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At last, Tom DeLay has succumbed to the scandal of his own making and finally done something positive for the people: Resign from congress.
Tom’s had a bad spell the last couple of years. He has been cited by his own congressional colleagues three times for ethics violations, he and two top aides have been indicted for money laundering in Texas, he was forced to give up his post as majority leader, he is hopelessly entangled in the criminal deeds of supersleaze lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and the polls showed that even the people in his own congressional district (a district he drew for himself, by the way) were rejecting him for re-election. The only thing worse that could happen to Tom would be for Dick Cheney to invite him to go hunting.
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DeLay is a man of many nicknames. When in the state legislature in the 1980s, he was called “Hot Tub Tommy,” for he was quite the party boy. Then, he got to congress and got serious, becoming known as “The Hammer” for his mafia-like style of demanding that corporate lobbyists put millions of dollars in Republican campaign coffers in exchange for legislative favors.
But DeLay might ultimately be remembered for his latest nickname: “Representative #2.” That’s how he’s listed in the legal papers of the multi-agency task force investigating Jack Abramoff’s corrupt dealings with congressional leaders. Tom says that God told him to step down from congress. But I suspect that God’s way of delivering that message was in the form of DeLay’s mounting legal woes.
This is Jim Hightower saying… Meanwhile, the corruption that Tom cultivated between lobbyists and lawmakers continues unabated in the congress. Top leaders want us to believe that DeLay’s departure clears the air in congress, so there’s now no need for serious ethical reforms. But that’s like hanging an air freshener on the tail of a hog. Tom’s gone, but the source of the stench remains, strong as ever.
“TPJ Statement on Last Night’s Announcement that Tom DeLay Will Resign Rather Than Face His Own Constituents,” Texans for Public Justice, April 4, 2006.
“Federal Probe Has Edged Closer to Texan,” The Washington Post, April 4, 2006.
“DeLay calling it quits,” www.cnn.com, April 4, 2006.
“DeLay to quit re-election battle, move to D.C.,” Austin American-Statesman, April 4, 2006.
“DeLay: ‘I have no fear whatsoever,'” www.chron.com, April 4, 2006.
“Tom DeLay to step down,” The Daily News, April 4, 2006.