YET MORE TOM DELAY SLIMINESS….The noose is continuing to tighten around Tom DeLay: the New York Times reports that his political action committee and his campaign committee have paid his wife and daughter over $500,000 in the past four years.

In his daughter’s case, the payments appear legitimate. She’s managed some of his campaigns and also helps arrange events. Fine. But his wife? “Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions,” said a statement from his PAC.

Indeed. Big picture, long-term strategic guidance. Is that really the best they can come up with?

In other DeLay news, the Washington Post reports that yet another of his overseas trips that was supposedly paid for by a think tank was actually paid for by lobbyists. As usual (this is the third such controversy), DeLay says he had no idea that lobbyists were behind the trips. No idea at all.

Atrios suggests the real news here is that it’s folks on DeLay’s own side of the aisle who are ratting him out. Maybe so. Perhaps they’ve figured out that they’d rather take their lumps now than during an election year.