California Dreaming: Earle Looks Into Donor's Relationship With DeLay

The Houston Chronicle and the San Diego Union-Tribune (among others) is reporting that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is looking into Tom DeLay's connection to a prominent poltical donor from California. The donor, Brent Wilkes, is one of the four defense contractors accused of bribing former Representative Duke Cunningham.

From the Houston Chronicle:

"Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat, subpoenaed on Monday records of California businessman Brent Wilkes and three Wilkes-controlled companies that made a political contribution to a Texas fundraising committee set up by DeLay."

"The subpoenas focused on a $15,000 contribution by a Wilkes subsidiary, Perfect Wave Technologies, to DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority."

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

"The same month that Wilkes launched PerfectWave, he hired Alexander Strategy Group – composed of DeLay insiders – as his lobbying group on Capitol Hill.

"The group, which is headed by DeLay's former chief of staff Ed Buckham, staffed with former DeLay employees and included DeLay's wife as a consultant, has a reputation in Washington as a conduit to DeLay's office.

"Over the next three years, Wilkes paid about $630,000 in lobbying fees to the group. Although Wilkes' own two-man lobbying group – Group W Advisors – officially represented PerfectWave in Washington, Group W Advisors was represented by the Alexander Strategy Group.

"During 2003 and 2004, as Wilkes pushed for contracts for PerfectWave and his other companies, DeLay was a frequent flier on a corporate jet partly owned by Wilkes and was often seen in his company at Southern California golf courses. "