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Hi folks.  This is a blog post my colleague Mike Surrusco just posted on the Common Cause blog, commonblog, in response to an email Tom DeLay sent out to his constituents last week.  Please recommend it and help us get the word out on our response to the propoganda being spread in defense of a powerful elected official who has a lot of explaining to do.

So Tom DeLay has sent a rather long email to his constituents complaining about the unfair treatment he has been receiving as majority leader in the House.

The entire piece is entitled, "WHAT THE PRESS ISN'T TELLING YOU." (Not even Fox?!)

Under the first news flash, titled: "Democrats and their Outside Front Groups are Colluding to Target DeLay," it says:

They hate Ronald Reagan conservatives like DeLay and they hate that he is an effective leader who succeeds in passing the Republican agenda.

Sounds like someone needs a hug.

Next, it quotes an article in the newspaper The Hill, which states:

Breaking the ethics truce has been a high priority of good-government groups such as CREW, Public Citizen, Public Campaign, Common Cause, the Campaign Legal Center and Judicial Watch. The groups convened a meeting a month ago where they discussed strategy and divvied up tasks aimed at breaking the truce. For example, Mary Boyle of Common Cause was tasked with researching how the House had policed recent allegations of misconduct. Craig Holman of Public Citizen accepted the challenge of finding a lawmaker to file a complaint against DeLay.

The nerve! Good-government groups working toward a functioning ethics committee. And in coalitions! (Common Cause has been doing this since long before DeLay became majority leader. Maybe not as newsworthy as you might have thought.)

The next portion of DeLay's email describes how the ethics committee has actually dismissed all the complaints brought against him. Let's quickly review what the committee has literally said about the House Majority Leader:

[Westar Energy (2004)] "...we also obtained information indicating that Representative DeLay's participation in and facilitation of an energy company fundraiser in June 2002 is objectionable in that his actions, at a minimum, created the appearance that donors were being provided with special access to Representative DeLay regarding the then-pending energy legislation... his actions with regard to the June 2002 energy company fundraiser raise an appearance of impropriety under House standards of conduct."

[Texas Redistricting (2004)] "Our recommendation is that ... insofar as it concerns the contacts with the FAA, it should be disposed of by means of a letter of admonition to Representative DeLay that sets out the serious concerns that those contacts raise under House standards of conduct that preclude using governmental resources for a political undertaking."

[Medicare Bill (2004)] "The investigative subcommittee also found that Majority Leader Tom DeLay offered to endorse Representative Smith's son in exchange for Representative Smith's vote in favor of the Medicare bill. In the view of the Investigative Subcommittee, this conduct could support a finding that Majority Leader DeLay violated House rules. The Investigative Subcommittee concluded that it is improper for a Member to offer or link support for the personal interests of another Member as part of a quid pro quo to achieve a legislative goal."

The next part defends the ethics rules changes (click here) as remedies for obvious problems with the ethics process DeLay appears to believe is out of control. This doesn't exactly jive with the paucity of ethics investigations over the last seven years. Back when the Republicans were in the minority, DeLay was all about improving and strengthening the ethics process. Now, it seems that DeLay feels it needs to be weakened.  

Next, DeLay says the Republican's internal rule change (and then reversal) that would have allowed majority leaders to continue in their leadership role even if they are indicted by a grand jury, in fact, had nothing to do with him. Uhn, hunh.

While DeLay has not been indicted by a grand jury, some people think he will be because several of his close colleagues have, including several officers of the political action committees affiliated with DeLay. The letter says the change was actually for all Republicans, not just DeLay. Got that? For everyone.

The next part of the email (told you it was long) is titled: "Changes to the Make Up of the Ethics Committee Were in the Normal Course of House Business." This is a defense of the decision to remove the former chairman of the Ethics Committee, Representative Joel Hefley. It does not say anything about the decision to arbitrarily remove two other Republicans on the Ethics Committee and replace them with members who have contributed generously to DeLay's legal defense fund. Was that not in the "Normal Course of House Business?"

Finally, DeLay defends the trips he took to Russia, the United Kingdom and South Korea, which have been reported in the media and may violate House ethics rules. You can read DeLay's defense in the email (click "Read More" below). You can also click on the links above to see the articles about the trips. It is sort of a moot point, though, because it is difficult to believe that the new makeup of the Ethics Committee along with the new ethics rules pushed through by the Republican leadership would result in a finding against DeLay, regardless of the details of these two stories.

And THAT is the point.

Originally posted to Murshed Z on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:01 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice work. Recommended! (none)
    We can't let up on these guys.  Recommended and urge everyone here to recommend this as well.
    •  awesome (none)
      i should be getting one soon!   woohoo!  i'll post if i get it soon.

      where's that billboard!!!

      btw, kudos to mursheed & dailydelay & everyone who was going after Delay long before it was the cool thing to do.

      you guys set it up for all these damn no-good jump on the band-wagoners :-)

      also, join Texas Kos, texans who want to kick Delay & the Reds back out of Texas!

      •  You are too kind man ... (4.00)
        David Donnelly has been doing a superb job.  As for me ... all the credit belongs to Common Cause and our tradition of going after politicians (either Democrat or Republican) with no sense of accountablity.  We did it when Wright faced his questions, now we are doing it to keep on Tom DeLay.  We just hope we can count on all of your help rest of the way.
        •  you guys have been doing a great job (none)
          we've suffered enough in District 22 & this roach has done nothing for us.

          just getting him to spend money is a good thing.  we know he's going to raise alot of money but if we keep him from sitting on it, he won't be as effective during the campaigns.

          keep bleeding that roach dry buddy!

  •  Vocabulary police... (none)
    MOOT point.  Not mute point.

    Sorry, gotta do it - it's a pet peeve.  :-)  But you're forgiven 'cause you did all this good work!

    Seattle Kossack Meetup
    Brown is the suede which mows the harvest.

    by switzerblog on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 10:25:21 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for the recommend! (2 more links) (4.00)
    Thanks for the recommendation guys.  Here are the two stories that ran on the email, this morning in the New York Times and the Washington Post:

    New York Times:DeLay Mails Long Rebuttal to Voters Back in Texas

    Washington Post:DeLay Issues Broad Denial Of Ethics Violations

    Thanks so much again for all your support guys.
    •  murshed (none)
      are you in texas?  this needs to go to every newspaper, every media voice, every texas outlet possible.

      i bet several of us kossacks alone would be willing to buy the space in the houston chronicle.  (no offense, but it would need a good editorial pass if we were to do that - just to focus it for the intended audience.  it's a great piece.)

      i'm going to post it a bunch of places, regardless!  

    •  He can run, (4.00)
      he can whine & pewl, he can fall on his face sobbing, he can crap his pants, he can eat his shoe,...but he sure can't hide.

      Recommended.

      "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

      by x on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:08:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tom says Tom's a crook (none)

      Washington Post:

      DeLay said that a grand-jury investigation in Austin by prosecutor Ronnie Earle is "about politics, not DeLay," ...

      DeLay's e-mail to his district is signed, "Take care and God Bless, Tom."

      So, Tom's talking about Tom in the third person now? And enumerating his own misdeeds to his voters? And saying he's been admonished for them but not punished? Indicted but not convicted?

    •  Delay: Deny, Deny, Deny. (none)
      This has always been my standard legal advice to all criminals, all those suspected of crimes, and all those potentially subject to arrest or any other type of untoward encounter with law enforcement: Deny, Deny, Deny.

      And never, never, never admit to anything whatsoever.

      Also, when the facts and/or the law are hopelessly against you: Attack, Attack, Attack. Create a distraction. Muddy the water. Confuse. Obfuscate.

      Looks like Delay has been getting the same type of advice.

      What a disgraceful spectacle.

  •  DeLay's e-mail (4.00)
    Too bad someone who received the e-mail can't bundle up your research and "reply to all"

    Thanks for the research.

  •  If this is all just smoke and mirrors... (none)
    to make someone look bad, then why was't the Speaker of the House targeted.  

    Maybe the reason for Delays troubles are right there in HIS mirror.

    After all, where there's smoke, there's Fire.

  •  Keep up the pressure (4.00)
    At this rate we can break DeLay (he's already whining like a spoiled child). But we have to remember that we must keep at it and we must make sure that DeLay isn't the only corrupt Republican that gets media attention. One of DeLay's biggest defenders, Roy Blunt (MO-7) is actually at least as corrupt as DeLay himself! We need to make this clear. I want to emphasize that I am NOT attacking all Republicans just because I disagree with them. My targets are those holier-than-thou Republicans whose smarmy "morality" are barely hiding corruption as deep as any you will find in the third world.

    Please see the following diary for my ongoing campaign to get the word out about my "Target the Corrupt Republican" campaign:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/18/205413/346

    So far I have gotten little attention for this campaign on Daily Kos, but what attention I have gotten has been very enthusiastic and I have a better response through my own Progressive Democrat newsletter. But we need a nationwide outcry against these corrupt politicians.

    Delenda est Sinclair! http://www.dkosopedia.com/index.php/Sinclair_Broadcast_Group

    by mole333 on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:12:35 AM PDT

  •  Reagan Republican? LOL (none)
    What a joke. Tom DeLay isn't fit to like the Gipper's boots. What a slimeball. "Ooh, they're mad at me because I'm a Reagan Republican."

    Sorry, Tom "Bugsy" DeLay, you are not. We are mad at you because you are a corrupt, venal, petty criminal in a position of power who will use that power for your own purposes first and foremost. You are a perversion of Christianity and a perversion of Republicanism. It's too bad that real Republicans have let you castrate them. Imagine TR or even Nixon putting up with a man as small as Tom DeLay.

    Republicans are poor stewards of America's government.

    by freelunch on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:17:37 AM PDT

    •  Lick the Gipper's Boots (none)
      Sorry 'bout the typo.

      Republicans are poor stewards of America's government.

      by freelunch on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:19:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My thoughts exactly!! (none)
      For all his faults, Reagan was probably one of the last "decent" Republicans.

      Now they are all shysters and snake oil salesmen.  Tom Delay would never survive working at one of those corporations taht support him if he pulled his corruption crap on them.

      He's stealing from the American People and should be fired.  It really is that simple.

      I only hope he takes others down with him in a blaze of glory.  He probably has some pretty interesting dirt on some of our esteemed Republicans.  

      •  Decent (none)
        being a somewhat relative term, in this case.  But, yes.  At least he possessed some courtesy and charm.

        Heck, this administration has even got me looking back on Richard Nixon with a - what can I call it? -   certain amount of almost affectionate nostalgia.

  •  This piece of human filth is getting exactly (4.00)
    what he deserves.  Remember this beauty:

    A think tank which raised money by targeting elderly Americans with Social Security scare letters paid for more than $130,000 in travel expenses for the House Republican leader, his wife and his staff, RAW STORY has learned.

    The National Center for Public Policy Research, a highly controversial and little-known conservative think tank which has been sending Social Security "fright mail" for years, paid for two posh trips for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) in 1996 and 2000, each at the cost of at least $64,000.

    **
    House Majority Leader Tom DeLay enjoyed the generosity of the group at least twice. The group paid for a $64,064 trip for himself and his staff to Moscow and St. Petersburg when he was Majority Whip in the summer of 1997.

    NCPPR also picked up a hefty $70,000 tab for trip for DeLay and his aides made in mid-2000 to Europe. DeLay and his staff took a junket where he met with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and took a round of golf with conservative leaders in Scotland.

    The ten-day "educational" trip was no small affair-NCPPR paid $28,106 for DeLay and his wife alone, splurging on transportation ($20,266.00), cushy lodging ($3,840.00) and meals ($4,000.00).

    Mr. DeLay, you received the stolen proceeds of a scam targeting people living check-to-check on an insurance program you are seeking to destroy.  When are those senior citizens whose scammed social security checks paid for your putrid ass to fly first-class and stay in the lap of luxury going to be repaid, Mr. DeLay?  

    •  $70,000. trips? (none)
      It takes me two years to make that and it takes him ten days to spend it. Life is just so unfair...<snark..> This slimeball needs to be taken out. NOW! Good work murshed and recommended.

      The more understanding one posesses, the less there is to say and the more there is to do.

      by Alohaleezy on Tue Apr 19, 2005 at 11:53:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  write a counter (none)
    and send it to all those people
  •  I diaried how Chris Carouche (none)
    is lobbying his faithful with a plea that they protect Delay with the Blast Fax:  See it here:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/4/19/74631/8131

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