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The new Tom DeLay raises ca$h for Bachmann

Via Bachmann v. Wetterling, we learn that Michele Bachmann was among the beneficiaries of a July 19th fundraiser held by House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), who took over Tom DeLay's old position when DeLay's many ethics violations and federal offenses caught up with him. The new dog still knows the old dog's tricks, though. A July 15th NYT article tells the story:

Representative John A. Boehner won the job of House majority leader amid a post-Abramoff clamor for an overhaul of lobbying and ethics rules. But nearly six months later, the changes are still tied up in Congress.

And far from trying to put the brakes on lobbyists and the money they channel into Republican coffers, Mr. Boehner, who has portrayed his ties to Washington lobbyists as something to be proud of, has stepped on the gas.

He has been holding fund-raisers at lobbyists’ offices, flying to political events on corporate planes and staying at a golf resort with a business group that has a direct stake in issues before Congress.

Tapping a rich vein of longstanding relationships with lobbyists and their corporate clients, Mr. Boehner, an Ohio Republican, has raised campaign contributions at a rate of about $10,000 a day since February, surpassing the pace set by former Representative Tom DeLay after he became majority leader in 2002, a review of federal filings shows.

The Times followed up on this article with an editorial (reprinted in the Pioneer Press today) attacking Boehner's lack of leadership on ethics issues:


The true talents of the new House majority leader, John Boehner, are becoming appallingly evident when it comes to the top item on Congress’s real agenda: the need to raise lots and lots of political money. Mr. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, is setting a fund-raising pace with powerful special-interest groups that already is challenging the achievements of his predecessor, Tom DeLay, the Texas Republican who quit Congress after he was indicted on charges of political money laundering.

Mr. DeLay made the symbiosis of lobbyist and lawmaker an unabashed money machine that scandalized Congress. Mr. Boehner took over with vows to reform Congress. But he’s busier beating Mr. DeLay’s game at extracting contributions from power lobbyists and their corporate clients. He’s averaged $10,000 a day since February, according to an article in The Times by Mike McIntire, with banks, health insurers and drug, oil and cigarette corporations among the biggest donors. As for golf junkets and other “educational? freebies, Mr. DeLay scored 18 trips financed by private interests since 2000; Mr. Boehner has racked up 39 in that time.

In one outing to a gathering of commodities traders at a Florida golf resort, Mr. Boehner assured his hosts that Congress was not likely to approve a tax on futures transactions. Mr. Boehner was doing nothing illicit with this insider schmoozing, not by the sorry rules of Congress. He is merely the latest example of the crass fact that money is the stuff of leadership in Washington.

It’s all too clear that nothing serious can come of the vows of Mr. Boehner and other Congressional leaders to rein in ethical lapses so long as members remain addicted to lobbyist-generated campaign money.

If elected to Congress, will Michele Bachmann attempt to reform the GOP Culture of Corruption? Holding a fundraiser with its new number one man is not a good sign. But hey, as long as it brings in the dough...

[UPDATE] The Hill has a new article on Boehner's fundraiser with Bachmann. Apparently it raised about $1 million for the "Retain Our Majority Program" (ROMP), which was founded by Tom DeLay himself. Assuming the cash is split equally among the 10 candidates (and I'm not sure how it works), that means Michele Bachmann stands to pull in $100,000 from Boehner and his cronies. If Bachmann is elected, she's going to owe some people some favors... and that's not good for democracy, or for Minnesota.

Here's the Hill's brief, not very helpful description of the race in the 6th:

Bachmann’s Democratic opponent, children’s advocate Patty Wetterling, was also recently added to the Red to Blue program. The two are running for the open seat left by senatorial candidate Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.). Bachmann faced a tough primary and trails in cash on hand by nearly $200,000.

Notice the apologia for Bachmann: she "faced a tough primary" and that's why she trails Wetterling. It couldn't be that she was outraised, could it?