Sharpen your pencils for a quiz about… Tom DeLay

Hey, Mr. Majority Leader! How, er, ethical are you?

1. Which of the following fund-raising feats did Enron pull off on behalf of U.S. congressman Tom DeLay, who sponsored two energy deregulation bills and a bill that would have provided a retroactive tax break of $254 million to the failing company?

  1. raising an estimated $300,000 for one of his political action committees
  2. donating $32,700 to his campaigns during his years in Congress
  3. granting a $750,000 consulting contract to two of his top aides
  4. all of the above

2. House ethics rules bar members from taking overseas trips paid for by lobbyists or registered foreign agents. Which of the following trips did DeLay take?

  1. to Russia, in 1997, paid for by a Bahamian company connected to Russian oil interests
  2. to Britain, in 2000, paid for, in part, by a lobbyist for an Indian tribe and a gambling services company
  3. to South Korea, in 2001, paid for by a registered foreign agent
  4. all of the above

3. The House ethics committee has admonished or rebuked DeLay for which of the following offenses?

  1. offering a quid pro quo to a fellow Republican to win his support for the Medicare reform bill
  2. soliciting donations from an energy company at the same time a bill that was important to the company was being considered by the House
  3. using a federal agency to track down Democratic members of the Texas Legislature who had fled the state to block a vote on redistricting
  4. badgering a trade association for not hiring a Republican as its president
  5. all of the above

4. True or false: House Speaker Dennis Hastert removed the chairman of the House ethics committee, who oversaw the admonishments of DeLay.

5. True or false: Hastert removed two Republican ethics committee members who voted against proposed rules changes designed to protect DeLay and replaced them with Republican loyalists who supported the changes and had contributed to DeLay’s legal defense fund.

6. Which of the following DeLay-friendly rules changes were adopted by the House ethics committee?

  1. to let an ethics complaint die if the ethics committee cannot decide within 45 days whether it should be investigated
  2. to allow either party to block an ethics investigation by voting along party lines
  3. to rescind a provision (since reinstated) requiring a member to step down from a leadership post if indicted
  4. all of the above

7. How many former Republican members of Congress signed a letter to the House Republican leadership calling for the reversal of House ethics rules changes, which they described as an “obvious action to protect Majority Leader Tom DeLay” from investigation?

  1.  0
  2.  2
  3.  3
  4.  10

8. Which of the following DeLay associates has been indicted?

  1. Republican fund-raiser Warren RoBold, who solicited funds for one of DeLay’s political action committees, Texans for a Republican Majority ( TRMPAC), for “making and accepting prohibited corporate contributions”
  2. TRMPAC executive director John Colyandro, for money laundering and accepting illegal campaign contributions
  3. congressional aide and redistricting point man Jim Ellis, for money laundering
  4. all of the above

9. Which of the following contributions did Maxxam CEO Charles Hurwitz make to DeLay, who interceded on his behalf with the chief federal bank regulator investigating allegations that Hurwitz had defrauded a savings and loan?

  1. $10,000 to DeLay’s legal defense fund
  2. $24,000 to DeLay’s campaign committees
  3. $5,000 to TRMPAC
  4. all of the above

10. True or false: TRMPAC is under criminal investigation for using corporate money in 2002 to finance the campaigns of Republican candidates for the Texas Legislature—a practice that is illegal in the state.

11. True or false: After a political action committee he controls received $131,500 from tobacco interests, DeLay supported a provision on anti-terrorism legislation that would shield U.S. tobacco companies from foreign lawsuits.

12. True or false: After his congressional candidate committee received $159,000 from the airline industry, DeLay attempted to make post-9/11 security training for flight attendants voluntary—and less costly to the industry—rather than mandatory.

13. True or false: Speaking on behalf of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Business Advisory Council, DeLay promised small-business owners meetings with top Bush administration officials in exchange for a contribution of between $300 and $20,000.

14. True or false: DeLay attempted to offer access to top Republicans at the 2004 GOP convention in New York in exchange for donations of up to $500,000 to one of his charities.

15. True or false: DeLay returned contributions to his legal defense fund from registered lobbyists because such contributions are expressly prohibited by House ethics rules.

16. True or false: Two months after acceptinggifts of foreign travel, free lodging, and a golf outing from a lobbyist, DeLay worked to kill legislation opposed by two of the lobbyist’s clients.

17. True or false: DeLay accepted a $20,000 contribution to one of his political action committees from a liquor company, then backed an amendment to a bill that would benefit the company.

18. The Congressional Accountability Project, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group, claims that DeLay helped his lobbyist brother, Randy, in which of the following ways?

  1. by submitting an op-ed piece to the Houston Chronicl e arguing that Mexican companies should not be subject to dumping tariffs, without mentioning that his brother was a lobbyist for one such company
  2. by working to win support for a merger of Southern Pacific Railroad with Union Pacific, a client of Randy’s
  3. by fighting to win congressional funding for Interstate 69 while Randy was representing the Pharr Economic Development Corporation, a consortium of four cities pushing for the construction of the highway in Texas
  4. all of the above

19. How much have DeLay’s political action and campaign committees paid his wife and daughter for “political work” since 2001?

  1.  $0
  2.  $10,000
  3.  $100,000
  4.  $500,000

20. True or false: When asked by a reporter, “Have you ever crossed the line of ethical behavior in terms of dealing with lobbyists, your use of government authority, or with fund-raising?” DeLay responded, “‘Ever’ is a very strong word.” ANSWERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: (1) D, (2) D, (3) E, (4) T, (5) T, (6) D,
(7) D, (8) D, (9) D, (10) T, (11) T, (12) T, (13) T, (14) T, (15) T, (16) T, (17) T, (18) D, (19) D, (20) T.

With research by Ayesha Mirza, Christine Newgard, and Kimberly Stauffer.

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