Here's an interesting tidbit from a weekend AP story about what's on deck for former Majority Leader Tom DeLay now that he's been convicted on on money laundering and conspiracy charges:
The sentencing hearing, which is set to begin Dec. 20, will feature "numerous witnesses who will talk about the other acts of corruption that Tom DeLay has committed," lead prosecutor Gary Cobb said. The defense, which called only five witnesses during the trial compared to 30 for the prosecution, also could present testimony in the penalty phase.
What a tease! I'm sure the prosecutors have a number of options to choose from -- some of which may involve our own Roy Blunt, a very close confidant of DeLay's in Washington as the Majority Whip and acting Majority Leader until he lost his leadership post because his own colleagues decided his ties to DeLay and also-convicted superlobbyist Jack Abramoff were too great to ignore.
Remember, for instance, that one of the key DeLay associates who conspired to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates was Jim Ellis, who ran Blunt's Rely On Your Beliefs (ROYB) Fund during Blunt's rise to power. Ellis faces his own criminal charges in another case.
Also remember that in 2000, DeLay and Blunt worked together on a "financial carousel" (that's what the AP called it) to divert money raised at the Republican National Convention to Matt Blunt's gubernatorial campaign. Here's how the AP summarized the scheme:
Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt — now occupying DeLay's former post as House Majority Leader — through a series of donations that benefited both men’s causes.
When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay’s private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay’s wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt’s son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.
The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.
This scheme was featured in a 2005 Ad from American Family Voices and the Public Campaign Action Fund, posted to YouTube by the Missouri Democratic Party.