Saturday, August 06, 2005

Why should we care where the $ comes from when it's coming to us?

Depite rules specifically proscribing legislators from accepting lobbyist contributions to legal defense funds, five lawmakers have accepted donations from lobbyists. The five include 3 Republicans, 2 Democrats:
  • Majority Ethics Professor, Tom DeLay (R-TX) accepted contributions totaling $8,000 from 5 lobbyists and a lobbying group between 2001 & 2004; he's given back $3,500 from two of the donors
    • according to DeLay's people, they're doing an audit to make sure all donations are in compliance will be returned shortly
      "The audit will be finished shortly. Oftentimes, because of the volume or timing, some donations that are in noncompliance slip through."
  • Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV ) accepted a $3000 donation from a lobbyist 1999
    • Reid's spokeswoman, Tessa Hafen, says the donation was from a long-time friend of Reid's who'd (unknowingly to Reid) registered as a lobbyist shortly prior to the donation and that they'd asked ethics committee how to proceed
  • Jim McDermott (D-WA) received $2500 from 4 lobbyists between 2001 & 2005
    • 3 of the 4 donations have been returned and one for $500 is being double-checked because it may have been incorrectly reported. McDermott's spokesman, Michael DeCesare says they strive for perfection but
      "in a few instances, over a period of five years," mistakes were made.
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT) accepted a $3000 lobbyist contribution in 1996 and is trying to determine if the contribution came from the lobbyist or the lobbyist's company
  • Henry Hyde (R-IL) took a contribution of $1000 in 1997, his spokesman had no immediate comment when asked about the donation

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