Six Degrees of Tom DeLay

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Six Degrees of Tom DeLay

I stand corrected.

Earlier I posted that Senator Martinez's staffer who admitted to writing the "Schiavo Memo" was some no-name. How naive of me.

Brian Darling was Martinez's legal counsel. But Darling isn't just any lawyer, he's a well-connected right-wing operative. He's also former general counsel for former Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire and is a partner and lobbyist at the Alexander Strategy Group.

The Alexander Strategy Group? Hmmm. Sounds familiar. It's a Republican K-Street lobbying firm that was founded by Ed Buckham, former chief of staff of none other than Tom DeLay. Apparently Ed and Tom are very close and like to help each other out. A few years ago ASG had DeLay's wife, Christine, on their payroll from 1998 to 2002. Ed Buckham is supposedly the man who helped connect DeLay with Jack Abramoff and is tight with them both. Oh, then there's this little story.
DeLay's trip to South Korea was orchestrated by a former DeLay employee turned lobbyist Ed Buckham, founder of Alexander Strategy Group. Buckham's firm has numerous large international and national corporate clients.

Buckham apparently used his connection to DeLay to advance the interests of his client, the South Korea-based Hanwha Group, a massive corporation that dabbles in several different economic sectors. DeLay regularly "agrees to meetings with corporate officials on Buckham's recommendation," says the Post.

Buckham also arranged meetings between his South Korean client and President Bush.

While in Seoul, DeLay's itinerary included shopping, golf, and touring. According to the Post, the cost of DeLay's trip was the fourth largest for any single trip by a member of Congress since January 2000.

Ed Buckham and DeLay have a long and close history. Buckham helped DeLay found the infamous "K Street Project" designed to reduce the influence of lobbyists who were pushing liberal oriented goals by punishing their firms with less access to Capitol Hill.
It's not six degrees of seperation in this case, it's only two.

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