May 17, 2006
I've never done anything while I've been in office for my personal gain. — Tom Delay
So says the latest in the group of cri-minals who've been running this country for the last five years. Tom Delay (aka "The Hammer") is facing criminal charges for misappropriation of funds when it comes to certain contributions to Republican candidates in Texas. Funny how the good ole' boys keep falling all over each other lately, isn't it? Delay himself says, "after many weeks of personal, prayerful thinking and analysis," he's decided to step aside as House Majority Leader and will not be seeking re-election. Don't you just love it? These Bible-beating phonies really have some dog & pony show going, don't they? Where did all of their sanctimonious spiritual travails guide them back when it was time to decide whether or not to lie, break the law, and play funny with the money, anyway? It's easier for them to label Gays as immoral. One thing appears to be true for most of the Bush cronies: the flesh is willing but the mind is weak.
The erstwhile Texas big wheel has put a magnanimous spin on things, saying he will not run again for his suburban Houston seat in Congress to spare his constituents "a negative personal campaign" this autumn. I dare say. It appears prosecutors might just rain on his parade, since two former aides have already taken the fall in the corruption probe of GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In 2004, Delay & Company strong-armed a controversial "reapportionment plan" through the Texas Legislature. (That, in plain English, is a form of unethical juggling of voting districts more commonly known as "gerrymandering." It, too, is a crime.) Democrat Nick Lampson was ousted by this maneuver and — big surprise — it really pissed him off. He promised a heated competition for the Congressional seat and might have shone some light into the dark corners of TD's political labyrinth. Don't forget Delay himself was indicted last year on money laundering charges by Austin prosecutor Ronnie Earl — public enemy number one in Tom's cross hairs. He was accused of funneling corporate funds to Republican candidates for the State Legislature. Of course, Delay accuses Earl of waging "a personal vendetta." But it just so happens that Texas law specifically prohibits the use of corporate money in elections. His pal, the ex-governor and current President, should have known that. Perhaps they did know, but just didn't care. Oops!
If you're not already curious about the noble gesture our Ex House Majority Leader has made, take note of the fact that Delay intends to use the $1.3 million of campaign contributions currently in his coffers to bankroll his legal defense. Wouldn't you think his supporters might consider their donations as being misappropriated? I suppose not. They're probably big business types finding new ways to launder their companies' money. Next we'll be reading about how they feel it's a legitimate deduction from their State Taxes. It falls under the category of "Cost of Doing [Monkey] Business."
The shadowy figure of Jack Abramoff, disgraced lobbyist and Bush Administration wheeler/dealer, looms large over this whole mess with his longtime friend Delay. Back in January, buddy-boy pleaded guilty to fraud, corruption, and tax evasion. As we speak, he is supposedly "cooperating" with authorities — singing like a canary, as the old time gangsters used to say. Might some of the lyrics be about poor old Tom? Could there be a refrain about W.?
The whole picture comes into sharper focus when you realize Delay's former Deputy Chief of Staff, Tony Rudy, has been squeezed into pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Mail & Wire Fraud. Another aide, Michael Scanlon (who was Abramoff's business partner) has admitted to stealing millions from Indian tribes and providing members of Congress with "gifts" for official favors. It's a nice crowd the President has placed around himself. And he wonders why his approval ratings have hit the bargain basement. Here's the GayView: lay down with pigs, and you get up smelling like corruption!