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Texas: judge refuses to dismiss indictment against DeLay aide

The Washington Post reports: A Texas state judge yesterday reaffirmed the indictment of a political associate of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), turning aside his claim that a state law barring the use of corporate funds in the 2002 Texas election was unconstitutionally vague.

The ruling was the latest of several in Texas courts to run against former officials of Texans for a Republican Majority, which was created by DeLay and his political aides to orchestrate a 2002 takeover of the Texas House. That victory in turn led to a redistricting of Texas congressional districts and helped cement GOP control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legal dispute has its roots in Texas's long-standing prohibition on the use of corporate money in state elections and the group's collection of more than a half million dollars of such funds, which it poured into the races of 17 Republicans elected to the state House.

In September 2004, a grand jury indicted John Colyandro, who directed the Texas group, on charges of illegally collecting the money. Colyandro, a veteran of White House political adviser Karl Rove's direct-mail firm, had sought to have the indictment dismissed on grounds that the law was poorly drafted and infringed on protected rights. -- Judge Refuses to Drop Case Against DeLay Ally