Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Tiahrt failed to report Delay-linked contribtuion

RAW STORY reported

A stalwart congressional supporter of embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has confirmed to RAW STORY that in-kind donations for several fundraisers held at skyboxes believed maintained by fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff were not reported until this year.

The congressman, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), amended his campaign finance filings in February and April, listing three in-kind donations from the Greenberg Traurig political action committee, a fund managed by Abramoff’s former firm. The events dated from 2001, 2002 and 2003.
Tiahrt press secretary Chuck Knapp called the amendments “a campaign staff oversight.”

The Kansas congressman was among 20 Republican members who voted recently not to reverse ethics rules some saw as protecting DeLay, and has publicly declared that DeLay did nothing wrong. The House voted to rescind them late last month, 406-20.

Melanie Sloan, executive director for the progressive ethics group Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, chided Tiahrt and said his conduct merits an ethics investigation.
“Those kind of errors are inexcusable,” Sloan said. “They’re breaking a law.”

Sloan took particular issue with Tiahrt’s office saying they probably would not have caught the missed payment had scrutiny not come to the lobbyist’s activities.

“We should be expecting better of this out of our members of Congress, and I hope that Tiahrt’s constituents demand a better answer and more accountability,” she continued. “The combination of those comments along with the failure to file properly and in a timely fashion suggest that Mr. Tiahrt’s conduct merits an ethics investigation.”
“I’d like to know what other laws he doesn’t feel like following?” she added. “Exactly who does he think these laws are intended for?”
According to the DeLay Rankings, Tiahrt is the 42nd closest congressman to DeLay. Jim Ryun ranks number 3.

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