Thursday, January 5, 2006

Looking for DeLay-Abramoff Connections

Not to be forgotten in all the hoopla about the guilty pleas of lobbyist Jack Abramoff is the pending case against Rep. Tom DeLay for money laundering and conspiracy in Texas.  Travis County DA Ronnie Earle, who filed the charges against Rep. DeLay, is now pursuing information related to a $500,000 contribution from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) to the U.S. Family Network.  The money purportedly came from Abramoff, and the founder of the nonprofit is Jack Buckham, a former chief of staff to Rep. DeLay.  DA Earle has subpoenaed, among others, Buckham and Sally Vastola, the executive director of the NRCC.  Showing the high esteem in which Earle is held by Republicans in Washington, D.C., an AP story (here) quotes a spokesman for the NRCC as stating, "I'm going to call Roswell (N.M.) and warn them that Ronnie Earle is on the witch hunt for the Martians they have there."  I'm not sure if a Texas district attorney would have jurisdiction over Martians, but then I'm not all that familiar with Texas law.  It does show, however, that wherever Abramoff's money went, someone is sure to follow the trail. (ph)

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