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Publish Date: 10/5/2005

Musgrave under fire
Political challenger wants her to return $30,000 donated by DeLay


FORT COLLINS — A Democrat hoping to challenge Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colo., said she should return campaign contributions from political action committees linked to Tom DeLay, the powerful Texas congressman accused of money-laundering.

State Rep. Angie Paccione, D-Fort Collins, said Musgrave has received $30,000 from Americans for a Republican Majority, one of the committees founded by DeLay.

A Texas grand jury has indicted DeLay on charges of money laundering, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.

The charges allege that a separate political action committee founded by DeLay, Texans for a Republican Majority, violated a Texas ban on using corporate money in local campaigns.

DeLay stepped aside as House majority leader after he was indicted.

Guy Short, Musgrave’s chief of staff, said the second-term congresswoman has not received any donations from Texans for a Republican Majority.

“Every dollar she’s received is legal,” he said.

Musgrave has no plans to return any donations from any other DeLay committee unless DeLay is found guilty, Short said.

“In this country you’re still presumed innocent until proven guilty. She believes that he deserves his day in court,” Short said. “She believes, at this point, he’s done nothing wrong.”

The campaign for Musgrave’s 4th District seat, which represents mostly rural eastern and northeastern Colorado and includes Longmont, is expected to be intense.

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