That includes his political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, which is commonly referred to as ARMPAC. The high-voltage federal fund has doled out more than $3.5 million to GOP candidates since 1994. Louisiana's Republican congressmen have received $60,034 alone, and at the top of list is Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., who has collected about $25,000 since he entered the political fray in 2004.
ARMPAC lost some of its luster last year when Executive Director Jim Ellis, as well as other DeLay aides, were indicted by a grand jury for money laundering ' a first-degree felony. ARMPAC as an entity, however, has not been charged with any wrongdoing. It's DeLay's state PAC ' "Texans for a Republican Majority" ' that has landed the politico in hot water. DeLay was indicted in September for allegedly using the Texas PAC to funnel corporate money to several legislative candidates in the Lone Star State.
Still, recipients of money from ARMPAC are getting pummeled by special interests to return their contributions to DeLay. When asked what Lafayette Rep. Boustany would do, his press secretary Amy Jones questions the timing of the query.
"This is an old issue," she says, and adds that Boustany has no plans to return the money.
As far back as fall 2004, political groups like the Louisiana Democratic Party were asking GOP candidates to recoil from the DeLay money. For some, it became a major election issue in their last campaign. But special interests are finding ways to breathe new life into the issue, with hurricane survivors at the forefront.
For instance, the Campaign for America's Future recently launched a public appeal asking lawmakers to donate the equivalent of whatever DeLay granted them to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, a charitable pool organized by the former U.S. presidents. Campaign for America's Future bills itself as a progressive think tank, and has a "rogues gallery" of politicians on its Web site that includes Democratic Rep. John Tanner of Tennessee and Republican Rep. Bob Ney of Ohio.
Ellen Miller, deputy director of Campaign for America's Future, says her group's call to action is more relevant than ever with the formation of the hurricane fund. "Washington is engulfed in corruption," she says. "It's time for members of Congress to stand with the people and show that, in this time of great national need, the charity chests are more important than political war chests."
Even before the campaign was launched, Rep. Kenny Hulshof of Missouri cleared the way for such thinking by donating his $15,000 DeLay contribution to the Bush-Clinton fund. His spokesman later said the congressman wanted to "disassociate" himself from the situation. Rep. Steven LaTourette of Ohio soon followed pace, and two more lawmakers ' Reps. Jeb Bradley of New Hampshire and Heather Wilson of New Mexico ' are playing catch-up, vowing to return the money but not yet announcing their intentions, according to published reports.
DeLay hasn't been convicted of anything, but perception is weighing him down. His reputation took another hit recently with an Associated Press report that Delay's various organizations have spent more than $1 million on top-of-the-line luxury accommodations and lavish meals during political fundraising trips.
For now, Boustany appears unwilling to break party ranks and is rolling the dice in hopes that Delay will be acquitted of campaign finance violations. But Boustany spokeswoman Jones says it's not out of the question that Congressman Boustany would eventually rid himself of the $25,000 in DeLay contributions.
"If at any point there would be an indictment that showed a violation of federal campaign law with ARMPAC, then we would certainly donate the money," Jones says. "But we would end up trying to find something local inside the district to give the money to."
Contact Jeremy Alford through his Web site at www.jeremyalford.com.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.