Democrats & Liberals Archives

Disaster for Republican Corruption Ringmaster

I have written previously about the Republican Rings of Corruption (here, here, here and here). The ringmaster for this Republican ocean of sleaze, slime and sludge is Tom DeLay, who has been indicted for election shenanigans in Texas. Whether he is eventually found guilty or not does not change the fact that he is the corrupter-in-chief. This indictment is the beginning of the disaster not only for DeLay, the ringmaster, but for the entire Republican Party.

A Texas grand jury indicted Tom DeLay, the House Majority Leader, for conspiring to inject illegal corporate contributions into the 2002 state elections. He used this illegal money to get the Texas House to reorganize the congressional district map. As a result of this venal act, 5 more Republicans were elected to the House in 2004.

Republican sleaze for gaining a Republican majority.

DeLay claims he did not commit a crime. And many Republicans support him. It's possible he may be acquitted. But whether he is found guilty or innocent, it is abundantly clear that he is a reprehensible figure and does not belong in the leadership of either party. He is the ringmaster of the Republican rings of corruption.

They call him the hammer. DeLay enjoys being called the hammer. He loves to bang heads so that the people the heads belong to do as he says. Some of the heads belong to Republican legislators. Other heads belong to Big Business lobbyists. He hammers away without regard to ethics of any type. So far he has been admonished by the congressional Ethics Committee 3 times - unanimously!

Earlier in the year, DeLay tried to change the ethics rules so that if he were indicted he would not need to step down from his position as Majority Leader. This was one time the hammer missed. So poor DeLay had to resign "temporarily."

A few ways DeLay hammered his troops:

  • EXTREME CENTRALIZATION - Revised bills already approved by committees. Called some bills "emergency" measures; they were considered after as little as 30 minutes

  • NO AMENDMENTS - He did not allow amendments, in some cases, even from Republicans

  • ONE-PARTY CONFERENCES - He kept Democratic House and Senate conferees from attending conference committees

  • LEGISLATION WITHOUT HEARINGS - Many bills were written by lobbyists. Many provisions of the Medicare bill came from a closed conference committee

  • PUNISHMENTS - If a Republican House member voted against a rule structuring floor debate he lost committee assignments and campaign funds; DeLay sponsored a primary opponent against the member
An outstanding example of DeLay's mafia-approach to legislation is what he did to get the Medicare drug bill passed. He went over to Nick Smith, who wanted to vote against the bill and promised to "personally endorse" Smith's son Brad in an upcoming primary race if Smith changed his vote to Yea. Smith said no. So a buddy of Tom DeLay, Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham, walked up to Smith on the floor of the House chamber, waved money at him and said:

"We've got $10,000 ... to make sure your son does not get elected."

It's one thing for a Majority Leader to lay the law down for his caucus. It's quite another for him to lay the law down for lobbyists. This he did with relish. He was out to make K Street (the street of lobbyists) an appendage of the Republican Party. In 1995, long before he became Majority Leader, DeLay compiled a list of the 400 largest PACs, along with the amounts and percentages of money they had recently given to each party. Lobbyists were invited to look at the lists which DeLay separated into "friendly" and "unfriendly" columns. DeLay put it bluntly this way:

"If you want to play in our revolution you have to live by our rules."

DeLay hammered business organizations hard. When the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) hired former Democratic Representative Dave McCurdy as its president, DeLay held up copyright legislation EAI had lobbied for. So EIA retained McCurdy, but it made him a figurehead and put the actual lobbying work into the hands of two conservative Republicans.

What a deal DeLay made! Big Business lobbyists write laws and give money; Republicans pass these laws and collect money. Both side win handsomely. Only the public loses.

Probably the most disgusting action of the corruption ringmaster happened when DeLay and Jack Abramoff teamed up to bring the "free market" to Saipan, which is part of the U.S. Commonwealth. Because of this, clothes manufactured there may be labeled "Made in USA." So a guy named Tan built a sweatshop oasis there with about 20,000 foreign workers imported from China and the Philipines - making garments at $3.05 per hour. Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist for this outrageous operation, arranged trips for Tom DeLay and other legislators. DeLay came home and praised Saipan as an example of excellent free enterprise. He joked:

"I did not see anyone sweating."

Republican corruption ringmaster DeLay picked David Dreier to "succeed" him. However, Dreier did not get the job. Some think it's because he is not quite as ruthless as DeLay. Others believe it's because Dreier is gay. Imagine that! A right hand man of a religious right fanatic is gay! But if you realize it is all a question of power, NOT religion, then all this corruption makes sense.

The guy temporarily in charge is Roy Blunt. Maybe he is not a hammer. But he is definitely a screw driver.

Disaster has fallen upon the ringmaster of the Republican corruption machine. Not to worry. The new ringmaster will keep the corruption rings going until engulfed with a greater disaster.

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 3, 2005 8:52 PM
Comments
Comment #83361

I’ll pretend to be Jack and state the following patented GOP Talking Points:

1. Let us wait until the Trial is over.
2. Democrats did the same thing too!!!
3. Earle is an out-of-control partisan hack.
4. Its all a vast leftwing conspiracy!!!
5. The Left has been making false accusations at DeLay since his first ethics charge centuries ago.
6. Bush won. Get over it.
7. Democrats don’t have a plan to offer so they attack.
8. Abramoff is really a Democrat is disguise.
9. God told me DeLay is innocent.

Posted by: Aldous at October 3, 2005 9:31 PM
Comment #83364

Paul,

Good article. i said a couple weeks ago i would like to see Delay indicted. Glad to see it has happened.. and since i may be on a roll.. i hope the case gets appealed and SCOTUS takes on campaign finance reform since congress seems unable.

Posted by: jo at October 3, 2005 9:35 PM
Comment #83366

I forced myself to finish Paul’s post even though it was pretty clear by end of the first paragraph what we’re being treated to here.

Logic is abandoned in favor of partisan mystification at the very point where Paul announces that “whether he is found guilty or not” has no revelance to DeLay’s guilt.

Okay, I get it. On some higher moral plane, DeLay is and will always be guilty because he is a Republican who has defeated Democrats, so legal proceedings and facts be damned. Didn’t see that coming.

Posted by: sanger at October 3, 2005 9:45 PM
Comment #83379

Delay will probably get a pardon….even if he pleads guilty….just like Clinton gave Rostenkowsi a padon, even though Rostenkowski plead guilty.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 3, 2005 10:24 PM
Comment #83385

Paul
Good post. You laid out your reasons well, as to why you feel the way you do. In spite of the fact that some posters will say that it’s only because republicans have won, you have stated clearly and specifically why DeLay is unethical.
If they don’t want to recognize that the rest of your post exists, that’s their problem. You stated it pretty clearly.

Posted by: Cole at October 3, 2005 10:35 PM
Comment #83387

DeLay won’t need a pardon because the case is going to be tossed long before it gets to court.

Earle’s Keystone Cops routine has reached the point of parody.

Realizing that the conspiracy indictment was inapplicable under the election code during 2002, today his grand jury hurriedly withdrew it and changed it to “money laundering”. After six months of “hard work,” they can’t even figure out what to say he’s guilty of!

Conspiracy? Uh, no? Money laundering. Yeah, that’s the ticket! When that doesn’t pan out, they’ll probably change it to kidnapping or arson.

Posted by: sanger at October 3, 2005 10:40 PM
Comment #83391

I understood it was a new Grandy Jury sanger and that the charges today were in addition to the conspiracy one from the Grandy Jury that ended Friday.

The Washington Post had a very good article about DeLay yesterday, it covered some of the points you made here Paul. It also included the K Street Project.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at October 3, 2005 10:47 PM
Comment #83394

Aldous you flatter me. 1-5 are good. I don’t have much use for 6-7. #is really on target. Wait until we see what the facts are. There are lots of accusations. Most of them come to nothing when exposed to the light of day. Remember Florida and Ohio? Lots of talk, no proof.

Or that old “Bush lied” canard that we so eloquently debunk on the other side. When the fact are in, we see more clearly.

Posted by: jack at October 3, 2005 10:58 PM
Comment #83402

Actually, the Ohio Coingate Scandal is already spreading throughout the State GOP. Bob Taft has pleaded guilty. We can expect more convictions in the following months for other GOP supporters.

Posted by: Aldous at October 3, 2005 11:21 PM
Comment #83415

Did these players who set upon Speaker Wright, President Clinton, Al Gore, and others with their witch hunts think they would be exempt when they finally came to power?

They play a rough game. They need to be prepared to play it through and I don’t mind to hear their whining now that they have their head stuck in the wicket.

Newt, Trent, Hutchison, heck I can’t even remember the others names. Paid the price for playing their nasty game.

The body count grows.

Posted by: Rick at October 4, 2005 1:00 AM
Comment #83416

Oh yeah, one more thing. I would love to have on tape some of the arguments on either side when Clinton was being hunted and harrassed.

If there’s any justice, Delay will get acquitted of the charge because it was technically legal, but will serve time for perjury when they catch him in lie regarding the case.

Posted by: Rick at October 4, 2005 1:04 AM
Comment #83420

The Bush team is best understood in terms of Fear, Greed and Lies. DeLay is a master of all three, as is Rove. The Hammer bases his power on Fear. Greed defines his relationship with lobbyists. Lies covers nearly everything he says. This all seems normal and good to the Bush team because they all do it and rush to protect each other. We all suffer.

Posted by: Ted at October 4, 2005 2:08 AM
Comment #83429

Jack, your debunking on the other side was in turn debunked. One good turn deserves another, as they say. The comments thread over there is an interesting read for awhile.

Posted by: David R. Remer at October 4, 2005 5:03 AM
Comment #83435

Sanger,

“Okay, I get it. On some higher moral plane, DeLay is and will always be guilty because he is a Republican who has defeated Democrats, so legal proceedings and facts be damned. Didn’t see that coming.”

There have been both Democrats and Republicans who have come forward saying that Delay always bent the rules and that his tactics were borderline ethical. It’s not something Paul is making up. Delay has been willing to blur the rules now he’s paying the price for doing so. Not to worry though, we all know he’ll get a light slap on the wrist and a vote of confidence and endless support from the White House.
The GOP at work making the world a better place.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at October 4, 2005 8:31 AM
Comment #83439

Yup! A slap in the wrist. That’s part of the problem with the whole damn system…the guilty only get punished if they are ordinary folks. Bigshot crooks and sleazes get to go right back out there, sometimes without so much as a fine. Heck of an example that sets for the common folks in this country, huh? And then some politicos are naive enough to actually wonder why many folks don’t bother to vote and are so apathetic about their government! What people like DeLay do is much more damaging to the nation as a whole than the machinations of some smalltime street-corner crack dealer, so what the hell, let’s ALL be crooks, since we see we can get away with it! Since the Delays and others of his ilk are trying to destroy the very foundations of this nation, Maybe we should charge bums like him with treason. I would love to attend the hanging!

Posted by: capnmike at October 4, 2005 8:55 AM
Comment #83440

Good article, Paul. Rep. Pelosi had a good rant a while back about the way DeLay did business in the House:

The American people expected genuine debate. Yet Republicans limited floor discussion on one of the most dramatic changes to Medicare in its history to a mere two hours. Two hours. And this behavior was not limited and confined to the vote on Medicare. For some reason, and I think it should be obvious what it is, the Republicans insist on having votes that are of great import to the American people, where they are clearly on the wrong side of the issue, taken in the middle of the night.

On a Friday in March at 2:54 a.m., the House cut veterans benefits by three votes. At 2:39 a.m. on a Friday in April, House Republicans slashed education and health care by five votes. At 1:56 a.m. on a Friday in May, the House passed a leave no millionaire behind tax cut bill by a handful of votes. And at 3:38 a.m. on a Friday in June, the House GOP passed a Medicare privatization and prescription drug bill by one vote. At 12:57 a.m. on a Friday in July, the House passed a Head Start bill by one single vote, and that Head Start bill was to undermine and unravel a very successful Head Start initiative. And then after returning from a summer recess, at 12:12 a.m. on Friday in October, the House voted $87 billion for Iraq, an issue that Democrats and Republicans were on both sides of the issue, as were the American people. They deserve to hear the debate in the light of day.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 8:59 AM
Comment #83442
I’ll pretend to be Aldous and state the following patented Democrat Talking Points:

1. Let’s NOT wait until the Trial is over.
2. DeLay is guilty, guilty, guilty!!!
3. Earle is an outstanding member of our society.
4. DeLay is guilty, guilty, guilty with cheese and hot sauce on top!!!
5. The Right are nothing but a bunch of criminals starting centuries ago.
6. Gore really won. I won’t get over it.
7. Republicans don’t have a plan to offer so they commit crimes.
8. DeLay is sooooooooooo guilty!
9. If there were a God (and there isn’t) he would have told me DeLay is innocent.

Oh…I forgot:

DeLay wanted to start a draft…draft only Democrats…and get them killed in Iraq so they con’t vote in the next rigged election.

Posted by: Jim T at October 4, 2005 9:35 AM
Comment #83443

Look, if DeLay is guilty…he goes to jail.

If he’s innocent…his political career is over anyway.

Either way…DeLay is history. Get over it.

Posted by: Jim T at October 4, 2005 9:38 AM
Comment #83446

I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to convict DeLay before any kind of trial. Lets first assume that he gets the benefit of our “innocent until proven guilty” philosophy.

Secondly, lets not tar him alone, if he is not alone in his actions. I hear rumors—just rumors so far—that Nancy Pelosi has done the same or similar things in California. If proven to be more than rumor, then she should be disciplined in the same manner that DeLay should be.

Third, there is the matter of whether what he did is technically illegal. It may or may not be. Legality has little to do with what is right or wrong. For instance, DeLay’s redistricting of Texas may have been legal, but in my opinion, it was wrong. It may have been within the “rules”, but was still not the correct thing to do. The money part—-seems to me they should rewrite the rules to close the loophole. Of course, new loopholes will be found, but it still helps to close the existing ones.

Lastly, it seems that both sides invest a great deal in “protecting their own”. That means that no one is really protecting us—yknow, the people. We know inherently that both sides engage in this kind of behavior. Rather than taking the approach of “the other side does it too”, we should take the approach that we are going to stop both sides from doing wrong things. Whether its adding pork to bills or funnelling money through loopholes, it isnt doing what our elected officials are elected to do——serve the people.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 4, 2005 10:04 AM
Comment #83449
I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to convict DeLay before any kind of trial. Lets first assume that he gets the benefit of our “innocent until proven guilty” philosophy.

Damned straight, JBOD. Just like nobody pre-judged President Clinton. :/

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 10:31 AM
Comment #83452

Paul, very well written article.
Aldous! :^x That’s for being brilliantly hilarious as usual.

This just in:
DeLay Indicted On New, Graver Charges
Different grand jury says he laundered campaign money.

Time to exterminate the Exterminator.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 4, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #83453

capnmike:

Yup! A slap in the wrist. That’s part of the problem with the whole damn system…the guilty only get punished if they are ordinary folks. Bigshot crooks and sleazes get to go right back out there, sometimes without so much as a fine.

You said a mouth full there!!!

Anyone happen to remember the name Neil Bush and what he did?

(sound of crickets chirping)

I didn’t think so, Let me just refresh your memories:

There are several ways in which the Bush family plays into the Savings and Loan scandal, which involves not only many members of the Bush family but also many other politicians that are still in office and still part of the Bush Jr. administration today. Jeb Bush, George Bush Sr., and his son Neil Bush have all been implicated in the Savings and Loan Scandal, which cost American tax payers over $1.4 TRILLION dollars
http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

Trust or Hustle: The Bush Record
http://www.campaignwatch.org/more1.htm

This one is a “doozy”
http://www.williambowles.info/bush/Silverado.htm

The Relatively Charmed Life of Neil Bush
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A35297-2003Dec27

Watergate’s Shadow on the Bush Presidency
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/daily/june99/shadow20full.htm

Don’t worry supporters…I am sure this is simply the result of those bad, bad liberals who simply can’t face the fact that the honerable, moral, highly qualified…oh, and don’t forget fiscally frugal, George W. Bush Won (fair and square too) and are still trying to find a way…any way to discredit him and his wholesome christian family.


Want more? Try Google

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at October 4, 2005 10:53 AM
Comment #83455

“Damned straight, JBOD. Just like nobody pre-judged President Clinton”

But yet, the left had a wait and see attitude then, why not now?

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2005 10:59 AM
Comment #83457

Capnmike:

Yup! A slap in the wrist. That’s part of the problem with the whole damn system…the guilty only get punished if they are ordinary folks. Bigshot crooks and sleazes get to go right back out there, sometimes without so much as a fine.

Wow! you said a mouthful there!

Anyone remember Neil Bush and why he is famous? (or should I say infamous)…

(sound of crickets chirping)

I didn’t think so, Let me refresh your memories:

http://la.indymedia.org/news/2004/01/99614.php

http://www.rationalrevolution.net/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

http://www.hereinreality.com/palm/ohbrother.html

http://www.inthe80s.com/sandl.shtml

There are many many more….

Just try google!

Thanks sassyliberal


Posted by: sassyliberal at October 4, 2005 11:01 AM
Comment #83458

AP:

I wish you would have taken to heart my comment that “rather than taking the approach of “the other side does it too”, we should take the approach that we are going to stop both sides from doing wrong things.” It would have prevented you from using the “you guys did it first” argument.

By the way, speaking of MY opinions only regarding Clinton, I did wait until the evidence was in. I had my opinions of what would ultimately be the eventual outcome, but I did not convict him in my mind until the full story came out. At that point, my biggest complaint about his behavior was that it was public and official, not private behavior, considering that he conducted public and official business in the presence of Ms. Lewinsky, who had neither the security clearance nor any legitimate reason to have been present.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 4, 2005 11:01 AM
Comment #83463

JBOD, I agree with the gist, but to say: “I find it hard to believe that anyone would want to convict DeLay before any kind of trial,” just leaves you looking hypocritical.

Whether or not you personally waited until Clinton was completely exonerated of all charges before making a judgement, I don’t know. But most Republicans didn’t. And you guys never apologized to him, either.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 4, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #83490

AP:

i speak for myself, not “most Republicans”. I don’t know who “you guys” are, but I know that I don’t owe Bill Clinton an apology—-he did what I accused him of.

Per my statement, I didn’t say it well. I don’t find it hard to believe that some would want to convict DeLay without any trial, evidence, factfinding, jurisprudence etc. I AM dismayed by it, and intended my comments to point out that whenever a society issues up a guilty sentence, whether in a court of law or otherwise, prior to a trial, then society is wrong.

As I said, its fine by me for people to have their opinions of what an outcome will be. Its not okay to simply assume guilt without the benefit of going through the process.

Again, as far as Clinton is concerned (not that he is the issue, but you brought him up), he went through the process. He was impeached and then acquitted of the impeachment charges. He admitted to deceiving the public, and accepted the penalties imposed by the federal judge in the case. Anyone who prejudged him should not have done so; anyone who looked at the case and thought he’d be found to have done some of the things alleged would have been correct.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at October 4, 2005 12:30 PM
Comment #83502

The Republicans are virtually finished as a viable political party. They have nobody to run at any level that can generate enough support to get elected.

Recognizing this, corporations, special interests and private donors will withold their campaign money. It is a Godsend for them because now they can pay themselves more. Huge savings on lobbyists as well.

By sheer virtue of the fact that there will be no Republicans in position to make any appointments, there will be none at key levels of government.

Republicans by the millions will change party affilliations and claim they never were Republicans so as not to be guilty by association. Millions more will not vote at all thereby impacting the results at the polls.

Most distressing is the fact that all the buzzwords used to describe Republicans and like thinking people will disappear from blogs. This will result in no sentances being complete and in some cases there will be no intelligible point to be made.

With nothing to complain about Watchblog will become a one column forum.

Posted by: steve smith at October 4, 2005 1:02 PM
Comment #83513

“With nothing to complain about Watchblog will become a one column forum”

No it won’t Steve. As soon as a Dem is elected President, the left will go back to being blind, like in the 90’s and the right will be the ones confused as to why they won’t listen.
It’s a dangerous cycle that won’t end until the death of our nation as we know it becomes complete.

Posted by: kctim at October 4, 2005 1:40 PM
Comment #83524

kctim,

Surely you realize that I was being facetious. You are right however. According to the lefties we are on our death beds as we speak. Since many of them have been talking about seeking another country to live in, maybe all is not lost.

Posted by: steve smith at October 4, 2005 2:12 PM
Comment #83729

JBOD, I hate to keep correcting you on Clinton, since it’s off-topic, but he broke no laws and there were no penalties,

Clinton was successfully impeached (that is, the House did successfully send him to be tried by the Senate). He was not, however, successfully convicted of any of the charges (which is why he was not removed from office), nor was he given any penalty (beyond the censure of the House of Representatives).

And again, I agree with the gist of the rest of your post.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 5, 2005 9:13 AM
Comment #83777

This administration will go down in history as the “most corrupt” in the history of the United States. What a disaster!!! The rich are getting richer by stealing from the rest of us. Middle class America beware….you (we) are a dying breed & will probably not exist by the time they leave office!!! Bill Clinton’s only crime was in liking women…..God save America!!!

Posted by: gullymolly at October 5, 2005 12:25 PM
Comment #83788

i haven’t worked in the legal field in years, however, quick query. doesn’t RICO kick in with regard to contempt and money laundering? i understand that would be a federal indictment, i also realize that there are probably no federal prosecutors in texas that are democrats with cojones (male or female, i’m latina and don’t feel that cojones are necessarily male only :-)

Posted by: Labwitch at October 5, 2005 1:45 PM
Comment #83989

one hand in the cookie jar, why doesn’t everybody understand? this is after all america, shouldn’t we see history for history’s sake, nothing changes. one crook in one party, another crook in another party. as long as we turn a blind eye the system will continue to move along, no matter who is in the system. understand o.k., it’s all about the power of the benjamins.

Posted by: gary at October 6, 2005 9:54 AM
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