|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
The Real Tom DeLay Story
by Allan Lichtman
The real story about Tom DeLay’s indictment in Texas goes far beyond the corrupt
acts of a single individual. DeLay’s intervention in Texas state legislative elections was
part of a concerted, nationwide Republican plan to control our government through
political gerrymandering at the expense of black and Hispanic voters. I observed this
process first hand as the expert witness for Democrats in the court cases challenging
Republican congressional redistricting plans not only in Texas, but also in Pennsylvania,
Florida, Ohio, and Michigan.
These latter four states are equally divided between Republicans and Democrats,
yet Republican gerrymandering has resulted in GOP control of about two-thirds of
their congressional seats.
By pumping money into state legislative races in Texas, DeLay engineered Republican
control in 2002 over a previously divided state legislature. He then guided Texas
lawmakers into breaking precedent by rewriting mid-decade an established congressional redistricting plan. The DeLay plan thwarted the will of voters by drawing districts to
guarantee Republican victories and take over five Democratic seats. To this end,
DeLay and his allies cynically and knowingly destroyed the voting rights of millions
of African-Americans and Hispanics in Texas.
In the Dallas County area, the plan demolished a 60.5 percent minority district and
scattered its voters into five Anglo-dominated, Republican districts in which they have
no chance to influence the outcomes of elections. In southwest Texas, DeLay’s plan
removed some 90,000 Hispanics from Congressional District 23 to ensure that it
would elect a Republican opposed by Hispanic voters. His plan dismantled seven other congressional districts across Texas in which African-American and Hispanic voters
critically influenced election outcomes, submerging these voters into heavily Republican
districts in which they have no influence.
The big corporate interests behind Tom DeLay knew full well what they bought in Texas.
They bought our government. Absent DeLay’s gerrymandering, the Democrats, not
Republicans, would have picked up congressional seats nationally in 2004, putting
Democrats in a much better position to regain control of Congress next year.
Allan Lichtman is a political historian at American University and a Democratic
candidate for US Senate from Maryland.
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