Jim Feldkamp and Delay's Dollars in the 4th District

Jon Perr

The reach - or perhaps stench - of the growing scandals surrounding the indicted former House Majority Leader Tom Delay extends around the United States. Apparently even to Oregon's 4th Congressional District.

The Register-Guard reports that Republican Jim Feldkamp, the once and future challenger to Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio is balking at calls that he return $10,000 in contributions from Delay's Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC). His political director, Jennifer Gaskill, sounded the no crime/no foul line, saying, "Returning his money is basically saying he's guilty and we need to wait and find out and then go from there."

Other Republicans are not so sure. While Delay was indicted in Texas for the illegal corporate contributions and money laundering of his Texas for Republican Majority PAC in state races there, ARMPAC was also cited by the FEC for over $200,000 in improper spending in the 2002 mid-term elections. And while the bulk of GOP Congressional delegation are standing firm with Delay, some, like New Mexico Representative Heather Wilson, are sending back their ARMPAC dollars. "We already returned all $10,000 after the indictment," Wilson said. "It was a personal decision on my part."

While the Register-Guard story noted that "no one is saying that the DeLay PAC donation to Feldkamp was improper", the Federal Election Commission concluded otherwise in another matter concerning the Eugene Republican. In May 2005, the Jim Feldkamp for Congress campaign was fined $1000 for failing to acknowledge all relevant contributions in the required 48-hour reports, including $5000 from Delay's ARMPAC the previous year .

In the mean time, Feldkamp is not backing down, "In our country you are innocent until proven guilty; an indictment is not a conviction." Maybe not. But like the odor emanating from Delay in Sugarland, Texas, it doesn't smell good.

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    Personally, I don't understand why we're always asking them to "return the money". If it's ill-gotten, why send it back where it came from?

    Instead, the money should go to charity - and not some pseudo-charitable political foundation. It should go to a bona fide charity helping people.

  • FEC lurker (unverified)

    Looking at ARMPAC and Feldkamp's disclosures, it appears that Feldkamp <u>tried to hide</u> the money he got from DeLay. The $5,000 check that DeLay's cut Feldkamp was reported on 10/28/04 by ARMPAC, but Feldkamp didn't report it until 11/8/04 - the day after the election.

    While he stated the first violation was the work of a sloppy treasurer that didn't know the rules, the second one looks like a blatent attempt to hide DeLay's contribution until after it was too late to be considered by voters.

    (Just as a point of fact, I believe the initial post on here is incorrect, in that it was 2 different $5,000 contributions from DeLay's ARMPAC to Feldkamp that added up to $10,000 - not "a $10,000" contribution.)

  • Todd Woodward (unverified)

    You stand with the Devil, you get burned. Feldkamp can kiss his future in politics goodbye. All you have to say now is "Feldkamp is a DeLay Republican."

  • LT (unverified)

    Kari is right. In Feldkamp's case, perhaps a charity for veterans if not a charity for hurricane relief. Or maybe hunger in Lane County.

  • roseburg (unverified)

    i think he ought to give it back. forget about the fact that no "charges" have been "proven." i voted for Bush, and even i know that .............. DeLAY stinks.

    when there is smoke then there is often fire. and if it turns out not and DeLAY is innocent, returning the money now would give Jim some credibility in a world where i am (along with others i know) rapidly losing faith in Republicans.

  • roseburg (unverified)

    one more thing ....... i think this silly strategy by the Democrat Party to vilify Tom DeLAY will backfire. No one in dist 4 knows who he is.

  • Karl (unverified)

    Oh yeah, we know who he is alright.

  • Ed (unverified)

    Why wait for a trial? Let's just string him up now. Ever since it's become de riguer for reporters to use innuendo in lieu of facts, they can conveniently advance their personal agendas.

  • Winston Wolfe (unverified)

    Alright you little Republican Bloggers. If you want to get on BlueOregon and defend your simple minded, short-sighted, dog eat dog views, fine, this is America. You are encouraged to open your mouth and prove yourself wrong.

    BUT REALLY...Defending Tom Delay?

    He broke the first rule of playing Republican politics, "If you cheat, don't get caught."

    Nickels worth of free advice to all you Right-Wingers out there...don't walk.....RUN from Delay.

  • Chris Matson (unverified)

    Far as I'm concerned, ol' "Footnote Feldkamp" can keep his Delay $10k. Reminds us all of who's interests he really represents...the interests of those slick DC hacks 2,500 miles away.

    You might call it "truith in labeling."

    It's always amusing to watch one of them pavlovian right-wing politicos let his or her DC-authored dogma drive their political carreers into obscurity. Makes for great entertainment down here in the 4th, not to mention lots of laughs.

    Right wing-nut puppets never do well in the 4th anyway. The road is littered with 'em, complements of the rank-and-file voters on both the Democratic and Republican sides. Don't expect that will change much next time, either.

    We here in the lower 4th tend to take our local politics very seriously and defend our local representative very jealously, as it should be.

    Too bad all ten or twelve of those Deciples of Delay who live here in southern Oregon (and really that's all there is) don't get it.

    But then, why spoil the entertainment?

  • LT (unverified)

    It really would ruin the days of DeLay fans to learn what a common sense Republican said to me today: Peter DeFazio stays close to his constituents and doesn't play according to any DC rulebook--and the citizens love him for it.

    That isn't an exact quote but close enough.

  • Patti (unverified)

    Remember in last election how Feldkamp got on DeFazio's case for accepting $1,000 from ex-governor Neil Goldschmidt? Feldkamp wondered why DeFazio hadn't sent it back immediately. Well, it was given way before anyone knew of Goldschmidt's personal offences for one thing. It is really funny (albeit sick humor) that he is backing off on sending back DeLay's contribution when everyone knows of DeLay's public offenses. How hypocritical; must be the amount. Unbelievable!

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