Thomas D. DeLay

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Tom DeLay represented the 22nd Congressional district of Texas from 1985 to 2006
DeLay's mug shot after his arrest on charges of felony money laundering. (He was later convicted and sentenced to prison.)


Thomas Dale DeLay, the former Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives who represented Texas's 22nd congressional district from 1985 to 2006, co-founded Coalition for a Conservative Majority (CCM) with former Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell in November 2007 as a "new grass-roots organization that he says will help conservatives better convey their message to voters and take back control of Congress."[1]

DeLay is the former House Majority Leader, serving from 2002 until his resignation from the leadership in 2005 following his indictment on conspiracy charges. On April 5, 2006, he announced that he would be stepping down from his seat in Congress on June 9, 2006.

He is the founder of the DeLay Foundation for Kids.

Bio

DeLay was born April 8, 1947 in (Laredo, Texas) is from Sugar Land, Texas and a prominent Republican. Known as "The Hammer" for his enforcement of party discipline in close votes and his reputation for exacting political retribution on opponents, he was appointed Deputy Minority Whip in 1988 and was elected House Majority Whip in 1994,against the wishes of Speaker-elect Newt Gingrich, leading the Republican Revolution. After the retirement of Dick Armey, he was elected House Majority Leader after the 2002 midterm elections.

Background

DeLay received a Bachelor of Science with a major in biology from the University of Houston in 1970. He had previously been expelled from Baylor University. Prior to entering politics, DeLay ran a pest control company, which was reportedly "at best a struggling operation". DeLay faced tax liens three times by the IRS for not paying payroll and income taxes, and paid settlements to two different associates who claimed they were cheated by him.[2]

DeLay was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1978. There he gained a reputation as a playboy, earning the nickname "Hot Tub Tom".[3] By his own admission, he was drinking "eight, ten, twelve martinis a night at receptions and fundraisers."[4]

DeLay became a born-again Christian in 1985, After his wife Christine DeLay began volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate for children in foster care, the DeLays also became foster parents. DeLay has declined to comment on reports in The New Yorker that he is estranged from much of his family, including his mother and one of his brothers.[5] According to The Washington Post, DeLay has not spoken to his younger brother, Randy, a Houston lobbyist, since 1996, when a complaint to the House Ethics Committee prompted Tom DeLay to cut his brother off in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.[6]

Early Congressional career

As a member of the Republican minority in the 1980s, DeLay made a name for himself by criticizing the National Endowment for the Arts and the Environmental Protection Agency.

DeLay was not always on good terms with either Gingrich or Dick Armey, the House Majority Leader; he considered them uncommitted to "Christian values", and in 1997 DeLay tried to upstage Gingrich. Nevertheless, in the heyday of the 104th Congress (1995-1997), DeLay described the Republican leadership as a triumvirate of Gingrich ("the visionary"), Armey ("the policy wonk"), and himself ("the ditch digger who makes it all happen.")[7]

Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council

DeLay is an alumnus of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), being a member when he was in the Texas House of Representatives from 1979 to 1983. During the time he was U.S. House Majority Leader, ALEC began a new alumni forum for former members who serve in public office, called the "ALEC Alumni Forum." It was launched in 2001 and is "charged with developing a national forum to encourage improved communications among current and former ALEC members. Alumni Forum activities will include special investigations and speaking engagements at major ALEC events, and joint policy members with state and national leaders. . . . Through the Alumni Forum program, ALEC will seek the support of its former members in the development of reforms that reflect the principles of the organization at all levels of government."[8]

About ALEC
ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.


Majority Leader

After serving as whip for eight years, DeLay was elected Majority Leader upon the retirement of Dick Armey in 2002. His tenure as Majority Leader has been marked by strong Republican party discipline in close votes, and the use of parliamentary political techniques to preserve his party's control of the House.

After being indicted on September 28, 2005, DeLay stepped down from his position as House majority leader. DeLay was the first House leader in over 100 years to be indicted. Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri took over as acting leader.[9] On January 7, 2006, after weeks of growing pressure by Republican colleagues, most notably Rep. Charlie Bass (R- N.H.) and Jeff Flake (R- Ariz.), who were fearful of being associated with his legal issues in an election year, DeLay announced that he would not seek to regain his position as Majority Leader.

Legislative and electoral methods

DeLay has been known "to primary" Republicans who resist his votes (i.e., to threaten to endorse and to support a Republican primary challenge to the disobedient representative), and, like many of his predecessors in Congress, DeLay used promises of future committee chairmanships to bargain for support among the rank-and-file members of the party.

Employing a method known as "catch and release," DeLay has allowed centrist or moderate conservative Republicans to take turns voting against controversial bills. If a representative says that a bill is unpopular in his district, then DeLay will ask him to vote for it only if his vote is necessary for passage; if his vote is not needed, then the representative will be able to vote against the party without reprisal.

In the 108th Congress, a preliminary Medicare vote passed 216-215, a vote on Head Start passed 217-216, a vote on school vouchers for Washington, D.C. passed 209-208, and "Fast track," usually called "trade promotion authority", passed by one vote as well. Some see these close votes as indicative of DeLay's strategy to enable the minimum number of Republicans to vote in favor of these bills. Both political supporters and opponents have remarked on DeLay's ability to sway the votes of his party.

DeLay is also noted for involving lobbyists in the process of passing House bills. Lou Dubose and Jan Reid wrote a critical biography of DeLay, The Hammer, that quotes a lobbyist as saying, "I've had members pull me aside and ask me to talk to another member of Congress about a bill or amendment, but I've never been asked to work on a bill - at least like they are asking us to whip bills now."

Like many successful incumbents, DeLay's ability to raise money gives him additional influence. Two-thirds of the way through the 2004 election cycle, DeLay had raised $2.28 million compared to Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert's $1.68 million. Partly as a result of DeLay's management abilities, the House Republican caucus displayed unprecedented, sustained party cohesion under him.

Domestic policy

In 2003, DeLay maintained public neutrality on Houston's METRORail light rail initiative. Public filings later exposed that Tom DeLay secretly had his PACs funnel money into Texans for True Mobility, a group advocating the rejection of the proposal. Despite his efforts the proposal passed by a slim margin.[10]

In 2001, DeLay defied President George W. Bush when he refused to increase the Earned Income Credit welfare entitlement during the congressional battle over Bush's tax cuts to people making between $10,500 and $26,625 a year; when reporters asked DeLay about what he would do about increasing the EIC, DeLay simply stated it "ain't going to happen." When Bush's press secretary Ari Fleischer reiterated the president's desire for a low-income tax cut, DeLay retorted "the last time I checked they [the executive branch] don't have a vote."[11]

On economic policy, DeLay is rated a 95 out of 100 by Americans for Tax Reform, the lobbying group founded by Grover Norquist, and 95 to 100 by the United States Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby. On environmental policy, he earned ratings of 0 from the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. He has been a fervent critic of the EPA, which he has called the "Gestapo of government."[12] DeLay has also sided with business owners over labor unions and is for gun rights in the gun politics debate. The ACLU has measured that his voting history aligns with their civil liberties platform 2% of the time.[13]

DeLay blames Senate Democrats and what he dubbed "BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything) environmentalists" for blocking legislative solutions to problems such as the 2003 North America blackout.[14]

In 2005, DeLay voted 100% in line with the views of the National Right-to-Life Committee and 0% with the National Abortion Reproductive Rights Action League.

DeLay supported the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005. Critics of this law have argued that it unduly favors creditors over consumers, and have stated that the credit card industry spent millions of dollars lobbying in support of the act.

In 2005, DeLay, acting against the president's wishes, initiated the "safe harbor" provision for MTBE in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, together with Rep. Joe Barton. This provision would have retroactively protected the makers of the gasoline additive from lawsuits. The provision was dropped from the final bill.[15]

Foreign policy

DeLay has been a strong supporter of the State of Israel, saying, "The Republican leadership, especially that leadership in the House, has made pro-Israel policy a fundamental component of our foreign policy agenda and it drives the Democrat [sic] leadership crazy — because they just can't figure out why we do it!"[16]

On a 2003 trip to Israel, DeLay toured the nation and addressed members of the Knesset. His opposition to land concessions is so strong that Israel's conservative National Union Party deputy Aryeh Eldad remarked, "as I shook his hand, I told Tom DeLay that until I heard him speak, I thought I was farthest to the right in the Knesset."[17] Former Mossad chief Danny Yatom said "The Likud is nothing compared to this guy." (The Hammer, 236)

Iraq War

DeLay voted for the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 that started the Iraq War.[18]

For more information see the chart of U.S. House of Representatives votes on the Iraq War.

CAFTA

Delay introduced the U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), to the House on June 23, 2005. The bill, modeled after NAFTA, aimed to create a free trade zone between the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, as well as set up a separate trade agreement with the Dominican Republic. It was signed into law by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2005.

Main article: U.S.-Central America Free Trade Agreement

2006 Elections

In 2006, DeLay announced that he would not seek reelection. Democrats nominated Shelley Sekula-Gibbs and Republicans nominated Nick Lampson to contest the November 2006 election for his House seat. (See U.S. congressional elections in 2006) [19]

Meet the Cash Constituents

Links to more campaign contribution information for Thomas D. DeLay
from the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets.org site.
Fundraising profile: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by organization/corporation: 2006 election cycle Career totals
Top contributors by industry: 2006 election cycle Career totals

Controversy

Military Service and Dan Quayle

In 1988, when questions were raised about Republican vice-presidential nominee Dan Quayle's alleged use of family connections to get into the Indiana National Guard and thus to avoid possible combat service in the Vietnam War, DeLay reportedly defended Quayle by saying that he had tried to enlist himself at the same age, but was told ethnic minorities had already filled most of the available positions.[20]

No one close to DeLay could say he made other attempts to serve, and later The Washington Post reported that he had received student deferments while at Baylor, received a high lottery number in 1969 and then gotten married prior to his 1970 graduation from the University of Houston.

DeLay had been asked to withdraw from Baylor for a semester but kept his student deferment during that time, which has never been explained.[21]

Settlement in civil suit

In early 1999, as the House vote on impeaching president Bill Clinton approached (a vote DeLay had worked very hard to ensure would succeed), Anne-Louise Bardach at The New Republic picked up a story first reported by Houston-area alternative weeklies alleging that DeLay himself had committed perjury during a civil lawsuit brought against him by a former business partner in 1994.[22]

The plaintiff in that suit, Robert Blankenship, charged that DeLay and a third partner in Albo Pest Control had breached the partnership agreement by trying to force him out of the business without buying him out, and filed suit against DeLay, charging him and the other partner with breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, wrongful termination, loss of corporate expectancy, and injunctive relief. While being deposed in that suit, DeLay claimed that he didn't think he was an officer or director of Albo and believed he had resigned two or three years ago [2]. Yet his own congressional disclosure forms, including one filed subsequent to the deposition state that he was either president or chairman of the company between 1985 and 1994. The plaintiff also alleged that Albo money had been spent on DeLay's congressional campaigns, in violation of federal and state law.

DeLay and Blankenship settled for an undisclosed sum, and Blankenship's attorney told Bardach that had he known about the congressional disclosure forms, he would have referred the case to the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for a perjury prosecution. These allegations have never been investigated and DeLay has never been charged.

Accusations of misuse of federal investigative agencies

During the Texas redistricting warrant controversy, DeLay was accused by Democrats of improperly using his influence in an attempt to enlist federal authorities in tracking down fleeing Democratic lawmakers. He was later admonished by the House Ethics Committee for his contact with the FAA.

The K Street Project

DeLay's involvement with the lobbying industry also includes a pointed effort on the part of the Republican Party to parlay the Congressional majority into a dominance of K Street, the famed lobbying district of Washington, D.C. (known as the K Street Project) DeLay, Senator Rick Santorum, and conservative activist Grover Norquist launched a campaign in 1995 encouraging lobbying firms to retain Republican officials in top positions. Firms that had Democrats in positions of authority, DeLay suggested, would not be granted the ear of Majority Party members. Firms initially responded to this campaign, but it has waned during 2004, when the possibility of Senator John Kerry's winning the presidency gave some incentive for hiring Democrats.

Terri Schiavo

DeLay made headlines for his role in the Terri Schiavo controversy. On Palm Sunday weekend in March 2005, several days after the brain-damaged Florida woman's feeding tube was disconnected for the third time, DeLay and other House Republicans met in emergency session to pass a bill allowing Schiavo's parents to petition the removal of the feeding tube to a federal judge. DeLay called the removal of the feeding tube "an act of barbarism." DeLay faced accusations of hypocrisy from critics when the Los Angeles Times revealed that he had consented to ending the life support for his own father, who was in a comatose state because of a debilitating accident in 1988.[23]

DeLay was accused of stirring up controversy in the wake of a series of high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges when he said that "the men responsible [for Terri Schiavo's death] will have to answer to their behavior." DeLay's comments came soon after the February 28, 2005 homicide of the mother and husband of Chicago Judge Joan Lefkow, and the March 11, 2005 killing of Atlanta Judge Rowland Barnes. DeLay's opponents accused him of rationalizing violence against judges when their decisions were unpopular with the public. Ralph Neas, President of the liberal People for the American Way, said that DeLay's comments were "irresponsible and could be seen by some as justifying inexcusable conduct against our courts." DeLay publicly apologized for the remark after being accused of threatening the Supreme Court.[24]

In May 2005, the hit NBC television drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent used DeLay's name in a negative way. On the show, Detective Alexandra Eames investigating homicides of several judges, said, "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-Shirt." The show was apparently referring to the comments DeLay made about Supreme Court justices during the Terri Schiavo controversy. DeLay responded by writing to Jeff Zucker, president of Universal Television Group: "This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse." The producer of the show, Dick Wolf, replied that "these shows are works of fiction." Wolf also commented, "But I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a television show."

Cuban cigar photograph

DeLay has long been a strong critic of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and a supporter of the trade embargo against Cuba. In April 2005, Time Magazine published a photo from a July 2003 trip to Israel. In the photo, DeLay is seen smoking a Cuban cigar.[25] The consumption or purchase of Cuban cigars is illegal in the United States, but legal in Israel. At the time, smoking a Cuban cigar abroad was legal for U.S. citizens. Since September 2004, the Department of the Treasury's enforcement of the law has been toughened to forbid consumption or purchase of Cuban cigars by U.S. citizens anywhere in the world.[26]

DeLay rule change

In 2004, as DeLay was facing an impending indictment in Texas (see below), House Republicans voted to change an internal rule requiring members of the House leadership to step down if indicted. By the beginning of 2005, however, they had rescinded the rule change.

Main article: DeLay rule change

Jack Abramoff

DeLay has received gifts from Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including paid golfing holidays to Scotland, concert tickets, and the use of Abramoff's private skyboxes for fundraisers. Abramoff has since pleaded guilty to federal charges in an influence-peddling investigation. The The Associated Press reported on April 7, 2005:

DeLay's political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of the skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn't have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time... The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came just three weeks before DeLay accepted a trip to Europe, including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St Andrews course for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients... Two months after the concert and trip, DeLay voted against gambling legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients [3].

DeLay may be one of the targets of the Justice Department investigation into Abramoff's actions. Abramoff referred clients to the Alexander Strategy Group, the lobbying firm for which Christine DeLay worked from 1998 to 2002, allegedly in exchange for political favors from her husband. [4]

On January 10, 2006, The Associated Press reported that in 2001, DeLay co-signed a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft calling for the closure of a casino owned by the Alabama-Coushatta tribe of Texas. Two weeks earlier, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff's clients, had donated $1,000 to DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC). [5] Currently, and at the time of the letter, casinos or other private gambling establishments are illegal in Texas, even on Indian reservations. [6] In fact, the U.S. law, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Restoration Act in 1987 [7], which reinstated the rights of the Alabama-Coushatta and other Texas tribes has a specific section denying those tribes the right to violate Texas gaming law. [8]

On March 31, 2006 DeLay's former deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy pled guilty to fraud charges. CNN reported that "he joined a scheme with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others to enrich themselves and illegally influence members of Congress."[9] DeLay is mentioned in Rudy's plea deal as "Representative #2". Ed Buckham, DeLay's former chief of staff and closest advisor, is directly implicated in the plea agreement. Buckham ran the Alexander Strategy Group and the nonprofit U.S. Family Network, Inc. which he and his wife allegedly used to enrich themselves.[10] Rudy's plea and Buckham's position in the federal investigation indicated that Justice Department investigators were encircling DeLay.[11]

Naftasib and the Russians

In February 2006 federal investigators probing Abramoff's activities issued a subpoena for all information relating to any "Abramoff-related activity" with "any department, ministry, or office holder or agent of the Russian government." [12] The Boston Globe reported:

The subpoena seeks information about ties between Abramoff-related groups and a Moscow energy giant that is called Naftasib, a major supplier to the Russian military. Investigators have asked for any information about Abramoff's dealings with two top Naftasib executives, Alexander Koulakovsky and Marina Nevskaya. Senior Naftasib executives helped arrange a trip Abramoff took to Moscow in 1997 with former House majority leader Tom DeLay, a longtime Abramoff friend.[13]

DeLay had reported that the Russia trip was paid for by a nonprofit, the National Center for Public Policy Research, which has since been revealed to have been used by Abramoff to mask his use of client money to provide overseas trips to members of Congress.[14] The trip occurred at the same time that the Russian government was lobbying Washington to continue to fund international lending organizations like the IMF, which the government heavily relied upon. House and Senate Republicans were getting fed up with funding the IMF and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and were trying to vote to cut the funding. DeLay wound up voting to continue to fund the international institutions. Naftasib was deeply tied to the Russian government counting as two of its primary clients the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior. Naftasib used two front companies, Chelsea, located in both the Bahamas and the British Island of Jersey[15], and Voor Huisen, located in Holland[16], to lobby and spend money in the United States.

The Naftasib executives that DeLay met with during his trip to Russia donated $1 million to the U.S. Family Network, a nonprofit started by former DeLay chief of staff Ed Buckham, during this period. Christopher Geeslin, the naive pastor in charge of the Network, stated, ""Ed [Buckham] told me, 'This is the way things work in Washington' ... He said the Russians wanted to give the money first in cash."[17]

Northern Mariana Island legislation

In the 1990s the island government of the Northern Marianas Islands hired Jack Abramoff and his lobbying firm Preston Gates and Ellis to lobby against minimum wage laws and labor standards that the Clinton administration was trying to get through Congress. The Northern Marianas Islands were notorious for their textile companies run by Chinese and Hong Kong businessmen who brought young men and women to the islands to work in sweatshops and sexshops.

DeLay and Dick Armey were treated to a number of trips to the islands as Abramoff lobbied them. While on the islands they "played golf, snorkled and made whirlwind visits to factories especially spiffed up for the occasion, according to several accounts."[18] DeLay proclaimed, "I have witnessed the economic success of the Marianas," and pointed a finger at the enemy, "You are up against the forces of big labor and the radical left." DeLay has also called the islands "a perfect petri dish of capitalism," and, "my Galapagos island."[19]

While on a trip to the Islands, DeLay promised not to put the bill on the legislative calendar. DeLay has since blocked a fact finding mission planned by Representative Peter Hoekstra by threatening Hoekstra with the loss of his subcommittee chairmanship.[20]

New Hampshire Phone Jamming

The Houston Chronicle reported on April 18, 2006 that DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC donated $5,000 to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee as other Republican operatives were putting money into the state party for a phone jamming scheme:

Just as Republican operatives in 2002 were shelling out about $15,000 to attempt to tie up Election Day phone lines at some Democratic get-out-the-vote call centers in the Granite State, three groups — let's call them "Friends of Jack Abramoff" — were ponying up $5,000 each to the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.

In addition to DeLay's ARM, the generous givers were two casino-fueled tribes, California's Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. (The tribal contributions were first reported in The Union Leader, a New Hampshire newspaper, and the ARM contribution was added in a New York Times piece.) [21]

Criminal charges

On September 28, 2005, DeLay was indicted in Austin, Texas on criminal charges of conspiracy to violate election laws in 2002 by a Travis County, Texas grand jury. The following week, on October 3, he was indicted yet again on a money laundering charge. The allegations stemmed from the involvement of DeLay's PAC, TRMPAC, in funneling corporate contributions to state campaigns during the 2002 election cycle. The Republican victories that year in the Texas Legislature led to the controversial 2003 Texas congressional redistricting.

In accordance with Republican Caucus rules, DeLay temporarily resigned from his position as House Majority Leader, and later, after pressure from fellow Republicans, announced that he would not seek to return to the position.

DeLay publicly denied the charges, saying that they were motivated by the partisan actions of Democratic Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle.[22] After DeLay moved to dismiss all charges, trial judge Pat Priest dismissed one count of the indictment, alleging conspiracy to violate election law; however, Judge Priest denied DeLay's motion to dismiss the charges alleging money laundering and conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and the prosecution is proceeding on those charges.

On April 5, 2006, DeLay announced that he would be stepping down from his seat in Congress by early June.

Resignation from Congress

Farewell address to Congress

On June 8, 2006, Delay defended his behavior while serving in the House of Representatives. In a farewell speech given on the House floor, he said, “Given the chance to do it all again, there’s only one thing I’d change…I’d fight even harder.” Delay also criticized political pundits who comment on the negative consequences of bitter partisanship, arguing that these complaints are simply, “…a veiled complaint about the recent rise of political conservatism.” [23]

Delay's place on the 2006 congressional ballot

After resigning from Congress, DeLay and the Republican Party sought to have Delay removed from the ballot for the 22nd congressional district of Texas. This was sought on the basis that DeLay had moved to Virginia. However, on July 6, 2006, Republican appointed U.S. District Judge, Sam Sparks, ruled that Delay must be placed on the November 7, 2006 congressional ballot in the seat from which he resigned. As a result, the Republican Party plans to appeal the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. [24]

These appeals were heard on July 31 by the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals of New Orleans. [25] On August 3, the court upheld the decision by the lower court to force DeLay to remain on the ballot. Following the ruling, the Texas GOP filed an application with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to block the appellate court's ruling. On August 7, 2006, Scalia denied the request. [26] Later that week, DeLay publicly called Scalia's decision, "Not only stupid, but dangerous." He was particularly bothered by the fact that the request was denied within several hours, indicating to DeLay that Scalia had not adequately considered it. [27]

On August 8, DeLay announced his intentions to withdraw from the race, allowing the party to support a write-in candidate in the months leading up to Election Day. [28]

In the week that followed Scalia's decision, two potential write-in candidates emerged. First, Sugar Land mayor David G. Wallace announced his interest, followed by Houston City Council member Shelley Sekula-Gibbs. [29] On August 17, Texas Republicans met to choose a candidate whom the party could universally endorse. [30] On that night, local Republican Party precinct chairs endorsed Sekula-Gibbs. Following his loss, Wallace initially announced that he planned to run for the seat regardless. On August 21, however, he officially dropped out of the race. [31] [32]

Some are concerned that the write-in candidate's long, hyphenated name may pose a problem, given that voters will need to enter the name themselves. [33]

On August 28, Texas Governor Rick Perry called a special election to temporarily fill DeLay's vacant seat. It was scheduled for November 7, 2006, the same day in which DeLay's permanent replacement will be selected. Originally both Nick Lampson and Sekula Gibbs planned to be on the ballot. Many believe that holding both races on the same day was intended to give Sekula-Gibbs an opportunity to at least appear on the ballot in some capacity on election day. [34] However, ultimately Lampson was not on the ballot. [35]

Legal fees

As of the July 15, 2006 filing deadline, DeLay reported spending $485,275 in legal fees to six separate firms during the previous filing period, according to Political MoneyLine. He paid $265,000 to the Washington office of McDermott, Will & Emery; $75,000 to the Richmond, Va., office of McGuire Woods LLP; $69,410 to Blank Rome in Washington; $40,000 to McGahn & Associates PLC of Washington; $25,000 to the Houston office of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP; and $10,865 to Andy Taylor & Associates PC, also of Houston.

Despite the fees, DeLay reported having $640,000 on hand in his campaign fund (which he would need if he were forced to run for his old House seat). [36]

Plans to publish a book

On August 31, 2006, DeLay announced that he is writing a book which will focus on his career in the U.S. House of Representatives. He told the Associated Press, "This is a book that's going to be the history of my career, how it furthered the conservative cause, with my spiritual walk and what I think the conservative cause ought to do next."

The working title of the book is No Retreat, No Surrender: The American Passion of Tom DeLay. It is expected to be released sometime in spring 2007. [37]

ARMPAC fined by FEC

ARMPAC was initially created by DeLay, Jim Ellis, and several associates with the goal of electing a Republican majority to the U.S. Congress during the 2000 election cycle. The group remained in existence following the elections and continued to raise money for Republican candidates. It is closely linked to DeLay's TRMPAC, which was created in 1994 to help elect a Republican majority to the Texas state legislature.

In addition to ARMPAC's connection to DeLay, TRMPAC, and other individuals involved in the Texas redistricting scandal, it was also cited in 2006 for several FEC violations. On July 20, 2006, the Federal Election Commission and DeLay's ARMPAC reached an agreement whereby the group will pay $115,000 in fines for several violations since 2001. These included:

  • Failing to accurately report $74,295 and $166,340 in financial activity in 2001 and 2002, respectively.
  • Omitting debts and obligations to twenty-five vendors totaling $322,306.
  • Using incorrect ratios to allocate its disbursements.

More specifically, the non-federal wing of ARMPAC had the following violations:

  • Overpaying its share of allocable expenses by $203,483.
  • Overpaying its portion of generic voter drives by $121,456 and fundraising events by $9,414.
  • Overpaying $95,386 in fundraising expenses that should have been charged to the federal account.

According to CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington), the fine is one of fifty largest in the history of the FEC. Upon paying it, ARMPAC announced it was ceasing its operations effective immediately.[38]

FBI investigates wife

On September 6, 2006, it was reported that the Justice Department’s congressional lobbying-and-bribery investigation was looking into whether DeLay's wife, Christine, received money from the Alexander Strategy Group lobbying firm without actually earning it. Investigators believe Christine was paid $3,200 a month, or a total of $115,000 over three years. As part of their inquiry, the FBI is asking employees of the firm how often DeLay was in the office and what her specific duties included. [39]

Alexander Strategy was run by two former aides of Tom DeLay: Tony Rudy, who pleaded guilty to bribery charges in March; and Edwin Buckham, who remains under investigation. [40]

Delay sharply criticized the FBI investigation saying that "they’re going after other people and they’re questioning the other people about whether they know anything I may have done. And we’ve given them all the records and that’s the problem they’re having...It’s a Justice Department that is running amok. Fish or cut bait. Do something." Delay said that he believed the FBI knew, according to documents, of his wife's innocence and suggested that the continuing investigation was unnecessary. [27]

More Background Data

Wikipedia also has an article on Thomas D. DeLay. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.


Articles and Resources

Resources

  • Letter from Reps. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Tom DeLay (R-Texas), Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) to Interior Secretary Gale Norton on June 10, 2003. The letter opposed an expansion of gambling by some Indian tribes that would have cut into the gambling profits of another tribe that was a client of lobbyist and convicted felon Jack Abramoff.
  • Open Secrets - 2006 congressional races database

Local blogs and discussion sites

Book

  • Dubose, Lou; & Reid, Jan (2004). The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress. PublicAffairs. ISBN 1586482386.

House of Representatives Ethics Committee Reports, Admonishments & Related Links

Resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Eric Pfeiffer, "DeLay founds coalition to polish GOP message," Washington Times, November 16, 2007.
  2. Peter Perl. "'Absolute Truth'," Washington Post. May 13, 2001.
  3. Peter Perl. "'Absolute Truth'," Washington Post. May 13, 2001.
  4. Peter Perl. "'Absolute Truth'," Washington Post. May 13, 2001.
  5. Melinda Henneberger. "Tom DeLay Holds No Gavel, But a Firm Grip on the Reins," New York Times. June 21, 1999.
  6. Peter Perl. "'Absolute Truth'," Washington Post. May 13, 2001.
  7. Richard Dreyfuss. "Bush's Hammer," The Nation. January 4, 2001.
  8. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2001 Annual Report, organizational report, 2002
  9. Shailagh Murray and Jim VandeHei. "Attempt to Pick Successor Is Foiled," Washington Post. September 29, 2005.
  10. "Delay Supported TTM," Off the Kuff. March 24, 2004.
  11. David Firestone and Richard W. Stevenson. "G.O.P. Leader Brushes Off Pressure by Bush on Taxes," New York Times. June 11, 2003.
  12. Bruce Burkhard. "Year in Review: Congress vs. Environment," CNN December 29, 1995.
  13. "ACLU Congressional Scorecard," ACLU.
  14. Cynthia Cotts. "It's Deregulation, Stupid," The Village Voice. August 20 - 26, 2003
  15. "Energy policy focus now shifts to bureaucracy," Electric Power Daily. August 8, 2005.
  16. Tom Curry. "DeLay makes intense appeal for Jewish voters," MSNBC. September 1, 2004.
  17. Megan K. Stack. "DeLay proclamations comfort Israeli hawks," LA Times. (via Indymedia) July 31, 2003.
  18. Roll call vote, Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
  19. "2006 Congressional Races in Florida," Center for Responsive Politics.
  20. "Military service: Rhetoric vs. Reality," Daily Delay. February 2, 2005.
  21. Timothy Noah. "What Did You Do in the War, Hammer?" Slate. May 4, 1999.
  22. Anne-Louise Bardach. "Delayed Justice," The New Republic, 15 February 1999, pp. 11-12+
  23. Walter F. Roche Jr., Sam Howe Verhovek. "In '88, accident forced DeLays to choose between life, death," LA Times (via San Fransisco Chronicle). March 27, 2005.
  24. Charles Babington. "Senator Links Violence to 'Political' Decisions," Washington Post. April 5, 2005.
  25. Karen Tumulty. "But Did He Inhale?" Time. April 27, 2005
  26. [1] Editorial: Cigar aficionado. June 5, 2007.
  27. Alexander Bolton, "DeLay: FBI ‘running amok’, The Hill, May 9, 2007.

External articles

For an extensive listing of articles on Tom DeLay see the following links:

1996-2002

2004

2005

2006

2007

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