The Washington Post uncovers
yet another revenue stream for Tom DeLay - a retirement account set up by Ed Buckham
for Christine DeLay while she worked for Buckham's lobby shop. Buckham (aka "Lobbyist B
") was DeLay's right hand man even after leaving to start his shop, Alexander Strategy Group.
Buckham partly controlled at least two separate means of covertly funneling money to the DeLays on behalf of his lobbying clients. And by the Post
's count, Buckham transferred at least $490,300 to the power couple. Buckham's clients, meanwhile, "included a host of companies with regulatory and legislative business before Congress, and whose interests DeLay supported."
The first and much larger payment stream was through ARMPAC, DeLay's political action committee. As the Post
reports, Buckham was a "decision maker" for the group, even if he didn't have an official title. From 2001 through Jan. 31, 2006, ARMPAC paid DeLay's wife, DeLay's daughter and his daughter's law firm a total of $350,304 in political consulting fees and expenses.
And then there's Christine DeLay's work for Buckham's firm as a consultant - nominally to collect information on the favored charities of lawmakers. This lasted from 1998 to 2002 and totaled about $115,000. The newly disclosed retirement fund adds about $25,000 to the take.
Two of Buckham's subordinates have pleaded out and are cooperating with investigators, and every expectation is that the Justice Department is ratcheting up pressure on Buckham, who appears to have been the brain behind a myriad financial schemes run from inside and outside of DeLay's office, to cop a plea. Will this new revelation help push him over the edge?