Jim Ellis (political activist)

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James W. Ellis is an American Republican Party political activist. He is most notable for being convicted in scandals with Tom DeLay.[1]

Racketeering scandal[edit]

In 2000, Ellis, along with DeLay, Ed Buckham and others, was named in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Ellis was running Americans for Economic Growth (AEG), which received $300,000 in "soft money" from the National Republican Congressional Committee funneled via Buckham's U.S. Family Network non-profit in 1999.[2]

AEG spent $300,000 in radio ads attacking Democrats. When the suit was settled, the NRCC agreed to pay a $280,000 civil fine.[3]

Political Action Committee scandal[edit]

He is the former executive director of Tom DeLay's political action committee, ARMPAC, and is one of the two political associates who were indicted[4] with DeLay on September 28, 2005, in "an alleged scheme to use corporate political donations illegally to support candidates in state elections."[5]

Ellis and John Colyandro, who was facing "13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution", "already faced charges of money laundering in the case." They were indicted September 13, 2005, "on additional felony charges of violating Texas election law and criminal conspiracy to violate election law for their role in the 2002 legislative races."[6]

"The money laundering charges stem from $190,000 in corporate funds that were sent" to the Republican National Committee, "which then spent the same amount on seven candidates for the Texas Legislature."[7][8] Ellis, DeLay’s right-hand political staffer in Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in June 2012 to a felony charge of making an illegal campaign contribution. Ellis, who had negotiated the $190,000 exchange, received four years of probation and was fined $10,000.[9]

In 2005, Ellis worked for lobbying firm Alexander Strategy Group alongside Buckham and Tony Rudy.[10] The firm was shut down the following year (2006) following a federal investigation into the actions of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.[11]


  1. ^ "Inventory of the James L. Ellis Papers". Oac.cdlib.org. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  2. ^ Shors, Benjamin (April 15, 2006). "DeLay probe grazes church". The Spokesman-Review. 
  3. ^ Hoppe, Christy (April 13, 2004). "GOP group fined over corporate campaign donations: '99 case similar to one under review now; DeLay aide denies wrongdoing". The Dallas Morning News. 
  4. ^ Time Waster. "Tom DeLay Indicted". The Smoking Gun. Retrieved 2016-12-14. 
  5. ^ Syvia Moreno, "3 DeLay Workers Indicted in Texas. Aides Charged in Fundraising Probe", Washington Post, September 22, 2005.
  6. ^ Kiely, Kathy (August 3, 2006). "Ruling keeps DeLay on Texas ballot; GOP to appeal to high court". USA Today. 
  7. ^ "DeLay Associates Face More Ethics Charges". Los Angeles Times. September 14, 2005. 
  8. ^ Patrick O'Connor, "With ethics back in spotlight, Republicans are holding fundraiser for DeLay associate," The Hill, August 17, 2005.
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (January 12, 2006). "Lobbyists' Emergence Reflects Shift in Capital Culture". The Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Birnbaum, Jeffrey H.; Grimaldi, James V. (January 10, 2006). "Lobby Giant Is Scandal Casualty". The Washington Post. 

External links[edit]