Yet another questionable trip taken by DeLay and paid for by lobbyists... blah, blah, blah. I think the press should start looking for times DeLay was actually ethical - it would be more of a challenge. So many allegations are building up, listing them is starting to sound like a bad version of the 12 days of Christmas. Seriously, how is he still the Republican leader?
A 3rd DeLay Trip Under Scrutiny
By R. Jeffrey Smith and James V. Grimaldi, Washington Post Staff Writers
A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements.
DeLay reported that the trip was sponsored by a Washington-based nonprofit organization. But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign.
It is unclear precisely how the money was transferred from the Bahamian-registered company to the nonprofit.
The expense-paid trip by DeLay and four of his staff members cost $57,238, according to records filed by his office. During his six days in Moscow, he played golf, met with Russian church leaders and talked to Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, a friend of Russian oil and gas executives associated with the lobbying effort.
DeLay also dined with the Russian executives and two Washington-based registered lobbyists for the Bahamian-registered company, sources say. One of those lobbyists was Jack Abramoff, who is now at the center of a federal influence-peddling and corruption probe related to his representation of Indian tribes.
House members bear some responsibility to ensure that the sponsors for their travel are not masquerading for registered lobbyists or foreign government interests, legal experts say. House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel reimbursement from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.