<center><h1><a href=http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/topstory/2528076>State GOP money trail muddy, possible violations of law</a></h1></center> By R.G. RATCLIFFE <blockquote>AUSTIN -- The Texas Republican Party went on a drive during the last major statewide elections to raise corporate cash like never before, collecting $2.2 million from companies such as energy firms and nursing home chains. While raising the money was legal, it may have been spent in violation of state law, the Houston Chronicle found through a review of more than 10,000 pages of state and federal campaign finance reports. Texas law prohibits political parties from spending corporate or labor union money on anything other than running a party primary, paying for a convention or administrative expenses. State law also requires those funds to be spent through a separate, restricted account, which can also include money from other sources. But the state Republican Party transferred its corporate donations to a federal committee it runs and designated all general election expenses as administrative. </blockquote> This, coupled with Tom DeLay's gerrymandering of Texas voting districts, highlight the need for public financing of all elections and congressional redistricting based solely on census numbers, cut the political parties out of the process entirely.