« Virginia Dems sue GOP leaders for wiretapping | Main | National Voice seeks progressive change »

DeLay's PAC gave money to Texas state legislative candidates

U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's national fund-raising committee contributed to 15 Texas legislative candidates whose campaign finances are under a state criminal investigation because of possible improper contributions during the 2002 election.

While Delay's national fund-raising committee is not the focus of the investigation, he helped found the probe's target, Texans for a Republican Majority, and records obtained by The Associated Press show the breadth of his influence in providing financial support to Republican candidates in Texas.

Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee made contributions totaling $24,000 to the candidates in 2002. The checks sent to them bear DeLay's name and title as the PAC's chairman and were dated Oct. 22, 2002, according to records obtained by The Associated Press and filed with the Federal Election Commission. ...

Twelve of the Republican candidates who got contributions from Americans for a Republican Majority also got separate checks from the Texas group. Those were hand-delivered to the candidates by state House Speaker Tom Craddick while he was vying for the speaker's job.

The grand jury is also examining whether Craddick influenced his race for speaker by giving out those checks. Civil lawsuits have been filed by some of the candidates who lost, including one which names Ellis as a defendant. -- National PAC gave money to House candidates (AP via Fort Worth Star-Telegram