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Is John Boehner just another Tom DeLay?

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February 5, 2006

020506boehner.jpgOver the years, new House Majority Leader John Boehner (right) has built a political empire with similarities to the fundraising machine of the man he’s replacing, Rep. Tom DeLay.

The Ohio congressman, who won an upset victory for the House GOP’s No. 2 post, has distributed roughly $2.9 million to Republicans from his political action committee since 1979, according to the campaign finance Web site Political Money Line. Some of the recipients this week returned the favor in voting for him.

Boehner (pronounced BAY-nur) is an avid golfer with a perpetual tan, and, like DeLay, he has played host at many fundraising golf outings. Some of his staff members, following the career path of those who worked for DeLay, have become Washington lobbyists.

Boehner, 56, was characterized as an agent for change by Republican supporters who elected him over Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri. But like DeLay and Blunt, Boehner has connections to indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

He accepted at least $30,000 in political donations from Abramoff’s tribal clients between the 2000 election cycle and 2004.

Forbes has the full story.