Tom DeLay solicited “campaign contributions” even after he decided to end his campaign. Hell, he still has a “Contribute” link up on his campaign website [scroll down, lower-left corner].
U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay raised campaign money at a relatively high rate in the six weeks before revealing that he planned to give up his congressional seat, according to disclosures made available Monday.
The $484,475 received by his campaign from Feb. 15 to March 31 helped bring his total cash reserve to $1.4 million, which can be used for legal expenses or political activities.
The nearly half-million dollars that the Republican lawmaker raised in the period that included time before and after winning the March 7 primary was more than triple the amount he raised in the previous 45 days.
DeLay’s campaign raised money even after he apparently had decided to pull out of the race.
He and some confidants have indicated that DeLay began pondering his decision immediately after the primary and reached it at least a week before making his public announcement April 3.
“He was in the process of making his decision after the primary. He kept all his fundraising events and was committed to running an aggressive campaign until his decision became final,” spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty said.
On Monday, DeLay’s campaign Web site still solicited campaign contributions, saying, “To continue to win, I need your help and your most generous contribution today.” It also included his statement that he would resign from Congress.
Since becoming embroiled in the legal controversies in Texas and Washington, DeLay has channeled $196,251 from his campaign fund into legal fees and expenses.
In 2000, the lawmaker set up a separate legal defense fund that has raised nearly $2 million.
Brent Perry, a Houston lawyer who administers the fund, said the fund received donations totaling nearly $275,000 in the first quarter of 2006. Nearly all the money is swiftly paid to lawyers, he said.