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News :: Politics
Whitehouse now tied to Delay corruption scandal! Bush Florida 2000 recount committee still owes lobbyist's former firm $314k
05 May 2005
White House directs queries to RNC
By John Byrne

May 5, 2005

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

If so, the photograph taken of President George W. Bush and embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was priceless—the windswept DeLay strutting down the tarmac beside the president, two Republican leaders rankled by political setbacks joined at the hip.

There’s a backstory that lurks behind Bush’s decision to stand by DeLay. It involves Greenberg Traurig, the firm that employed the powerful lobbyist who paid for palatial DeLay junkets, and Abramoff staffers, who were footsoldiers in the Florida recount. Greenberg Traurig has yet to receive more than $314,000 in legal fees charged to a Bush committee during the 2000 Florida recount, we can confirm.

As a corporation, Greenberg’s unpaid tab represents a massive in-kind campaign contribution, far larger than anything that went unreported by DeLay. But it appears to be legal: corporations are allowed to donate any amount to the nebulous type of committee employed during the recount. It would, however, violate the committee's self-imposed $5,000 contribution limit from individual donors.

Bush’s recount committee doled out some $8 million, much of it to Hill staffers who made the jaunt to the Florida battlefield. But they couldn’t find the money for their telegenic counsel.

Greenberg’s leadership has apparently declined to press the issue. Jill Perry, Greenberg’s director of marketing and public affairs, declined to comment.

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