Thursday, July 07, 2005

Trust me, I'm Tom DeLay

Topeka, Kansas based Westar Energy has admitted that they made a $25,000 to Tom DeLay's PAC in order to attend a golf outing with DeLay and influence public policy [emphasis added].
Former DeLay aide Drew Maloney said DeLay's staff did not require that donations be given in exchange for access. The company claims it sent the money to talk with DeLay about getting an exemption in federal law, but not to affect legislative elections in Texas.

Westar spokeswoman Karla Olsen said the company made the contribution with no guarantees that the law would be changed. "We understood we were only having discussions," she said.

The provision the company sought was included in a House bill with DeLay's support, but it was later withdrawn after a grand jury began investigating corporate fund-raising during the state's 2002 legislative races.
DeLay had a little hand-slap about this from the House Ethics committee last year for creating the appearance of impropriety but did not find that he had improperly solicited contributions or done anything illegal in his dealings with Westar [emphasis added].
DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said DeLay wasn't swayed by the donation. "Anyone who has worked with Majority Leader DeLay knows that his legislative efforts are based on sound public policy alone," she said.

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