Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Follow the money

Follow the money
March 14, 2006 07:25 AM / The Rant .


An old rule that prosecutors follow when it comes to tracking criminal activity is "follow the money."

In most cases, money is both the cause and effect of illegal activity.

Same for politics.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay may be under indictment for campaign finance abuse and a central figure in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal but that hasn't stopped political action committees from handing over $1,096,457 for his 2006 re-election effort along with another $1,839,803 from fatcat individual GOP contributors.

In fact, DeLay's re-election run is currently the most expensive House campaign for this year's mid-term election. DeLay has raised $2.97 million - nearly $1.5 million more than his opponent, Democrat Nick Lampson.

Over in the Senate, Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign war check tops $35 million - far more than the $118,387 raised by Republican John Spencer. In Pennsylvania, where the Senate race is far more competitive, Republican incumbent Rick Santorum has raised more than $14 million and Democrat Bob Casey $5 million.

In both New York and Pennsylvania, Federal Election Commissions records show more than 70 percent of the funds raised and spent in the Senate races come from individuals and organizations outside the state.

"(Former Speaker of the House) Tip O'Neill used to say all politics is local," says political scientist George Harleigh. "That's not true when it comes to financing campaigns. Most big dollar Senate and House campaigns today are financed heavily by individuals and groups from outside a state or Congressional district."...