|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Josh Marshall writes, "If you're wondering whether the Texas redistricting fracas is being orchestrated from Washington, look at this article in today's Dallas Morning News. The one Republican who's broken ranks over redistricting is Bill Ratliff. He's not just any state senator. Bush was succeeded by then-Lt. Governor Rick Perry. Ratliff's colleagues then chose him to serve as acting Lt. Governor, an extremely powerful office in that state. Today Ratliff revealed that 'in the summer of 2001 he was asked by Tom DeLay ... whether he, as acting lieutenant governor, would suspend the Senate's two-thirds rule so the GOP could push through a favorable congressional redistricting plan during a special session.' Add that to this from the Houston Chronicle in mid-June: 'Rove called state Sen. Ratliff.... Ratliff, who is undecided, said Rove stopped short of saying Bush wanted him to vote for the bill but 'indicated that it could be important to the president.'"
Joe Klein asks 'Who Killed Teach for America?' - Take a Wild Guess
TFA founder Wendy Kopp "was optimistic that TFA, one of the flagship AmeriCorps programs, would have a future in a Bush Administration. Indeed, Kopp was invited to sit in the First Lady's box at Bush's first budget message to Congress in February 2001.... She says she was assured by John Bridgeland, the Bush voluntarism czar, that TFA's annual grant from AmeriCorps was safe. On July 11, however, a form letter arrived in the Teach for America offices.... 'We regret to inform you,' it said, 'that your application was not selected for funding.' ... 3,200 TFA members recruited so far who will not be receiving scholarship money this year. More broadly, AmeriCorps itself faces a reduction from approximately 55,000 to 35,000 members. Just before the summer recess, the Senate passed a $100 million appropriation to restore these cuts, but House majority leader Tom DeLay - who has made no secret of his desire to kill AmeriCorps - blocked the money.'"
Daily Enron reports, "When Bush weighed in on the issue he quickly politicized the situation. He argued in favor of modernizing the grid, adding that he's 'said so all along.' This statement should immediately be filed under the long list of Bush administration falsehoods concerning energy policy. In June 2001, Democrats in the House advanced a proposal that would offer $350 million in federal loans for the express purpose of updating the outdated power grid. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) blasted the proposal, calling it 'pure demagoguery' and arguing that Democrats 'have no credibility on this issue whatsoever.' House Republicans voted it down. Then they voted it down again. And then a third time. Three straight party line votes killed the bill, while the White House worked behind the scenes to orchestrate the death blow. After the bill was scuttled, Democrats issued a supplemental report once again arguing for the need to address the situation."
Former NATO Commander "Wesley Clark... attacked the Bush administration Sunday for launching a war with Iraq on 'false pretenses' and spreading the military too thin amid the global war on terrorism. 'You'd be taking them to the Better Business Bureau if you bought a washing machine the way we went into the war in Iraq,' Clark said on CNN's 'Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.'... Clark has called on Congress to investigate allegations that the Bush administration overstated intelligence about Iraq's weapons programs. Clark also lashed out at House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican... 'When our airmen were flying over Kosovo, Tom DeLay led House Republicans to vote not to support their activities -- when American troops were in combat,' Clark said. 'To me, that's a real indicator of a man who's motivated not by patriotism or support for the troops but by partisan political purposes.'... Clark said Sunday that he will decide whether to run for president in two to three weeks."
emocratic legislators in Texas have once more fled the state to foil a brazen effort by Tom DeLay to add six more seats to his Republican House majority through an extraordinary gerrymandering of Democratic Congressional districts. Eleven Senate Democrats flew to New Mexico two weeks ago after Republicans changed the rules to dilute the Democrats' power to oppose the DeLay gambit in the Legislature. In May, Democrats from the Texas House fled to deny Republicans a quorum.
The standoff is far graver than indicated by all the jokes it has spawned, or the bemusement Texans feel at reports that the singer Willie Nelson was comforting the exiles with bandannas, whiskey and outlaw songs.
Justice Department officials have issued a report documenting an attempt by Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader, to abuse the machinery of homeland security by using it to track and arrest the Democrats. They wisely rejected demands from Mr. DeLay's aides for rawly partisan muscle from Washington as "wacko," but that does not make the efforts of the staff less outrageous.
Texas is crucial to Republicans' determination to follow their stunning victories last year with a final push toward party hegemony. Across 30 years, the Democrats' national edge in popular preference has quietly shrunk from 22 percentage points to a mere 3 percentage points over Republicans. Mr. DeLay and Karl Rove, President Bush's political field general, aim to use the G.O.P.'s current control of government prerogatives to seal Democrats into a long era of minority status.
The Republicans, who languished unhappily under Democratic Congressional control, have every right to try to maximize their advantages in an effort to remain in power. But out-of-season redistricting to give one party an easy ride is a bad tactic, no matter who is trying to get the upper hand. Every year the number of truly competitive Congressional seats is smaller, public interest in politics is lower, and elections become more like a ratification of the inevitable.
Initially, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a Republican, rated redistricting a low-level priority. He has since devoted two special sessions to it in obeisance to Mr. DeLay's shameless bidding.
To: U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay [R-Texas] has been a disgrace to the United States and the world since he entered Congress in 1984. His latest partisan power grab is to lead the effort to gain more Republican seats in Congress by redistricting Texas – eight years before the state is scheduled to do so again. Texas has been forced to spend millions this year just to satisfy DeLay’s lust for more power, while healthcare, education and other needs go unmet.
DeLay, a former bug exterminator, is known for extortion, illegal fundraising and blackmail. DeLay has obstructed justice for low-paid sweatshop workers on the island of Saipan by taking large campaign contributions from Saipan's chief lobbyist and blocking any Congressional investigation of the appalling conditions there. DeLay has obstructed justice by lying to the FBI when he charged that the reporter who broke the Henry Hyde adultery story in the 1990s had been working with the White House to expose Hyde. DeLay led the campaign in the House to impeach Bill Clinton, while rumors of extramarital affairs of his own continue to circulate.
DeLay’s far-right extreme agenda includes to repeal environmental protection laws by dismantling the EPA and gutting the Clean Air Act, allow big polluting companies to continue to pollute our air, water and other resources, teach creationism in public schools, abolish separation of church and state, and outlaw abortion in all cases. DeLay also opposes campaign finance reform and has taken more money from tobacco interests than any other Texas legislator.
During a deposition for a lawsuit filed by a former business partner in the pest company in 1994, DeLay lied that he had not been an officer of the company for two or three years. On congressional financial disclosure forms filed in 1995, he listed himself as chairman of the company’s board of directors. Allegations included that DeLay illegally used company money to pay political campaign debts. The lawsuit was ultimately settled with an undisclosed amount paid to the business partner.
In 1997, DeLay actually shoved Rep. David Obey [D-Wisconsin] and called him a "chickenshit" on the House floor. That same year, DeLay tried to impeach federal judges he didn’t like.
In 1998, he said that people with “foreign-sounding names” probably aren't Americans.
Finally, a story goes that DeLay lit up a stogie in a restaurant, and a waiter told him it was a government building, where smoking was not permitted. DeLay reportedly retorted, "I am the government."
We need to send a message to DeLay that he is NOT the government and he does NOT represent most Americans as a leader of Congress. We need to remove DeLay from office, without delay.
Kennedy served in military; House GOP leader didn't
Friday, August 1, 2003 Posted: 6:31 PM EDT (2231 GMT)
Rep. Tom DeLay incurred the wrath of some Democrats with his comments about Sen. Edward Kennedy.
I certainly don't want to see Teddy Kennedy in a Navy flight suit.
-- Rep. Tom DeLay
This country deserves more patriots like Senator Kennedy, not more chicken hawks like you who never served.
-- Former Sen. Max Cleland
WASHINGTON (AP) -- "I certainly don't want to see Teddy Kennedy in a Navy flight suit."
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay used that image in a speech last week as he accused Democrats of a lack of leadership on national security. His joke at the expense of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, touched off a verbal war Friday.
"To try to gauge just how out of touch the Democrat leadership is on the war on terror, just close your eyes and try to imagine Ted Kennedy landing that Navy jet on the deck of that aircraft carrier," DeLay, R-Texas, told a group of college Republicans. "I don't know about you, I certainly don't want to see Teddy Kennedy in a Navy flight suit anytime soon."
DeLay spokesman Jonathan Grella called it "tongue-in-cheek" humor, but Democrats came to Kennedy's defense.
Former Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia, a Democrat and a Vietnam veteran who lost a bitter re-election race in 2002, dashed off a letter to DeLay calling the comments "reprehensible" and finishing up with his own barb: "This country deserves more patriots like Senator Kennedy, not more chicken hawks like you who never served."
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, also a Democrat and Vietnam veteran, chastised DeLay in a letter Friday for his "tasteless and unnecessary smear of Senator Kennedy." The remark's tone, he said, seemed to question Kennedy's military service record.
Kennedy served in the Army. DeLay did not serve in the military.
Kennedy spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said the incident was "another missed opportunity for DeLay to set a good example in front of an audience of young people rather than promote the politics of personal destruction."
While criticizing the Democrats for failing to see the humor in DeLay's remarks, Grella said there is a serious issue involved.
"The Democratic party has a lot to answer for in terms of their decimating our intelligence and not being there for our military and our national defense," he said. The military veterans in Congress, he said, don't have exclusive rights to opinions on national security.
Paul Krugman writes, "Last year I tried to illustrate just how far to the right America's ruling party has moved by quoting some of Representative Tom DeLay's past remarks. I got some puzzling responses. 'Who cares what some crazy guy in Congress says?' wrote one liberal economist, chiding me for being alarmist. Some crazy guy? Public images are funny things. Newt Gingrich became a famous symbol of Republican radicalism. By contrast, most people know little about Mr. DeLay, the House majority leader. Yet Mr. DeLay is more radical - and more powerful - than Mr. Gingrich ever was. Maybe Mr. DeLay's public profile will be raised by his success yesterday in sabotaging tax credits for 12 million children... Many of those who minimize the threat the radical right now poses to America as we know it would hate to live in the country Mr. DeLay wants to create. Yet by playing down the seriousness of the challenge, they help bring his vision closer to reality."
Golf Weekend, a Reward to Big Donors, Also Raises Funds
Based on information provided by aides to House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), a Sept. 22 article reported that DeLay had traveled to Las Vegas on a plane provided by Federal Express. DeLay flew on a Yona Aviation chartered flight.
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 22, 2000; Page A08
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), legendary on Capitol Hill for his aggressive efforts to cultivate corporate interests, hit on a new way of rewarding his friends last weekend, flying more than 30 lobbyists to Las Vegas for a golf tournament and a round of partying.
The weekend, aimed at raising money for the whip's political action committee, was also described by DeLay aides as a reward to corporate donors who helped underwrite his activities at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia this summer. DeLay raised roughly $1 million from corporations to help pay for chauffeur service for GOP lawmakers, a Blues Traveler rock concert and other activities.
The trip also offered a particularly pointed example of the freewheeling money culture that now dominates Capitol Hill, where DeLay and other lawmakers--of both parties--aggressively solicit large contributions from corporate interests and provide special access to those who pay the price.
United Parcel Service provided a chartered flight between Washington and Las Vegas for between 50 and 60 people--including lobbyists, top aides and political supporters--at DeLay's request, according to a company spokesman. DeLay flew separately on a Federal Express corporate jet. Lobbyists with the National Association of Manufacturers, the D.C. law firm Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, and the National Association of Convenience Stores were among those present for the weekend.
The weekend included a late-night party Saturday in DeLay's suite at the Rio Hotel and Casino, which featured a living room, bar and hot tub on the balcony. DeLay was not present, aides said; the event was hosted by his daughter, Dani Ferro, the campaign manager for DeLay's reelection campaign. After the party, Ferro told associates that a lobbyist poured champagne on her while she was in the hot tub.
Ferro did not return calls seeking comment yesterday, and aides said DeLay would not comment.
DeLay is by no means the only lawmaker who has entertained donors on a lavish scale; the congressional campaign committees of both parties have hosted events such as Colorado ski weekends or trips to Hyannisport, Mass. Still, the DeLay festivities, first reported yesterday in Roll Call newspaper, drew sharp criticism from public watchdog groups.
"It says what every American fears about how business is done in Washington," said Common Cause legislative director Meredith McGehee. "This kind of reciprocal favors, back-scratching and wining and dining sends a clear message. If you're not in the inner circle, your cares and concerns get left off the agenda."
DeLay aides said there was nothing wrong with the event. "It was an effort to thank those who had taken part in our convention activities," said DeLay deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy, who made the trip.
Jim Ellis, executive director of DeLay's PAC, Americans for a Republican Majority, said DeLay organized the trip to raise money and accommodate some donors to the GOP convention who had not been able to participate in the golf tournament there. Some participants paid $5,000 and the weekend netted $50,000, Ellis said, adding that it cost roughly $20,000 to sponsor.
UPS spokesman Ted Segal said the company donated the plane as an "in-kind" contribution to DeLay's PAC and was still tabulating the costs based on comparable commercial flights. He added that the contribution would likely range between $30,000 to $50,000.
"From time to time we do get requests from different members on both sides of the aisle. When it works out, we're happy to provide it," he added. He said the company has lent its 727 planes "a couple of times" to Democrats and Republicans alike.
Lindsay Hutter, spokeswoman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, said her group's director of political affairs, Dan Mulvaney, attended the event in recognition of the $50,000 contribution the association made to the convention package of DeLay and Chief Deputy Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.).
"It was a trip to say, 'Gosh, thanks. We're part of the political process and we want to share in the celebration of an event people were very proud of," Hutter said, adding that the association made similar contributions to the Democratic convention.
Several members of the group, including Blunt and some lobbyists, also attended a fundraiser on behalf of Nevada state Sen. Jon Porter, who is challenging Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley.