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DeLay Teaches Blunt

John B. Judis at The New Republic has a good piece on just how much Roy Blunt learned from Tom DeLay about money and politics:

"[Blunt]" owes his rise in the House to the Texas congressman. But he may also one day blame DeLay for his fall, because DeLay appears to have taught him not only how to count votes and woo lobbyists, but arguably how to play fast and loose with campaign finance ethics....

Holding on to the money

A number of recipients of the indicted former Majority Leader's ARMPAC contributions are refusing to give back money.

More like "laundering"

AP does its work. Hats off to Sharon Theimer and John Solomon for this gem of investigative reporting, though the description below of a financial carousel makes it sound too innocent. It was laundering:

DeLay, Blunt Swapped Donations

DeLay: I misspoke.

Today's New York Times story by Carl Hulse focuses primarily on DeLay's expiration date as the once and future (in his mind) Majority Leader. Hulse quotes Amy Walter (go Mules!) saying that DeLay will face trouble regaining his Majority Leader post unless he has a speedy dismissal in Texas, which doesn't look likely:

DeLay Detritus: Wednesday News Round-up

Travis County D.A. Ronnie Earle told the Houston Chronicle that new information obtained over the weekend led to the most recent indictments against former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Dick DeGuerin, DeLay's attorney, called Earle's statement "crazy," and accused the prosecutor of offering "a sweet deal" to DeLay's co-defendants to get them to testify against his client.

Am I sensing a trend here?

Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-MO) has announced that he will not keep the $14,500 he has received from indicted former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ARMPAC in his campaign coffers.

"The Missouri Republican also will not support DeLay's return to a leadership role, even if he is acquitted of all charges, spokesman Scott Baker said Monday," reports the Associated Press.

Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-NH) gives back $15K ARMPAC money

Is this the beginning of a stampede? Should members be pressed to give DeLay's money? That's 225 of them. Wow.

UPDATE: TalkingPointsMemo.com with the same question.

The Congressman from Philip Morris and UPS

In June 2003 Roy Blunt inserted a provision benefiting Philip Morris in the 475-page bill creating the department of Homeland Security bill, according to a report in the Washington Post. At the time, Blunt had accepted more than $150,000 over just two years from PACs affiliated with the company.

Who is Roy Blunt? Follow the money...

Check out Roy Blunt's "lifetime profile" from the folks at Open Secrets. First elected in 1996, Blunt has managed to raise nearly $9 million in campaign contributions for his races, 96% of that from business interests.

Lobbyists, Legislators Avoid Those Pesky Ethics

Jeffrey Birnbaum at The Washington Post today turns in an eye-opening and disturbing story, headlined: "There's Always a Way; Exemptions From Ethics Rules Allow Lawmakers to Accept Almost Anything."

He goes on to list the loopholes and exceptions that allow lawmakers and lobbyists alike to skirt what are supposed to be meaningful ethics rules. Exceptions are made for campaign events and charities.