Tag Archive for Tom DeLay

A message to SOME Republicans

I watched a video clip this afternoon. It gave me a type of hope I have not felt in a very long time.

I have watched the Republican Party for decades. I’ve seen it descend further and further into viciousness and selfishness.

Once before in my lifetime the Republican Party marched head long in that direction. It was during the era of the communist witch hunt, the era that sported the name of its visible symbol – McCarthyism. It was an era that birthed the resurgence of American plutocracy.

One Republican had the insight, the foresight, the decency to say NO. That man was a Republican President. He turned on Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee. He warned of the coming power of the military-industrial complex. His name was Dwight Eisenhower.

Despite the evil harbored in the man of Richard Nixon, despite his personality disorders, despite the foundation he laid for the current conservative party, the march off the conservative cliff was slowed. Even Nixon signed into law progressive policies. He signed the National Environmental Policy Act. He signed the Clean Air Act. He instituted OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Although he gave lip service to the Equal Rights Amendment for women, he was personally pro-choice. He signed the Supplemental Security Income Program into law, an anti-poverty program that still exists today.

The election of Ronald Reagan, and all the Republican Presidents that have followed, and the take-over of Congress in 1994 by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, Dick Armey, and so many others, committed the nation to a hideous transformation. Its Constitution slowly and steadily began to be redefined into something unrecognizable by decent, honest and compassionate people.

I have wondered if this descent into national hell had any hope of being stopped. But today I listened to a Republican in the Colorado Senate. The honest and heartfelt speech of Senator Jean White on civil unions made me think of the question asked of McCarthy. In that case it was an accusation. The question – Have you no decency? Today the answer was YES. This Republican went against the fierce inhumanity of her party.

Listen and watch this video. And when you are finished, I ask Republicans who are still capable of hearing to “come out of the shadows,” and to reject the party that shames our nation. Help the rest of us to reclaim a nation still worth reclaiming.

Tom DeLay sentenced to prison time

Breaking News

Image via firedoglake.com

Earlier today (Monday, January 10, 2011), Texas Judge Pat Priest ordered former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to serve three years in prison for his role in a scheme to illegally funnel corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002. He also sentenced him to five years in prison on the money laundering charge but allowed DeLay to accept 10 years of probation instead of more prison time.

After a month-long trial in November, a jury determined that DeLay conspired with two associates to use his Texas-based political action committee to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee.

The money helped Republicans take control of the Texas House. That enabled the Republican majority to push through a Delay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004, strengthening DeLay’s political power.

DeLay will be allowed to post a $10,000 bond pending appeal.

Most amusing was the testimony of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who testified that DeLay was not motivated by power but for a need to help others and about DeLay’s conservative and religious values.

Showing no remorse whatsoever, DeLay continued to insist that the charges were politically motivated.

Will the appellate courts agree with the jury and the judge’s sentencing? Will DeLay serve the prison time? We can only hope. After all, this IS Texas.

Longmont Councilmember Gabe Santos worked for Tom DeLay during a portion of his stint as Republican House Majority Whip.

Tom DeLay: The Hammer is Nailed

In reporting on the conviction of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Wednesday of two felonies, money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the New York Times reports the facts of the case which were never in dispute:

• In mid-September 2002, Tom DeLay’s state political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, gave a check for $190,000 to the Republican National Committee. The money had been donated earlier in the year by various corporate lobbyists seeking to influence Mr. DeLay.

• On Sept. 13, the check was delivered to the RNC by Jim Ellis, who was Mr. DeLay’s top political operative in Washington and headed his federal political action committee.

• At the same meeting, Ellis also gave the Republican director of political operations, Terry Nelson, a list of state candidates and an amount to be sent to each. Nelson testified that Ellis had told him the request for the swap had come from DeLay.

• In early October, donations were sent from a separate account filled with individual donations to seven Republican candidates in Texas. Six of them won. Republicans took control of the Legislature for the first time in modern history and in 2003 pushed through a redistricting plan, orchestrated by DeLay, that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 and helped him consolidate power.

The prosecution had to prove that 1) the money had been obtained through an illegal activity before it was laundered and that 2) DeLay played a leading role in the plan and intended to break the Texas election law from the moment his political operatives solicited the donations.

As the Times reports, “During the last day of deliberations, the jurors asked for transcripts of Mr. DeLay’s interview with prosecutors in 2005, in which he said he knew about the swap in advance. ‘Jim Ellis told me he was going to do it before he did it,’ Mr. DeLay said in the interview.”

It is, of course, no surprised that DeLay has insisted and continues to insist that he has not been prosecuted, but persecuted, and that this whole matter is nothing more than the “criminalization of politics.” However, the jury consisted of a Republican, six Democrats, two independent conservatives and three independent liberals. There were ample opportunities to hang the jury had not all of them been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that DeLay was, indeed, guilty of the charges leveled against him.

As the New York Times editorial points out, “During his tenure leading House Republicans, Mr. DeLay established a new low in ethical conduct among Congressional leaders. He put family members on his campaign payroll, took lavish trips paid for by lobbyists and twisted the arms of K Street lobbyists to ante up and donate to his party’s candidates and hire more Republicans.”

Although the NYT laments “the unbridled, unaccountable influence of big money in political campaigns” and celebrates that “a Texas jury stood up for honesty in campaign finance on Wednesday and convicted Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, of money laundering,” it warns that thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v Federal Election Commission “there are now many new ways for politicians to commit acts similar to those for which Mr. DeLay was convicted, all of them perfectly legal.”

DeLay faces a possible sentence of five to 99 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine on the money laundering charge, and two to 20 years in prison and a possible $10,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. Judge Pat Priest has wide discretion in sentencing the former majority leader. No one expects anything close to the maximum and some reports even indicate that probation is a possibility. Sentencing is set for December 20th. And, of course, appeals are certain.

Outside the courthouse after the verdict, DeLay insisted that the entire matter was an “abuse of power” and the results were a “miscarriage of justice.” Such accusations are predictable from a man and his party who repeatedly insist upon attributing behavior to others where that behavior is rampant by that party and its adherents.

Tom DeLay, who was known as the Hammer for his brass-knuckles, no-holds-barred style during 20 years in the House of Representatives, has finally been nailed.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

BREAKING NEWS!!!

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay convicted of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Houston Press reports, “The jury clearly didn’t buy his argument and now DeLay is potentially facing life in prison on money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering charges. DeLay is accused of channeling $190,000 in corporate money through his Texans for a Republican Majority PAC in 2002 to aid GOP candidates.”

This song is going to take on a new meaning:

(hat tip to SquareState for the song reference!)