Hidden among the by lines of newspaper articles today you may find a story here and there about the connections between former Preston Gates lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Tom DeLay. The articles allege that one of DeLay's foundations, the U.S. Family Network, received money from corporations, failed to live up to its charter and provided favors for contributors.The reports also allege the foundation kept the donor list secret.
Another of DeLay's Charities was also financed by corporations, the DeLay Foundation for Kids, include the Gates and Dell family foundations as donors who contributed at least $350,000 to Mr. DeLay's charity since 2001 reports CREW.
The Washington Times reports that:
A look at the financing of a conservative non-profit group finds a link between indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and indicted Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas.
Addiitionally, the Times states:
The U.S. Family Network, a group operated for five years in the 1990s to forward the conservative agenda, used little of the grassroots organizing it professed, The Washington Post reports.
A donor list and interviews show it took in millions of dollars in donations from Abramoff clients and funneled hundreds of thousands in fees to Edwin A. Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff turned lobbyist.
In April 2005, Crew (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) reported:
A $1 million check from a now non-existent London law firm was confirmed by former Buckham associates to have come from unnamed gas and oil executives in Russia, the newspaper said.
Abramoff reportedly had two such clients vying for congressional support, including DeLay's, for an International Monetary Fund bailout.
A $50,000 donation came from Abramoff clients in the Mariana Islands textile industry fighting minimum wage legislation.
A children's charity established by Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, has been underwritten by several of the nation's largest companies and their executives, including companies that routinely lobby lawmakers on issues before Congress, according to a review of charity records released by the companies and other documents...
Keep in mind that Mr. Abramoff worked for Preston Gates, the law firm that bears Bill Gates' father name and lobbys on behalf of Microsoft and the Business Software Alliance. Representative Tom DeLay meanwhile is fighting in a Texas state court unrelated charges of illegal fundraising. And while the DeLay's indictment in Texas is clearly unrelated, it keeps him out of the Washington.
The Gates and Dell family foundations have donated at least $350,000 to Mr. DeLay's charity since 2001. Among the largest corporate gifts was a $100,000 check given to Mr. DeLay last year by the Corrections Corporation of Nashville, which manages federal prisons. AT&T and Exxon Mobil say they have each donated $50,000.
Like other charities, the DeLay Foundation, which operates from a post office box near Mr. DeLay's house in Sugar Land, Tex., is not required under federal laws to release a donors' list. Nor does it have to account in detail for how it spends millions of dollars in donations on behalf of abused and neglected children.
Meanwhile, many of us wait patiently for Federal investigators to pick up the trail. For indeed, we would like to know how deep this rabbit hole goes.