Saturday, December 31, 2005

DeLay's Charity mostly funded by accused criminal lobbyist clients

The records, other documents and interviews call into question the very purpose of the U.S. Family Network, which functioned mostly by collecting funds from domestic and foreign businesses whose interests coincided with DeLay's activities while he was serving as House majority whip from 1995 to 2002, and as majority leader from 2002 until the end of September.

After the group was formed in 1996, its director told the Internal Revenue Service that its goal was to advocate policies favorable for "economic growth and prosperity, social improvement, moral fitness, and the general well-being of the United States." DeLay, in a 1999 fundraising letter, called the group "a powerful nationwide organization dedicated to restoring our government to citizen control" by mobilizing grass-roots citizen support.

But the records show that the tiny U.S. Family Network, which never had more than one full-time staff member, spent comparatively little money on public advocacy or education projects. Although established as a nonprofit organization, it paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees to Buckham and his lobbying firm, Alexander Strategy Group.
A blockbuster story from the Washington Post that is tracking the money that flowed into DeLay's charity. Most of this money came from his previously described manufacturing friends in American Samoa where DeLay pushed legislation that enabled them to keep wages low, contract laborers abused, and a "Made in the USA" stamp on foreign manufactured goods. New is that a million dollars apparently came from Russian oil company millionaires eager to get DeLay to help with an IMF loan. A lot of Abramoff's sleazy Indian tribe extorted money also wound up in the charity. The report also answers the question of how this charity money donations got back into DeLay's hands with no family members working directly for the charity. The charity spend huge amounts with a PR firm and the PR firm hired his wife. There is much more here like one of the main purposes of the charity was to defeat Democratic candidates and apparently provide cheap housing for DeLay fundraising.

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