Monday, April 03, 2006

DeLay won't seek re-election, will resign from Congress

Cross-posted at new blog.

Tom DeLay will not seek reelection, according to TIME. A year and a half ago, we came to the conclusion that Tom DeLay was not fit for public office. His fundraising excesses led to numerous Ethics Committee violations in early October 2004. We asked our members, "Should we engage in a public education campaign in Tom DeLay's district? And they responded resoundingly "Yes!"

And we, together, began that campaign. At the time, Washington insiders thought we were crazy. In October 2004 we were told, Don't waste your money, don't waste your time; DeLay will never lose that seat, nor will he ever relinquish it.

But our members told us then, If we don't take on Tom DeLay's arrogance and Tom DeLay's big money agenda, then why do we , as an organization, exist?

So together we fought DeLay's big money agenda before it was self-evident to do so. We had some allies, like Democracy for America. We set up a blog called the Daily DeLay before he became one-and-the-same with the culture of corruption. We ran advertisements in DeLay's backyard before progressives found out that Tom DeLay was a good "fundraising tool." And, along with Josh Marshall, we led the charge against the DeLay rule when Republicans tried to give him a get out of jail free card. More allies were with us then, including MoveOn. We're proud of our work, and the work of others along the way, in blazing a trail of accountability.

Tonight, TIME magazine's Mike Allen, who did some of the best reporting on DeLay, along with many others, in an exclusive interview, that Tom DeLay will not seek reelection and will resign from Congress.

The story tonight is that a politician reached too far, broke too many rules and laws, and people had enough. They had enough around the country and they had enough in his district.

Let's be honest: DeLay is in legal trouble because of his own actions. But he is in political trouble because we wouldn't sit back and let the chips fall, and because we wouldn't just write off a district, despite the odds.

DeLay hints that he'll be back fighting from the outside. I think we ought to keep our eyes on that. This man, with his corrupt ways should have no part in the publi cpolicy arena. Keep him away from our taxdollars, thank you very much.

One last note: If we don't go after the DeLays of the world, regardless of electoral or partisan considerations, shame on us. If we don't fight DeLay-ism, we sentence ourselves to a repeat of history.

More later.

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Blog. Come Visit.

We've moved the Daily DeLay entries over to a new blog today. At the new blog, you can read that which would normally be posted here, and much more.

Please join the conversation. We've just posted something about a potential investigation into DeLay's ARMPAC at the new site.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Changes

Next Monday, we’ll be launching a new website, with a new blog. Because DeLay-ism is so ingrained in the big money culture of Washington, we’ve come to decide that the Daily DeLay’s reporting, commentary, analysis, and community should take this bigger view, too.

In fact, we’ve been doing just that over the last six months. We want to clearly identify and consistently promote opportunities to address the corruption DeLay brought upon our nation’s capitol, and weave together the stories from other breaking and emerging scandals.

So, come next Monday, March 13th, what we would nornally be posting at the Daily DeLay will be posted at Public Campaign Action Fund’s new website. We will be "tagging" these posts so that those of you who only want to get the latest news on Tom DeLay can easily access just that. But we also want you to have an opportunity to weigh in on the new design, new tools, and broader focus, so poke around a bunch.

Our next post on Monday morning will provide you with the new URL for the broader new blog.

Please be assured that the passion to hold DeLay accountable, and the laser-like focus on DeLay’s big money, unethical agenda will continue unabated. I said this in 2004 when we first took on the powerful then-Majority Leader in his home district, at a time when no one else thought he was vulnerable, and I'll say it again today:

If we don’t fight to hold Tom DeLay accountable, then why do we exist?

But I also think that the politicians and special interests who engage in the legal corruption that happens everyday in the corridors of power in Washington and state capitals around the country need to be held accountable, too.

The new blog at the new site will tell this story and give citizens a chance to engage in a debate, offer ideas, learn more about their own elected officials, and take action. The power of many people acting together to take on big money is the only way to change it. DeLay is the brashest symbol of the problem, but the focus has to be on DeLay-ism...

So keep coming back, and when the new site is up, let us know what you think. Thanks!

Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor blasts Tom DeLay

On NPR this morning, Nina Totenberg covered a speech by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor in which she took DeLay to task, not by name but by deed. Here's a partial transcript, courtesy of Raw Story:

And then she took aim at former House GOP leader Tom DeLay. She didn’t name him, but she quoted his attacks on the courts at a meeting of the conservative Christian group Justice Sunday last year when DeLay took out after the courts for rulings on abortions, prayer and the Terri Schiavo case. This, said O’Connor, was after the federal courts had applied Congress’ onetime only statute about Schiavo as it was written. Not, said O’Connor, as the congressman might have wished it were written. This response to this flagrant display of judicial restraint, said O’Connor, her voice dripping with sarcasm, was that the congressman blasted the courts.

Another Brick In The Wall


Peter Cloeren, who himself has pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws, has been issued a subpoena by Travis County prosecutor Ronnie Earle. Earle wants records of contributions made by Cloeren's Citizens United Political Victory Fund to Tom DeLay.

From The Orange Leader in Orange, Texas:

" In an affidavit signed in 1998, Cloeren said DeLay urged him to evade campaign finance laws and funnel more money than legally allowed into the Babin campaign. DeLay denied the accusation, according to the AP."

It's amazing how many things DeLay denies.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

one of my closest and dearest friends, Jack Abramoff...

Check out Think Progress for a reality check on DeLay's friendship with Jack Abramoff. DeLay continues to try to distance himself, but his own words give him away again and again.

DeLay's prospects down-graded

Congressional Quarterly agrees with our take.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My two cents about DeLay's 'victory' yesterday

I know Rick wrote about this earlier, but I wanted to add my two cents...

In 2004, in the general election, DeLay received 55% of the vote. Yesterday, in a low turnout, only-the-faithful-voting primary election, he got 62%, only slightly better than where he was among all voters, Democrats included, a year and a half ago.

I don't believe any spin on this race coming out of DeLay's camp. DeLay is in Trouble, with a capital T.

Hotline Running Snippets of Vanity Fair Interview With Abramoff

Courtesy of the DailyKos, the Hotline Blog is posting snippets of an interview with Jack Abramoff that will be printed in Vanity Fair. From the blog:

"According to the Vanity Fair article, Pres. Bush once teased Abramoff about his muscular build. 'What are you benching, buff guy?'"

What do you think McClellan will say when asked about these new allegations that Jack and W. are closer than the White House has let on?

UPDATE: From ThinkProgress.org, you can read an advanced copy of the article here.

Circle The Wagons: DeLay and Lampson Will Vie For Seat

DeLay was able to secure the GOP nod in TX-22 (he received 62% of the vote) but not by the margin expected from a sitting incumbent in a Republican leaning district. DeLay remains as vulnerable as people have been saying he is. Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said:

"DeLay will have to capture two-thirds of the vote in order to claim he's out of trouble."

DeLay came up just shy of that magic number and that's not good news for DeLay.

In 2004 Bush took 64% of the vote in DeLay's district while DeLay himself only got 55% and he was running against a weak Democratic challenger (not to mention that that election was pre-indictment and before the Abramoff scandal broke).

DeLay can celebrate today but he's going to have a fight on his hands in the coming months. With lower support, a cloud of controversy surrounding him, and something he hasn't seen in a long while, a well funded opponent with a bone to pick, DeLay will be fighting for his political life in the coming months.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Election returns

You can get election returns as they are reported at the Texas Secretary of State's website.

For TX-22 GOP primary, go here.

For TX-28 Democratic primary, go here.

Abramoff to be sentenced in Florida fraud case March 29

Why is this important?

Well, to get a lighter sentence, Jack Abramoff has to show that he's cooperating with authorities. Abbe Lowell, his lawyer, says,

We will name names. We will provide the public with evidence of what is going on out there," Lowell said. "It seems to me that is not in the interest of law enforcement."


Get your popcorn. The caged bird is about to sing.

While Voters Vote...DeLay Parties With Lobbyists in D.C.

Tom DeLay won't be in Houston for today's primary. Instead he's partying in D.C. at a fundraiser hosted by lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari, both former lawmakers from New York. See the CNN report here.

Could there be better proof that DeLay cares more about his cash constituents than his those folks back in Sugarland?

The Big Buy: Coming to a house party near you

A couple of Texas filmmakers have produced a movie called "The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress," and Robert Greenwald and his Brave New Films (Outfoxed, the Walmart movie, etc.) are on tap to promote and distribute it.

The New York Times writes it up in this morning's paper.

I had the good fortune to see an early rough cut last fall, and it's not your typical political movie. While the rough cut tries hard to squeeze everything into the "cops and robbers" framework, I understand a few more political moments are added -- including a clip of convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff telling a crowd of College Republicans that Tom DeLay is someone they should be like when they grow up as an introduction to the Majority Leader.

You can purchase a DVD or sign up to host a screening at their website... I just signed up myself...

Today is Primary Day

Here is Bloomberg with a round up on DeLay's primary race today, in which he confronts three Republican challengers. Stay tuned--we'll update as the news rolls in.

Monday, March 06, 2006

In Day Before Primary, DeLay Keeps His Head Low

DeLay's Republican base is a little uneasy the night before the primary...according to the Washington Post.

I don't think there is any doubt that DeLay will win the primary. The big question is if he can retain his seat come this November.