Unless you are Tom DeLay today, who, on the heels of celebrating the forced votes to deliver us the flurry of pork laden bills last week, this week finds himself in hot water with the FEC. Again:
A political committee founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may have improperly spent unregulated “soft money” on get-out-the-vote and fundraising activities, the Federal Election Commission says. A DeLay attorney said Thursday the money has been reimbursed.
Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee “potentially” spent about $203,000 in soft money from its nonfederal account to pay for the political activities and administrative expenses, the FEC found in an audit.
ARMPAC has federal and nonfederal accounts that shared certain expenses. The federal account could contain only money subject to federal contribution limits and from individuals and PACs, or hard money. The nonfederal account was not subject to federal regulation and could accept soft money, which can include contributions from corporations and labor unions.
The FEC audit also found that DeLay’s committee failed to report more than $300,000 in debts owed to 25 vendors and reported its finances erroneously. DeLay attorney Don McGahn said debts were paid but not in the time prescribed by the FEC. The expenses included eight fundraising events, two each held at Four Streams Golf Club in Beallsville, Md., and a resort in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and others in Orlando, Fla., California, New York and Hackberry Creek Country Club in Irving, Texas.
But don’t worry about Tom- he has friends in low places:
Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist involved in ethics allegations facing Representative Tom DeLay, was indicted in Florida on Thursday on unrelated fraud charges involving his purchase of a fleet of gambling boats from a businessman who was slain amid bitter wrangling over the sale.
The indictment by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale charges Mr. Abramoff and a business partner with conspiracy and wire fraud in the $147.5 million purchase of the shipping line, SunCruz Casinos, in 2000. They are accused of presenting lenders with a counterfeit document suggesting that they had arranged a $23 million wire transfer to the seller.
‘Restoring honor and dignity’ to the other House on Capitol Hill. More here.