Monday, October 03, 2005

Katherine Harris Is Next Politician to Go

It has been held that Representative Katherine Harris (FL-R) is a corrupt politician mainly because of her actions as FL Secretary of State in the Presidential elections of 2000. Still today Democrats in Florida are furious because of her role in this situation. There are now substantial allegations that Harris has a financial relationship with Fmr. House Majority Leader Tom Delay who recently has been indicted on Charges of Conspiracy.

“Article published Sep 30, 2005
DeLay has given Harris significant fund-raising help
Herald Tribune
By Jeremy Wallace

When House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was indicted this week, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris lost a key political ally.

Harris spoke at a 2002 fund-raiser put together by the Texas political group that’s central in the investigation into whether DeLay helped solicit illegal campaign donations. As keynote speaker, the Longboat Key Republican was there to talk about her role in the 2000 presidential elections.

Since then, another political action committee DeLay created has given Harris at least $15,000 in campaign money and DeLay has helped her raise thousands more by appearing at her fund-raisers.

DeLay came to Sarasota a few months after the Texas fund-raiser to help Harris raise money. During the Sarasota fund-raiser, DeLay called Democrats “morally bankrupt” and described Harris as a “national treasure.” Harris gave DeLay a Florida “cracker” whip, which he snapped for the crowd.

On Wednesday a grand jury in Travis County, Texas, indicted DeLay, the top Republican in the U.S. House, and two of his associates on charges of conspiring to violate state election laws in Texas. The other two men indicted, John Colyandro and James W. Ellis, have also helped Harris raise money for her campaigns.

DeLay denies doing anything wrong and has called Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle a “partisan fanatic.” Earle is a Democrat.Wednesday’s indictments are the result of a three-year investigation of the Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, known as TRMPAC. DeLay was an adviser for that group and helped make Harris the main attraction at the group’s Jan. 16, 2002, fund-raiser.

TRMPAC solicited political contributions from corporations! during that fund-raiser, which Earle says is a violation of Texas law. A flier promoting Harris’ speech specifically welcomed corporate donations.The same day she spoke for TRMPAC, Harris’ 2002 congressional campaign accepted $1,000 from Colyandro, TRMPAC’s executive director. Federal Election Commission records show she was the only member of Congress who received a donation from Colyandro.

Texas Republicans organized TRMPAC in late 2001 to help them win the majority of seats in the state Legislature. The group won the majority, and the opportunity to redraw congressional districts.Harris, who was not named in the indictment, didn’t return calls seeking comment about whether Texas investigators have questioned her about TRMPAC or DeLay.

Harris campaign spokesman Adam Goodman said Harris has been a big draw at Republican fund-raisers across the nation. She was simply a guest speaker in 2002. There is nothing unusual about her helping out the group and he! r ties to DeLay aren’t unusual, he said.

Ellis, the executive director of Americans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee that DeLay created, was also indicted Wednesday. That PAC gave Harris $20,000 for her campaigns.

DeLay helped dozens of congressional candidates raise money over the last four years. ARMPAC donated $900,000 to 112 Republican candidates for Congress in 2004, including the $10,000 Harris received. Harris also received $10,000 from ARMPAC in 2002.

National Democrats are calling on the 13 Florida Republicans who received money from ARMPAC to return it.

“I think one’s ethics are always an issue in a political campaign,” said Dan McLaughlin, a campaign spokesman for Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat.

Harris is running for Nelson’s Senate seat in the 2006 election.U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw Jr., R-Fort Lauderdale, is the only Republican congressman from Florida to receive more money from ARMPAC than Harris. Shaw has taken more! than $30,000 from the political action committee.

McLaughlin said voters should be allowed to question Harris about her role in raising money for TRMPAC, just as they should be allowed to question other donations.

Earlier this summer, Harris offered to refund more than $50,000 in donations associated with MZM Inc., a defense contractor headquartered in Washington, D.C.The offer came just days after reports surfaced that MZM employees might have been pressured into making the contributions. Less than a week later, FBI agents raided that company’s offices and the home of U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., who has also campaigned for Harris.

In 1997, Riscorp, a Sarasota firm, was at the center of a federal investigation into illegal contributions given to Harris during her 1994 state Senate campaign. Harris, who collected nearly $30,000 from Riscorp, denied any direct knowledge of the illegal contributions at the time”

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