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Missouri: Blunt learned from DeLay about money

John B. Judis writes on TNR Online: issouri Representative Roy Blunt, who is filling in for Tom DeLay as majority leader while DeLay is under indictment, owes his rise in the House to the Texas congressman. But he may also one day blame DeLay for his fall, because DeLay appears to have taught him not only how to count votes and woo lobbyists, but arguably how to play fast and loose with campaign finance ethics. ...

But the PAC's activities from January through June 2000 raise all kinds of questions. During that time, Blunt's PAC raised $190,025. This included $150,000 from the fund that DeLay's PAC, ARMPAC, had set up to stage events at the 2000 Republican convention. (Blunt also raised $3,000 from the Concorde Garment Manufacturing Co. of the Northern Mariana Islands, one of the firms that lobbyist Jack Abramoff was trying to protect from American labor laws.) So, including the money it already had on hand from the previous period and accrued interest, the PAC had $252,788.43 to spend.

Of that amount, it spent only $126,000 on candidate or party contributions. Much of the money went to the Byzantine network of lobbying and political consulting firms that DeLay had established with his former aides Ed Buckham and Jim Ellis. (Buckham has since become known for his ties with lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and Ellis for being indicted in Austin along with DeLay and another associate.) Blunt's non-federal PAC paid $70,000 to Alexander Strategy Group, which Buckham set up in 1998 with a huge initial lobbying contract that DeLay secured from Enron. DeLay's wife, Christine, also worked for the Alexander Strategy Group and for ARMPAC, which was run by Ellis. -- The money trail that links Tom DeLay and Roy Blunt

Thanks to the Daily DeLay for the link.