Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

April 3, 2006

Breaking News: Tom DeLay to Give Up Seat, Will Not Seek Re-Election

Time reports:

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months. Taking defiant swipes at "the left" and the press, he said he feels "liberated" and vowed to pursue an aggressive speaking and organizing campaign aimed at promoting foster care, Republican candidates and a closer connection between religion and government.

"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday. "I'm very much at peace with it." He notified President Bush in the afternoon. DeLay and his wife, Christine, said they had been prepared to fight, but that he decided last Wednesday, after months of prayer and contemplation, to spare his suburban Houston district the mudfest to come. "This had become a referendum on me," he said. "So it's better for me to step aside and let it be a referendum on ideas, Republican values and what's important for this district."
Spare his district the mudfest? Hogwash. He's been flinging mud everywhere since he was indicted, playing the defiant, persecuted martyr for all its worth.

This is unlike DeLay. Something serious is compelling him to give up the seat he fought tooth and nail to keep.

I think it has more to do with this:

WASHINGTON - The latest plea deal in the GOP lobbying corruption scandal has moved the investigation to Rep. Tom DeLay's inner circle, congressional insiders said.

DeLay's former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, 39, did not implicate him in any wrongdoing when he pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy in the case involving convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

But Rudy did finger his ex-boss - DeLay's former chief of staff Ed Buckham - as playing a role in the congressional bribery scandal.


"This is a line of falling dominoes, and it's getting closer to DeLay - the investigation is within his inner circle now," said Naomi Seligman, deputy director of the liberal group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Rudy is the second DeLay staffer to be indicted. Former aide Michael Scanlon has already pleaded guilty to fraud. Both were involved with the criminal activity of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

There's also this:

AUSTIN, Texas -- Prosecutors will try to persuade a Texas appeals court Wednesday to reinstate some of the criminal charges against Rep. Tom DeLay, who is trying to win re-election to Congress while under indictment.

In December, a judge threw out some of the conspiracy and money laundering charges against the former House majority leader, saying the conspiracy law DeLay allegedly violated did not exist at the time.

Prosecutors say that it did. Both sides will argue their cases before the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals.


Richard Murray, director of the Center for Public Policy at the University of Houston, said the prosecutors' appeal serves to "drag this case out and the congressman really doesn't need that."

"Tom DeLay needs this case to move forward to a favorable resolution before November," Murray said. "Every time he's mentioned in the press, it's 'indicted, indicted, indicted' and that's corrosive."
With his cases unresolved and possibly more to come, DeLay knows it will be an uphill battle to win back his seat, not to mention he'll have his hands full defending himself against the mounting charges.

The era of The Hammer is officially over.

Up next on the chopping block in November: the Republican House and Senate.

Photo: louisville.drinkingliberally.org.

posted at 7:27 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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