The New York Times reports that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action and campaign committees have paid more than $500,000 since 2001 to his wife and daughter (The Washington Post is also piling on). Former congressman and would-be gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis could face the same scrutiny if he choose to run for governor full-time, and is no doubt keeping an eye on what happens here.
This is one of the reasons that, while McInnis says he's in the race for governor now, we still don't believe he'll actually be on the track when it comes time to really start running (a point we also referenced in this post).
The major point here is that Republicans are hanging DeLay out to dry on this one, now that it seems as though there's too big of a pile to just sweep under the rug. If McInnis were to get close in a governor's race -- say, his polling numbers started to look good -- don't think for a minute that an opponent like fellow Republican Bob Beauprez wouldn't carve him up over this issue. The worse this gets for DeLay, and the longer McInnis floats his name for governor, the bigger the spotlight that turns on the former congressman from CD-3 (and by extension, the worse it is again for the Republican Party in Colorado).
Here's more on DeLay from The Times:
The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state, Texas.
Most of the payments to his wife, Christine A. DeLay, and his only child, Dani DeLay Ferro, were described in the disclosure forms as "fund-raising fees," "campaign management" or "payroll," with no additional details about how they earned the money. The payments appear to reflect what Mr. DeLay's aides say is the central role played by the majority leader's wife and daughter in his political career.
Mr. DeLay's national political action committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."
Mrs. Ferro has managed several of her father's re-election campaigns for his House seat.
His spokesman said that Mr. DeLay had no additional comment. Although several members of Congress employ family members as campaign managers or on their political action committees, advocacy groups seeking an overhaul of federal campaign-finance and ethics laws say that the payments to Mr. DeLay's family members were unusually generous, and should be the focus of new scrutiny of the Texas congressman.