 2, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

TO Tom DeLay and his PAC: Goodbuy and good riddence....do us all a favor..do not make a come back..!

Posted by: Gene Campbell | May 2, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Delay should be behind bars. And why did NBC have him on Meet The Press? Heartland Republicans have had enough of golf trips, influence peddling and just plain crap from the "Ant Terminator".

Posted by: TMJ | May 2, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Bill O`Who?

Posted by: Bill MacLeod | May 2, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Tom DeLay and his ilk are examples of the Republican party that has led this nation into crisis and near death. He should be put away for life and the republicans voted out of office at all levels of government throughout this nation.

Posted by: ron mccown | May 3, 2007 2:44 AM | Report abuse

The Republican party should learn from the Tom Delay disaster, that politics and religion do not mix. For Republicans to pretend that people like Delay, Brownback, Hatch and others, speak for the great majority of the American people is ludicrous, hence it will be a while before Republicans once again control the levers of government in Washington.

Posted by: Harry Quinones | May 3, 2007 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Hasn't that guy been fitted for the orange jumpsuit yet ? He was a real swell guy with the soul of a Richard Nixon, the faith of a Jerry Falwell and the political acumen of a Red Army commissar . We all will miss him when he gets his new digs in some Federal Penitentiary . Hotcha !

Posted by: Daniel Wargo | May 3, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

While delighted to see DeLay laid low, he did the nation a great service, albeit without that intent. Just as Joseph McCarthy's witch hunts discredited red-meat conservatism back in the 50s, so did DeLay taint red-meat militarism and the hold of religous kooks on the GOP. By catering to them, DeLay and others like him have effectively spiked the chances of Republican nominees to speak to the center in national elections - the hard core can deny prospective candidates a nomination but do not possess the numbers to carry an election on their own. However dimly, the GOP is beginning to understand the corner they permitted themselves to be painted into and push back against the extremists. About time too.

Posted by: clare_d_loon | May 10, 2007 7:38 AM | Report abuse

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