Special thanks to Amedeus over @ Dharma Vision for the link to this story in the Moscow News.
It appears that the corruption of (R) House Majority Leader Tom DeLay knows no bounds. The big story this week is that DeLay took a 7 day trip to Moscow in 1997
that was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements, the New York Times and Washington Post reported Tuesday.
DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay’s trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.
The expense-paid trip by DeLay and four of his staff members cost $57,238, according to records filed by his office. During his six days in Moscow, he played golf, met with Russian church leaders and talked to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, a friend of Russian oil and gas executives associated with the lobbying effort.
**GOI: Wow, What a shock that DeLay would meet with "friends of Russian oil and gas executives." Shame shame Tom. The dealings of Tom DeLay smack of old day politics and the scandals of "Boss Tweed" and Tammany Hall corruption machine. It is obvious to me and many others now that Tom "Boss Tweed" Delay is engaged in down-right thievery. The Tom DeLay corruption could (and probably is) the "tip of the iceberg" of corruption in the GOP party and this current administration.
DeLay also dined with the Russian executives and two Washington-based registered lobbyists for the Bahamian-registered company, sources say. One of those lobbyists was Jack Abramoff, who is now at the center of a federal influence-peddling and corruption probe related to his representation of Indian tribes.
House members bear some responsibility to ensure that the sponsors for their travel are not masquerading for registered lobbyists or foreign government interests, U.S. legal experts say. House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.
In addition, It now seems that Tom isn't the only one in his family who is involved in corruption. This story from the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, April 5 - The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state of Texas.
Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.
Mr. DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."
United Parcel Service provided a chartered flight between Washington and Las Vegas for between 50 and 60 people--including lobbyists, top aides and political supporters--at DeLay's request, according to a company spokesman. DeLay flew separately on a Federal Express corporate jet. Lobbyists with the National Association of Manufacturers, the D.C. law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, and the National Association of Convenience Stores were among those present for the weekend.
The weekend included a late-night party Saturday in DeLay's suite at the Rio Hotel and Casino, which featured a living room, bar and hot tub on the balcony. DeLay was not present, aides said; the event was hosted by his daughter, Dani Ferro, the campaign manager for DeLay's reelection campaign. After the party, Ferro told associates that a lobbyist poured champagne on her while she was in the hot tub.
**GOI: The only thing that DeLay hasn't done it seems is committ murder although I wouldn't doubt it if we soon found a body with his finger prints all over it. I just don't understand how DeLay can get away with SO much without being held accountable for it. I have a feeling though that DeLay's "house of cards" will come crashing down soon. Hopefully he will be going down in this next election.
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