Is this GOP problem a product of genetics?
California congressional campaign fined for fraud
WASHINGTON (AP) — The campaign manager and fund-raising committee for a California Republican have agreed to pay $84,000 in civil penalties for sending out letters pretending to be Democrats during a 1998 congressional campaign, the Federal Election Commission said.
Adrian Plesha, manager of Charles Ball's campaign, agreed to pay a $60,000 fine and Ball's campaign committee agreed to pay $24,000. Plesha also pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FEC and was sentenced to three years probation, fined another $5,000 and ordered to perform 160 hours of community service.
In announcing the agreement late Thursday, the FEC said Plesha and the committee sent out 40,000 letters and made 10,000 phone calls just before the 1998 general election urging registered Democrats not to vote for Ball's opponent, Rep. Ellen Tauscher, D-Calif.
The letters and phone calls came from the "East Bay Democratic Committee," a fictitious organization created by Plesha and the campaign committee. The letters falsely used the signature of Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.
The FEC said Plesha initially denied any knowledge of the scheme
The word spread through Republican circles on Capitol Hill is that a runaway Democratic prosecutor in Texas may indict House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, creating upheaval in the GOP leadership.
DeLay is a Republican hero for orchestrating the off-year congressional redistricting that promises to produce six additional House seats for his party. However, District Attorney Ronnie Earle in Austin may bring an indictment against DeLay for alleged illegal cash payments in connection with the redistricting fight. That would force DeLay to step aside as majority leader at least temporarily.
DeLay predicts there will be no indictment, but concedes the old saw that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if the prosecutor so desires. Earle indicted Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in 1993 on trumped-up charges, but he dropped the case after the trial judge's ruling indicated that, in effect, there was no case