Friday, April 01, 2005

Have you seen this man?

Tom DeLay (R-TX), the man Republicans have chosen as their Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, is at the center of a bewildering array of investigations into corruption, abuse of power, and ethics violations.

Tom DeLay is a bad man. Never in my life has any single elected official in Washington, D.C., been so dirty.

What's worse is that everyone knows it, and next to nothing is done about it. He is allowed to continue his scheming and law-breaking with the blessing of the House, the courts and the White House.

Your friends at the DNC (and if you work for a living, they ARE your friends) have created a guide to Mr. DeLay's evils. In a nutshell, the new DNC page explains:

In 2002, executives at Kansas energy company Westar wrote a memo outlining how they could purchase a "seat at the table" with $56,500 in contributions to political committees associated with Tom DeLay and the GOP. DeLay was later admonished by the House Ethics Committee for creating the appearance of impropriety.

Tom DeLay and the Republican leadership kept open the vote for the Medicare bill for three hours -- long past the 15 minutes specified in House procedures -- in order to pressure Republicans to vote for the bill. Rep. Nick Smith (R-MI) said GOP leaders offered "bribes and special deals," leading to an investigation by the Ethics Committee, which admonished DeLay.

When DeLay and his fellow Republicans were redrawing the Congressional districts in Texas to push Democrats out of the House, he used the Federal Aviation Administration to try and track a plane containing Democratic state legislators. The House Ethics Committee investigated DeLay's actions and once again admonished him.

Tom DeLay has pushed lobbying firms to deny jobs to Democrats, and hire only Republicans, resulting in another Ethics Committee admonishment for inappropriately pushing a lobbying firm to hire a former GOP congressman. DeLay has pressured GOP lobbyists to make contributions to Republican candidates and the RNC.

In Texas, it's illegal for corporations to make donations to fund political campaigns. So Tom DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee (TRMPAC) took $190,000 in corporate contributions and funneled them to the RNC, which then donated exactly $190,000 to TRMPAC-supported candidates. DeLay and TRMPAC are currently under investigation by a grand jury.

An investigation by the Justice Department showed that Tom DeLay accepted a trip financed by the Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, breaking House rules that prohibit accepting travel expenses from "a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal."

Knowing that he faced investigation for a growing pile of scandals, Tom DeLay and the GOP House leadership purged the Ethics Committee of Republicans -- including Chairman Joel Hefley (R-CO) -- who weren't willing to overlook charges against DeLay, replacing them with members loyal to the leadership. They then changed the Committee rules to make it more difficult to begin investigations. Democrats on the Committee have refused to take any action in protest until the rules are restored.

Maybe these things are not illegal, but they are at least unethical, and certainly immoral.

It's really time for us to do something.

Please call your representatives in Congress and tell them you have had enough and you want him removed from positions of power within the House.

The new DNC page can be seen here.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Separation of Church and State
by Forrest Church

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