The “Hammer” is being hammered by breaking stories in both the Washington Post and the New York Times. The Times’ headline “Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader” puts the focus on the fact that Tom DeLay’s wife and daughter have been paid over a half million dollars just since 2001 by the bug man’s political operations, but the heat is coming from the Post’s story -- which the Times also mentions -- detailing yet another overseas junket by DeLay and the seemingly ubiquitous uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, this one to Russia in 1997 on the tab of Russian oil, gas and security interests.
The Russians were targeting Republicans in Washington for intensive lobbying, the Post notes:
In that period, prominent Russian businessmen, as well as the Russian government, depended heavily on a flow of billions of dollars in annual Western aid and so had good reason to build bridges to Congress. House Republicans were becoming increasingly critical of U.S. and international lending institutions, such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the International Monetary Fund, which were then investing heavily in Russia's fragile economy.
Unlike some House conservatives who scorn such support as "corporate welfare," DeLay proved to be a "yes" vote for institutions bolstering Russia in this period. For example, DeLay voted for a bill that included the replenishment of billions of dollars in IMF funds used to bail out the Russian economy in 1998.
The Post digs deep into the details of who paid for the DeLay trip, finding that a “mysterious company registered in the Bahamas” transferred $440,000 to the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research, the same Republican-tied organization that acted as a pass-through for the gambling interests which funded DeLay's trip to Scotland.
This is sure to intensify the pressure on DeLay and his fellow Republicans. If you haven’t done so already, go to WithoutDeLay.org and join the tens of thousands of citizens calling on him to resign.
And help us run ads in targeted districts of Republicans to shame them into calling on DeLay to resign.