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Full Version: DeLay Could Be Implicated With Enron
America's Debate > Archive > Assorted Issues Archive > [A] Big Trials and Legal Cases
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Cube Jockey
In the Washington Post the following article was just published: DeLay's Corporate Fundraising Investigated.

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In May 2001, Enron's top lobbyists in Washington advised the company chairman that then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was pressing for a $100,000 contribution to his political action committee, in addition to the $250,000 the company had already pledged to the Republican Party that year.

DeLay requested that the new donation come from "a combination of corporate and personal money from Enron's executives," with the understanding that it would be partly spent on "the redistricting effort in Texas," said the e-mail to Kenneth L. Lay from lobbyists Rick Shapiro and Linda Robertson.

The e-mail, which surfaced in a subsequent federal probe of Houston-based Enron, is one of at least a dozen documents obtained by The Washington Post that show DeLay and his associates directed money from corporations and Washington lobbyists to Republican campaign coffers in Texas in 2001 and 2002 as part of a plan to redraw the state's congressional districts.


Delay hasn't been named as a suspect yet but...
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DeLay has not been named as a target of the investigation. The prosecutor has said he is focused on the activities of political action committees linked to DeLay and the redistricting effort. But officials in the prosecutor's office say anyone involved in raising, collecting or spending the corporate money, who also knew of its intended use in Texas elections, is vulnerable.

Documents unearthed in the probe make clear that DeLay was central to creating and overseeing the fundraising. What the prosecutors are still assessing is who knew about the day-to-day operations of TRMPAC and how its money was used to benefit Texas House candidates.


DeLay has lawyered up and has sought the help of a criminal defense attorney for this probe. So far the evidence appears to be piling up. (read the full article for all the evidence, too much to quote here)
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In an e-mail dated July 24 of that year, Enron Executive Vice President Steven J. Kean advised colleagues that DeLay had sent notes to company executives "about designating portions of their contributions for use in Texas."

Three days later, Enron sent a check for $50,000 to the Republican National State Elections Committee (RNSEC) in Washington, and three top executives sent checks totaling $25,000. Around the same time, RNSEC transferred $1.2 million to the Texas Republican Party, which in turn donated $1.3 million to 20 legislative candidates that year, according to federal and state records.


The Republicans just are not having a good year are they? whistling.gif

Questions for debate:
1. Based on the evidence presented in this article what do you think about the case? Is DeLay guilty or not?

2. Many have long suspected shady deals between big corporations and various political parties -- do you think that as Enron continues to be investigated we will gain more and more proof that this conspiracy theory isn't so far fetched?

3. DeLay of course has the presumption of innocence, but what impact do you believe this whole scandal will have on the election if any? Are the allegations alone enough to be damaging? What do you think would happen if he were indicted?
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AuthorMusician
QUOTE
1. Based on the evidence presented in this article what do you think about the case? Is DeLay guilty or not?


Not sure about the legalities of this fundraising effort. That it was done seems irrefutable, and that it was done for gerrymandering also looks irrefutable.

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2. Many have long suspected shady deals between big corporations and various political parties -- do you think that as Enron continues to be investigated we will gain more and more proof that this conspiracy theory isn't so far fetched?


Yep. No problem here with that conspiracy theory. The RNC has traditionally been able to raise more money than the DNC -- it's a question if the "shady deals" allegation will stick.

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3. DeLay of course has the presumption of innocence, but what impact do you believe this whole scandal will have on the election if any? Are the allegations alone enough to be damaging? What do you think would happen if he were indicted?


Indictment will hurt Republicans in general, both the electorate at an emotional level and the politicians seeking election/reelection. The allegation alone isn't enough due to the benefit of doubt. It's unlikely anything concrete will come of this over the next three months, that is unless the judicial system moves faster than usual. Maybe having the Enron wheels in motion will accelerate things?
Eeyore
At first this just looked like politics as usual to me. The interesting thing here is how valuable sifting through the corpse of Enron could turn out to be in a variety of areas as confidential business practices are being looked into by public investigators. Areas of intense interest will be CEO/executive compensation, accounting practices including partnership deals, and the interaction of a corporation with the political system of our country.

When I read this part of the article I began thinking that Delay really is in hot water

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Texas law bars corporate financing of state legislature campaigns, and a Texas criminal prosecutor is in the 20th month of digging through records of the fundraising, looking at possible violations of at least three statutes. A parallel lawsuit, also in the midst of discovery, is seeking $1.5 million in damages from DeLay's aides and one of his political action committees -- Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC) -- on behalf of four defeated Democratic lawmakers.


If only the state legislators can redistrict and Delay oversaw an effort to get money from Enron for those purposes his lawyers are going to have there work cut out to spin the meaning of these communications into something that is in the bounds of the law.
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