Why is ABC News ignoring DeLay ethics story?


As of this post, ABC News is the only one of the three network news outlets not to have reported on recent revelations that House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) accepted lavish, all-expense-paid trips to South Korea and Britain, apparently in violation of House rules forbidding members from accepting travel expenses from registered lobbyists.

On March 15, NBC's Nightly News and CBS' Evening News both covered the DeLay ethics story. CBS' The Early Show reported it on March 16, and the CBS Evening News followed up with a brief report that evening. All four reports also mentioned that DeLay may also be indicted in Texas over the alleged use of a political action committee he formed, Texans for a Republican Majority, to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas Republicans to bolster their ultimately successful attempt to gain control of the Texas state legislature from Democrats in the 2002 elections. A county district attorney in Texas has already indicted three close associates of DeLay.

The Washington Post broke the story of the lobbyist-funded trips. The Post summarized its revelations in a March 16 article:

The Washington Post reported last weekend that an Indian tribe and a gambling services company made donations to a policy group that covered most of the cost of a $70,000 trip to Britain by DeLay, his wife, two aides and two lobbyists in mid-2000, two months before DeLay voted against legislation opposed by the tribe and the company. The group said it paid for the trip, and the group and DeLay said he did not know about the gambling money.

The Post also recently reported that an organization that had registered as a foreign agent picked up the cost of DeLay's trip to South Korea. DeLay and the policy group have said that he did not know of the registration. House ethics rules bar the acceptance of travel funds from registered lobbyists. They also require lawmakers to report the original source of funds and prohibit them from taking gifts of any kind from foreign agents.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Tom DeLay Scandal
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