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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Simmons keeps Delay's money

The New London Day reports that Rep Rob Simmons plans to keep the 39,500 dollars he received from former House Majority leader Tom Delay's fundraising organizations. Delay was indicted last week for illegally funneling money through his campaign committee to local Texas Republican lawmakers.

From The Day

Simmons has received $39,500 from Americans for a Republican Majority, a political action committee run by DeLay, and other DeLay campaign committees from 1999-2005, according Federal Election Commission records compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan campaign finance research group. None of the committees from which Simmons has received money are involved in the legal cases.

“Indictments of any kind are serious,” Simmons said in a press release last week. “That being said, let's not forget that an indictment is not a conviction.”

That is why, in contrast to New Hampshire Republican Jeb Bradley's decision last week to return money he received, Simmons has not returned funds raised from DeLay organizations, Eric Janney, Simmons' campaign chairman, said.

But Leslie O'Brien, executive director of the Connecticut Democratic Party, noted that when then-Gov. John G. Rowland, a Republican, got into hot water in 2004 over a $220 million deal with Enron, Simmons called for his resignation before any indictments, let alone convictions, had been handed down.

O'Brien argued that Simmons should hold DeLay to the same standard.

“The reality is there –– there's already a policy that has been established by Rob Simmons himself by calling for Rowland to resign long before any indictments came down the pike,” O'Brien said.

Yale University political science professor Adam Simon said that considering Simmons' past elections have been “uphill battles” in which the winning margins were never more than 8 percent, his decision not to return the money could affect next year's election.

“The decision not to return the money creates the potential for a Democrat to come in and use that as an issue, but it all depends on how capable the Democratic candidate is,” Simon said.

Simmons keeping Delay's money can prove to be a very risky move. We'l have to see what Democratic candidate Joe Courtney will say about this.