I Love Tom DeLay!

Here is the text of my article that was printed in the latest issue of PC Black and White.

A Democratic Thanks to the GOP
by Dan Kachur

The Left

Those who know me might be surprised to hear me say this, but I love Tom DeLay. Why would I not want the downfall of a leading Republican whose political style is probably more caustic than any other Republican? Because DeLay’s years of hubris and greed have finally culminated into a litany of ethical abuses so blatant that they threaten the health of the entire Republican Party. Every day that Tom DeLay remains the House Majority Leader is a gift to the Democratic Party.

DeLay gained national attention as the architect of a redistricting effort aimed at sending more Republicans to Congress. Not only was this effort in blatant violation of the Texas Constitution, it was also surrounded by major ethical lapses. The redistricting effort was possible because the Texas GOP was able to gain control of the state legislature, thanks in part to an effort by a group called Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (TRMPAC), co-created by none other than Tom DeLay. In 2002, TRMPAC sent $190,000 to the Republican National State Elections Committee. Exactly two weeks later, the same committee sent $190,000 to legislative candidates supported by TRMPAC. The problem comes from a Texas law that expressly prohibits corporate donations to state races. Since the original money included corporate donations, it appears that TRMPAC colluded with the GOP in a not-so-subtle violation of Texas law. DeLay claims he has no knowledge of the transactions, but with a GOP committee involved, one has to wonder how the Congressman was ignorant.

When the illegal redistricting effort finally got underway, the only option that Texas Democrats had to uphold the law was to actually leave the state. Naturally, DeLay decided to respond by abusing his power as a Congressman. DeLay used contacts in the FCC to track down the absent legislators, an act so far outside the pale that DeLay was admonished by the House Ethics Committee. The committee also frowned on DeLay’s solicitations of donations from Westar Energy just before a vote that was important to the company, and for offering a bribe to former Rep. Nick Smith (R-CA) to win support for the Medicare reform bill.

Just as DeLay was beginning to feel heat from the press following these and many other ethics violations, he saw a glimmer of hope in the form of a dying woman in Florida. Even though he had previously been in favor of removing a feeding tube from his own father, DeLay joined the fight to keep Terri Schiavo alive. Unfortunately for DeLay, this time even his hypocrisy couldn’t save him, and his bizarre diatribe against the courts following Terri’s passing made things even worse. DeLay’s attempt to use a brain-dead woman and her family’s tragedy for his own political gain backfired and, as the polls suggested that the public was turning against him, so did his fellow Republicans. Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-R.I.) said, "We’ve got to uphold the highest standards of legality and ethics… You can’t have your leader under a cloud." Even extremist Rick Santorum (R-PA) called for DeLay to better explain his actions to the public.

But these Senators are only speaking out against DeLay because they have difficult re-election races in 2006. The real GOP opinion about DeLay comes from House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), who stated Sunday that "Tom DeLay will stay as leader." DeLay never could have attained power if his ethical violations were not tolerated in his own party, and he would not remain as leader of House Republicans if his colleagues did not condone his actions. DeLay serves as evidence that the GOP is corrupt to the core, and it is my hope that rank and file Republicans across the nation and especially in his home district will condemn his unethical ways. And as for DeLay remaining as leader, all I can say to Rep. Blunt is, "Thanks."


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