DeLay Ethics

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U-S House ethics committee says Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas acted improperly in trying to convince Representative Nick Smith to change his vote on a bill.

The bill was to provide a Medicare prescription drug benefit. DeLay wanted Smith to change his vote from "no" to "yes." The committee approved an investigative report that serves as "a public admonishment" against DeLay and Representative Candice Miller.

DeLay responded Thursday night that he would never knowingly violate the rules of the House.

The committee also admonished Smith himself for failing to fully cooperate with the committee.

The retiring Smith first leveled the allegation in November that unidentified lawmakers and business interests promised substantial money to his son's congressional campaign if he voted for the legislation.

Smith said the same interests threatened to support other candidates if he didn't change his vote from "no" to "yes."