Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Further GOP Lobbyist Corruption.

Bloomberg News With Tom DeLay having stepped down from the House Majority Leader position, Republicans are preparing to elect a new leader in the House in just 3 weeks. The clear candidates are the current acting majority leader, Roy Blunt (R-MI) and John Boehner (R-OH). But the question should be asked, are Blunt and Boehner just as corrupt as DeLay?

Blunt, who had tapped DeLay to be his chief deputy in 1999, have several things in common. Both men’s political action committees employ Jim Ellis, who was indicted with DeLay. DeLay’s PAC gave Blunt’s PAC $150,000 in 2000, and Blunt’s PAC gave $10,000 to DeLay’s non-profit foundation in the same year. Both PACs have employed Alexander Strategy Group, which included indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff as a former partner. Additionally, Blunt served as the GOP’s official liaison to K Street, having rounded up 200 lobbyists last April at the Capitol to discuss their party’s agenda.

But is Boehner any better? The top donor to Boehner’s PAC was the Reston, Virginia based student-loan company Sallie Mae. Sallie Mae contributed $65,000 to Boehner’s Freedom Project, as the House Education and Workforce Committee, which Boehner chairs, prepared to write new legislation governing student loans. In ‘95 Boehner handed out campaign checks from the tobacco industry to members of the House floor when Congress was considering eliminating a tobacco subsidy.


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