Indicted DeLay Returns To The Petroleum Club

Today, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) will host a fundraiser for criminally indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX).

The location? The luxurious Petroleum Club in Midland, Texas.

According to the Houston Business Journal, the club is among the “most prestigious and influential organizations,” with “a roster of members who are on the forefront of the Texas and global oil and gas industry.” (A history on the club’s website says the original conception was for “an exclusive, handsome club of and for men of the oil industry.”)

“This is a very secure, comfortable place where our members can do their business without having anyone in their business,” says Anna Schmidt, the [Houston] club’s director of membership development.

Tom DeLay certainly feels secure there. In fact, according to the Washington Post, it was at the Petroleum Club that DeLay received corporate contributions possibly at the center of his alleged money laundering scheme:

Some corporations were careful to specify that their contributions were solely meant to defray legally permissible administrative expenses. TRMPAC solicitations being investigated did not mention the restrictions. For example, DeLay was the featured “special guest” at a fundraising luncheon for TRMPAC at the Houston Petroleum Club, where donors were asked to contribute $15,000 to be considered a co-chair and $25,000 to be listed as an underwriter.

“Corporate checks are acceptable,” the invitation stated, according to a copy obtained by The Post.

That event took place on August 19, 2002. Just a few weeks later, TRMPAC official John Colyandro wrote the following check (allegedly funneling corporate cash to the Republican National Committee) now at the heart of the indictment against DeLay.: