A Travis County grand jury investigating Republican political spending in the 2002 state House races ends its term today, and lawyers involved in the case are bracing for it to take action.
The grand jury has been investigating whether corporate funds were illegally used to help Republican candidates win elections that gave the GOP a majority in the state House for the first time since Reconstruction.
The investigation has focused on the Texas Association of Business and U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority, TRMPAC.
Texas Association of Business used $2 million in corporate money to influence the outcome of about 20 House races through direct mail pieces. TAB lawyers have argued the mailers were legal because they did not specifically advocate the election or defeat of any candidate.
TRMPAC raised about $600,000 from corporations and may have used the money to pay for fund-raising for candidates. TRMPAC has denied any wrongdoing.
The scuttlebutt is that DeLay himself won’t be indicted, but other folks involved in his PAC and the Texas Association of Business will. Nobody really knows except for the grand jury, the prosecutor and his staff, and the judge.
Here’s to hope.