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Lobbyists testify on donations to DeLay

Representative Tom Delay (R-TX) takes a break after putting on the 17th hole at the Booz Allen Classic Pro-Am, held at the Congressional Country Club in Potomac, Maryland, on June, 8, 2005. Delay was teamed up with PGA Tour golfer Chad Campbell. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch)
Representative Tom Delay (R-TX) takes a break after putting on the 17th hole at the Booz Allen Classic Pro-Am, held at the Congressional Country Club in Potomac, Maryland, on June, 8, 2005. Delay was teamed up with PGA Tour golfer Chad Campbell. (UPI Photo/Kevin Dietsch) | License Photo

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Lobbyists testified about their donations to Tom DeLay's organization as his money-laundering trial resumed in Austin, Texas, Monday.

DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority passed $190,000 in corporate money to the Republican National Committee, which donated the same sum from its non-corporate account to seven Texas candidates backed by DeLay.

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Prosecutors used documents from Bacardi USA and the testimony of a former executive, Jorge Rodriguez-Marquez, to trace its fight with a French company over the Havana Club rum label, The Austin American-Statesman reported.

Bacardi gave a $20,000 corporate donation to Texans for a Republican Majority. At the time, DeLay, as House majority leader, was monitoring legislation Bacardi wanted, but the measure never became law.

Under cross-examination, Rodriguez-Marquez said Bacardi supported as many Democrats as Republicans.

Clarence Albright, who was a lobbyist for Reliant Energy in 2002, testified that his company also supported DeLay. Reliant Energy split $50,000 between Texans for a Republican Majority and DeLay's congressional leadership committee.

In his cross-examination, defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin made the point that the activities the witnesses described were simply politics as usual.

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