The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, October 10, 2005

The DeLay-Blunt connection

It makes me very, very happy to see some attention paid to Roy Blunt's own Congressional slug trail of corruption. He was definitely a fitting person to be DeLay's rent boy.

DeLay installed Blunt as his chief deputy whip in 1999 and endorsed him in the whip election of 2002, inducing Speaker Dennis Hastert's rumored choice, Representative Ray LaHood, to withdraw from the race. Blunt has also drawn his key staff people from DeLay veterans, including his deputy chief of staff, Mildred Webber; his director of floor operations, Amy Steinmann; and his press secretary, Jessica Boulanger. Current Blunt advisor Gregg Hartley, who is the vice chairman of Cassidy & Associates and was once Blunt's liaison with K Street, also worked for DeLay.

But in addition, DeLay also initiated Blunt into his fundraising network. In 1999, Blunt set up a leadership political action committee called Rely on Your Beliefs. It had what is called a "non-federal" component that was governed by Missouri, rather than federal, law. Before 2002, other House and Senate members set up these kinds of PACs, which were not subject to federal limits on contributions or rules on disclosure, primarily to win the loyalty of their states' officials, but also to benefit the officials who could receive contributions without the ultimate donors being identified.