Sunday, July 11, 2004

Does DeLay Own the House Ethics Committee?

Nope. Just the Republican members.

Of the five Republicans investigating an ethics complaint against House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, four have received campaign contributions from DeLay's political action committee, splitting $28,504 over the past seven years, records show.

The breakdown, according to Federal Election Commission records from 1997 through May 2004, is:

* $14,777 for Rep. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri. The latest contributions, totaling $9,000, were in 2000.

* $10,553 for Rep. Steven LaTourette of Ohio, with $10,000 coming this year.

* $1,764 for Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois in 1998.

* $1,410 for Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington, also in 1998.

* Chairman Joel Hefley of Colorado received no money from DeLay's political action committee.

In addition, DeLay's PAC gave money to most members of the "ethics pool," a group designated by House Speaker Dennis Hastert to serve on potential investigative subcommittees. The PAC contributed $65,902 to eight of the 10 Republican members, ranging from $525 to Rep. Sam Johnson of Dallas to $20,000 for Rep. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Election Commission records show.