LaTourette Gives Back DeLay’s Donations

Posted October 21, 2005 at 4:36pm

Ohio Rep. Steven LaTourette recently became the fourth GOP lawmaker to return campaign funds received from indicted ex-Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas).

LaTourette has donated $13,000 that he received from DeLay’s Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee to Hurricane Katrina relief funds. The six-term lawmaker has not commented publicly on his decision to give up the money, but he is informing constituents of his action when they ask about it.

“As a former prosecutor, I trust that the legal system will work and Tom DeLay, like every American, should have his day in court and should be afforded the presumption of innocence,” LaTourette wrote in a letter to Aurora, Ohio, resident Palmer Peterson dated Oct. 11. “However, in order to remove any questions that may arise about these contributions, I have made a donation in the same amount to the Bush-Clinton Katrina fund, which will help with relief efforts in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.”

As it turns out, Peterson is more than just an average constituent — he’s a Democrat who is planning to run against LaTourette next year.

Peterson posted his original letter, as well as LaTourette’s response, on his campaign Web site, www.palmerjpeterson.com. In a follow-up statement, Palmer said LaTourette “did the right thing.”

LaTourette is the fourth House Republican to return money doled out by DeLay since the former Majority Leader was indicted Sept. 28.

Reps. Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) and Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) both returned the campaign funds they received from ARMPAC.

Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), who along with LaTourette was booted from the House ethics committee at the beginning of this Congress, also donated his ARMPAC money to Katrina relief.