Fwd: [DemocraticResearch] Judge dismisses Colyandro from ex-candidates' lawsuit

Submitted by PAAMember on November 30, 2005 - 8:02am. ::

Nov. 30, 2005, 12:10AM

Judge dismisses Colyandro from ex-candidates' lawsuit

Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN - John Colyandro, who has been sued and indicted over his fundraising in
the 2002 elections, has one less legal issue to worry about.

On Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed him from a lawsuit filed by two losing
candidates alleging that Colyandro and the Law Enforcement Alliance of America
violated the Texas Election Code by using corporate funds to influence contests
for Texas attorney general and an East Texas legislative race.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said the losing Democrats, Kirk Watson
and Mike
Head, "failed to allege any facts that Colyandro intentionally or even knowingly
violated the applicable sections of the Texas Election Code."

Buck Wood, who represents Watson and Head, had argued that Colyandro, executive
director of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political
action committee, coordinated with the law enforcement group to use $1.5 million
in corporate contributions to run ads favoring Republican candidates. Texas law
bans corporate donations to political candidates.

Wood said the suit will proceed against the Virginia-based law enforcement group
which ran ads criticizing Watson for being a personal injury lawyer and praising
Republican Greg Abbott as a respected Supreme Court justice. Abbott won.

Colyandro also faces charges of conspiracy and money laundering, along with
DeLay and political associate Jim Ellis. All have denied any wrongdoing.

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