Thursday, January 12, 2006

Abramoff's Family Plan

Tom DeLay's wife and daughter pulled down over $500K working for DeLay's various enterprises and lobbyist friends, including Jack Abramoff. John Doolittle's wife pulled down significant cash, working for Abramoff and providing fund raising for her husband's PAC. Now we have the wife of Arizona Congressman J. D. Hayworth, who apparently administers her husband's PAC, earning over $100K for her efforts. In each case the common thread is Jack Abramoff and a scam to insure that money paid into each congressman's PAC ends up directly in the congressman's pocket.

Down With Tyranny has the story with a big assist from Rum, Romanticism and Rebellion and the Arizona Republic.

"Hayworth's wife, Mary, has been the only employee of his T.E.A.M. PAC since December 1999. The fund does not support Hayworth's campaign but distributes money at his discretion to help finance other GOP candidates.

Through the end of 2004, the fund has paid $107,000 for Mary Hayworth's salary and payroll taxes, or nearly half as much as the $234,000 it has distributed to candidates in that period.

The PAC also has paid $70,000 to an outside political consultant and a California bookkeeper, bringing fund-raising and administrative expenses to three-fourths the level of candidate support."

Essentially, Hayworth PAC, which took in $83,500 from Abramoff and associates, paid out $234,000 to other Republican politicians. The costs to administer the PAC were $177,000. Of that $177,000, $107,000 went to Hayworth's wife and $70,000 went to a third party who actually did the accounting and administered the PAC.

All apparently legal. None of it ethical.