According to a recent story in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (among others) “Former state senator and Republican candidate for attorney general Gunner DeLay of Fort Smith said Monday that he wants to bar campaign contributions from utilities to candidates for attorney general, which he says are unethical and a conflict of interest...”
So let’s see who DeLay received money from during his 2002 run for Congress (Arkansas 3d District) and see if there are any utilities. Shall we see if this ethical position on campaign contributions is longstanding or brand new?
According to Federal Election Commission reports for that race, DeLay accepted the following contributions (among others):
• ARCH COAL INC
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (ARCHPAC) 10/09/2001 500.00
• ENTERGY CORPORATION
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE 'ENPAC' 08/20/2002 2000.00
• PEABODY ENERGY CORPORATION (coal)
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE 09/25/2001 500.00
hmm- and what is this?
• NATIONAL GROUND WATER ASSOCIATION
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE 04/26/2002 1000.00
Looks innocent enough until you dig a level deeper and discover that the “National Groundwater Association PAC” is listed as having received a donation in the same amount several months earlier from Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC - AMERICANS FOR A REPUBLICAN MAJORITY POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE (07/26/2001 - 1000.00). If you dig into the other donations to the Groundwater PAC, they are mainly from individuals involved in water pumping and well drillers in amounts of hundreds of dollars. And the Tom DeLay donation from the national version of the Texas organization that resulted in indictment is the only contribution in the exact amount that went to Gunner DeLay.
So-- let’s be charitable. Maybe Gunner thinks accepting a grand in washed bucks from a man indicted for money-laundering Enron cash and a grand in campaign donations from coal companies don’t count as “unethical contributions from utilities.”
But how would that explain the two grand from Entergy?
Entergy Arkansas’ website proudly proclaims that they have delivered electricity to Arkansas customers “for more than 90 years.” The website goes on to note that “We serve approximately 667,000 customers in 63 counties”in Arkansas.
Maybe Entergy cut Gunner a check from coal gassification profits rather than the "utility" side? Maybe Gunner thinks the Entergy that contributed to his Congressional war-chest isn’t a utility? Maybe the contribution to DeLay from Entergy is only an “unethical conflict of interest” for state attorney-general candidates but not for Congressional candidates who would be involved in approving national energy policy?
There are a couple more amusements in Gunner's FEC Reports for the 2002 Congressional race. Those Federal Election Commission records indicate contributions from the National Pawnbrokers Association PAC in the amount of $2,000.00 dated June 16, 2005
and $5000.00 from the New York based "Hudson Valley PAC" on August 18, 2005
June and August 2005 contributions to a race that Gunner lost three years prior? Is Gunner still running for the Congressional seat he already lost or is he he seeking a currently open position as Attorney General? Is he quietly funneling out-of-state money into the attorney general's race via his old congressional accounts?
Nobody's going to quibble that the pawnbrokers and the New Yorkers can't give cash to whoever they please -- but why is Gunner washing those bucks through his old Congressional Campaign accounts?
The answers depend upon definitions of “utility,” and “unethical,” and “conflict-of-interest” we guess.
Maybe Gunner will step up and explain how he defines those terms -- and while he's at it, maybe he can define "hypocrisy" for us.Click here to check out the FEC Records for yourself