Fundraisers for a political committee founded by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay routinely solicited donations by identifying legislative actions that prospective givers wanted, from video gambling to lawsuit limits, memos show.
“What companies that you know of would be interested in tort reform in Texas with asbestos problems that might support TRMPAC?” one DeLay fundraiser wrote in a memo prospecting for donors to the Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (TRMPAC).
That memo elicited an answer identifying several large companies and interest groups nationwide interested in lawsuit-limiting legislation in Congress and Texas, the documents show.
[. . .] Other TRMPAC fundraising memos mention that Texas racetrack owners needed state permission for video gambling, that banks wanted new Texas home-lending rules and that energy firms wanted less regulation.
Federal law and congressional ethics rules prohibit government officials from connecting political donations to their official actions. DeLay was admonished last year by the House’s ethics committee for creating the appearance of connecting energy industry donations with federal legislation.
[. . .] In 2002, a fundraiser’s handwritten note appears alongside the name of a Texas racetrack owner who — along with other state track operators — wanted state permission to begin offering video gambling at the tracks.
“Brings $1 billion. Polls 83 percent in favor,” the fundraiser’s note said.
Weeks after that visit to the company’s chief executive, track owner Maxxam Inc. contributed $5,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority. [emphasis added]
There’s more, but you get the picture. We have here a public official calling up big donors and saying “pay me and I’ll work to get issue so-and-so passed.” That is a bribe. As blatantly as Republicans do this, it is flat-out illegal — prison-time illegal. These memos are proof that DeLay took bribes.
(Through the appropriately-named Crooks and Liars)