Thursday, May 26, 2005

TRMPAC Trimmed

Judge says TRMPAC violated law:

State District Judge Joe Hart ruled Thursday that Texans for a Republican Majority violated state campaign law when it failed to disclose more than a half-million dollars in corporate contributions during the 2002 state legislative elections.

Hart, however, said the plaintiffs could only collect for damages in their campaigns. He awarded $196,660 to the five Democratic candidates who lost in 2002. Included in that total was an $87,332 award to former state Rep. Ann Kitchen of Austin.

...the AP puts it slightly differently:

An Austin judge ruled Thursday that the treasurer of a political committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay violated state election law.
State District Judge Joe Hart says Bill Ceverha broke the law by not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and expendituresy

That means Ceverha -- as treasurer of the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC -- must pay just under 200-thousand dollars. The money would be divided among five losing Democratic candidates in 2002 legislative races. Those candidates brought the lawsuit against Ceverha.

The civil case is separate form a separate criminal investigation into 2002 election spending being conducted by a Travis County grand jury. DeLay has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

and jesselee from the DCCC sez:

Not a good sign for those criminal proceedings, however. Ceverha was the only defendant left in the civil suit because Ellis and Colyandro were under criminal investigation and removed from the defendant list. Ceverha was much, much less involved than either of them.

Tick tock, tick tock....