- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Three persons and eight corporations were indicted yesterday on charges that they made illegal campaign contributions through a political action committee created by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Mr. DeLay, who was not charged, said yesterday that he hadn’t seen the indictments and that the investigation has never involved him.

“This investigation isn’t about me,” said Mr. DeLay, Texas Republican. “I haven’t been asked to testify, to provide any records.”

He suggested that the entire matter is an effort to hurt him politically.

“This is 41 days before the election — you do the political math,” Mr. DeLay said, adding that this is “no different than other kinds of partisan attacks” he has weathered and predicting that it would have no effect on the Nov. 2 elections.

“I think people see this for what it is,” he said.

The investigation centers on whether $2.5 million in corporate funds were used illegally to help Republican candidates win elections in 2002 that gave the party a majority in the Texas House. Republicans later used that majority to redraw the state’s congressional districts to favor their candidates.

Three of those indicted were members of DeLay’s political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority. James Ellis has been charged with money laundering, and John Colyandro and Warren Robold are charged with illegal acceptance of corporate political contributions. Eight companies — including Sears and Cracker Barrel — are charged with making illegal contributions.

Mr. DeLay said he doesn’t know about any wrongdoing and that he wasn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the PAC.

Meanwhile, on Monday, leaders of the House Standards of Official Conduct Committee — the ethics panel — issued a statement that they will present the panel with information on Mr. DeLay’s conduct soon and will recommend whether to undertake a full investigation.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

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