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Bush-Cheney political chief testifies in funds probe

AUSTIN, Texas -- The political director for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign has testified before a grand jury investigating allegations that corporate money was used illegally in 2002 legislative races in Texas.

A spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, Lindsay Taylor, confirmed that political director Terry Nelson testified Friday before the grand jury, which conducts closed proceedings.

She declined to comment further.

Nelson, the RNC's former deputy chief of staff, could not be reached for comment. He joined the Bush-Cheney campaign in May.

The grand jury is investigating whether state law was violated when an RNC group gave $190,000 to seven candidates for the Texas House in 2002.

The donations were made on the same day, two weeks after a political committee called Texans for a Republican Majority sent $190,000 in corporate money to the RNC group.

Under state law, the political committee, created by US Representative Tom DeLay, could not legally give corporate donations to candidates.

Democrats allege that Republicans took money that could not be given to candidates and moved it around before donating it to the candidates.

Republican officials have said that the transactions were legal and that the timing and amounts were coincidental.

No indictments have been issued.

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