What am I missing in these attacks on Congressman Tom Delay?

The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees, according to a detailed review of disclosure statements filed with the Federal Election Commission and separate fund-raising records in Mr. DeLay's home state, Texas. . . . Americans for a Republican Majority, or Armpac, said in a statement on Tuesday that the two women had provided valuable services to the committee in exchange for the payments: "Mrs. DeLay provides big picture, long-term strategic guidance and helps with personnel decisions. Ms. Ferro is a skilled and experienced professional event planner who assists Armpac in arranging and organizing individual events."

Possibly I am missing something. $500,000 over four years for two people comes to $62,500 per year. Possibly this $62,500 even includes things such as employer social security taxes and other costs that employers have to bear. Probably one of the women got paid more than another, but the magnitudes seem small to me. They surely doesn't seem like an unreasonable compensation for some one working full or even half time.

In related news:

For years, Republican Tom Coburn juggled his duties as a House member and a family physician back in Oklahoma, where he delivered dozens of babies annually.

But since winning a Senate seat last fall, Coburn has clashed with Senate ethics committee members over whether he could continue to do double duty as a lawmaker and an obstetrician. Now, Coburn says, the ethics committee has ruled that his private practice constitutes a potential conflict of interest with his work in Washington, and it has given him until Sept. 30 to close his office in Muskogee, Okla. An outraged Coburn is vowing to fight the ruling, arguing that the panel's decision contradicts the Founding Fathers' desire for lawmakers to retain ties to their communities.

Why not let the constituents decide if they think a particular job is appropriate?

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