Re: Tom Delay

I’m no big fan of Tom Delay, but some of these ‘accusations’ against him are groundless and downright hypocritical. Take, for example, the roundhouse criticizing in Democratic circles (and the media, of course) regarding Delay paying his wife and daughter for political work:

The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by DeLay’s political action and campaign committees, according to The New York Times’ review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in DeLay’s home state of Texas.

Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as “fund-raising fees,” “campaign management” or “payroll,” with no additional details.

The payments appear to reflect what DeLay’s aides say is the central role played by the majority leader’s wife and daughter in his political career.

DeLay’s national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, said in a statement that the women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments:

“Mrs. DeLay provides big-picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists … in arranging and organizing individual events.”

Scandalous, right? Wrong:

If paying families for campaign work is illegal, than prominent Democrats including Howard Dean, Barbara Boxer, Joe Lieberman, Jon Corzine, and Jesse Jackson Jr. should all be doing a Joe Wilson inspired “frog-march” from the halls of Congress.

DNC Chair Howard Dean’s younger brother runs the website Democracy for America (DFA), which was created by Dean last year to help manage his presidential campaign. Dean’s younger brother Jim also worked for DFA in its earlier incarnation, Dean for America, during the 2004 presidential primaries. However, in a letter to supporters this week, DFA attacked Tom DeLay for having family members on his payroll.

In 2003, Barbara Boxer directed $15,000 from her political-action committee, “PAC For a Change,” to a consulting firm run by her son. The year before, she funneled $115,000 to the same firm.

Last year, Joe Lieberman paid his son Matthew $34,000 and daughter Rebecca $36,000 to work on his presidential campaign.

Also last year, Jon Corzine paid his daughter about $15,000 to work on his upcoming 2006 reelection campaign.

In fact, in 2001 it was Jesse Jackson Jr. who sought clarification from the Federal Election Commission to ensure Jackson was in good legal graces before hiring his wife to provide fundraising and organizational support to his campaign.

Other Democrats with family members on the payroll include Pete Stark, Bart Stupak, Jim Costa, Lincoln Davis, and Tim Bishop, amongst others.

Vermont congressman Bernie Sanders has paid his wife and daughter more than $150,000 in campaign consulting fees in the past several years.

Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid is well known for supporting his family with high-paid congressional pork projects. Firms associated with Reid’s son have taken in millions from bills authored and sponsored by Reid.

Why did the media make such a big deal about this? His ethics charges are a seperate issue and should be dealt with. But the criticism about his family being paid money for political work they did for him is much ado about nothng, same ol’ business as usual for Washington – and manufactured issue in terms of what we should be outraged about regarding Delay, thanks – in part – to the Democrat’s willing accomplices in the mainstream media.

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