Monday, April 11, 2005

DeLay; the man, the myth, the crook

This from the Associated Press…

WASHINGTON (AP) - The No. 3 Republican in the Senate said Sunday that embattled House Majority Leader Tom DeLay needs to answer questions about his ethics and "let the people then judge for themselves."
Sen. Rick Santorum's comments seem to reflect the nervousness among congressional Republicans about the fallout from the increased scrutiny into DeLay's way of doing business.

DeLay, R-Texas, has been dogged in recent months by reports of possible ethics violations. There have been questions about his overseas travel, campaign payments to family members and his connections to lobbyists who are under investigation.

"I think he has to come forward and lay out what he did and why he did it and let the people then judge for themselves," said Santorum, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference…

A senior Democratic senator, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, had this advice for the Republicans who control both the House and Senate: "Be careful about how closely you embrace Mr. DeLay."

Dodd cited the new rules for the ethics committee that House Republicans rammed through in the wake of DeLay's difficulties. Those rules require a bipartisan vote before an investigation can be launched. DeLay's office also helped mount a counterattack last fall against Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., who was the ethics committee chairman when it came down against DeLay.

"Unfortunately, in his particular case, there's a process that he's tried to change so they could actually reach a determination as to whether or not he's innocent or guilty of the things he's been charged with," Dodd said. "But this is not going to go away."...

After reading this story I did a little extra research and found some interesting stuff. This from

A list of some of DeLay’s indiscretions:

1. Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate donor
2. Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare
3. Allegedly used corporate money given to his PAC to finance Texas campaigns in violation of state law
4. Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with Democrats in Texas
5. Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish celebrations at the Republican convention
6. Threatened retaliation against interest groups that don't support Republicans
7. Stacked the House Ethics committee with representatives who have contributed to his legal defense fund
8. Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill legislation they opposed
9. Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign government in violation of House rules
10. Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics Committee by purging members who had rebuked him
11. Pushed for a rules change for the House Ethics process that paralyzed the panel
12. Sought a rule change that would have no longer "required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted"
13. Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign contributions

All this on top of the fact DeLay has been admonished by the House Ethics Committee more than anyone in Congress. In addition, three of DeLay’s closest associates are under criminal indictment and Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle has not ruled out an eventual criminal proceeding against the House’s number two Republican. Some of DeLay’s supporters have claimed that the Texas criminal probes are politically motivated. But if you look at Earle’s record you’ll find that of the fifteen politicians Earle has gone after, twelve were Democrats. The icing on the cake came when DeLay led a gross display of political grandstanding when he was the Congressional point man on the legislation that attempted to force the federal judiciary into overturning twelve years of state litigation in the now infamous Terri Schiavo case. His reaction after the fact was both alarming and disgusting. DeLay declared the judges in the Schiavo case “will answer for their behavior”. DeLay changes the rules so he can avoid sanction, he continually bullies his opponents, he bribes and coerces his way around Washington, and he packs the committee he’s answerable to with his buddies.

When all is said and done I’m confident in the fact that DeLay will be found to be one of the most corrupt politicians this country has ever seen. Be afraid if this man runs for President. Be very afraid.