THE HOUSE ETHICS COMMITTEE ‘ADMONISHES’ TOM DELAY FOR 2ND TIME in five years.
According to the Washington Post‘s Charles Babington:
The report’s conclusion marked the second time in five years that the ethics committee has chastised DeLay. A third setback, which conceivably could come from a pending complaint, would fuel critics’ claims that DeLay has crossed an ethical threshold, several analysts said yesterday.
Several DeLay staffers have also been indicted in the scandal surrounding the mid-term Texas redistricting case. DeLay’s role in driving federal level government involvement as well as money into the Texas redistricting effort may be in the queue for the House Ethics Committee and could be the third strike that knocks DeLay from his powerful perch.
Babington’s article reports that:
Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, who often writes about congressional ethics, said, “I think the drip, drip, drip, drip may create a problem for him now.”
Because the Texas indictments stem from allegations central to the pending complaint, Ornstein said, the ethics panel, known as the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, will be under political and and public pressure to at least launch a formal investigation before Congress adjourns for the elections.
The progressive and centrist communities need to ponder this. One more strike and DeLay may be out. Two would be even better.
If you ply Republican House members who belong to the politically moderate Republican Main Street Partnership with some alcohol, it doesn’t take them long to start sharing stories about DeLay’s fascist control techniques within the Republican caucus. I have heard these personal grievances about DeLay from numerous Republican House Members — who while I think have been too timid in challenging DeLay may be quite enthusiastic about lending a hand to his overthrow. They, more than anyone, would benefit from DeLay being de-fanged and de-clawed.
These past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to speak about a very wide set of policy topics — often to very liberal and progressive audiences concerned about some specific policy area — like global environmental sustainability, wealth distribution, a more progressive foreign policy agenda, and lots of other less lofty policy initiatives.
After a while, I began to realize that if there was a “silver bullet” answer to making many of these areas they and I cared about better, it was the removal of Tom DeLay from his leadership position in the House and his party. Nearly all policy arenas improve with DeLay’s resignation.
So, my message has been to try and focus on legally challenging the man — suing him for his misdeeds — highlighting the lengths he has gone to undermine the checks and balances of the American political system and to controlling and corrupting many of the civil society institutions that surround policymakers.
For a reminder of his nefarious efforts to block Democrats from getting powerful trade association or lobbying jobs, see Nick Confessore’s “Welcome to the Machine.”
We may be getting close to taking DeLay out. Do the Dems have a cluster of thinkers and strategists marshaling efforts to make this third strike hit home? Maybe it would be wise to invite some Repubican Main Streeters into the effort.
Josh Marshall has written a huge amount about DeLay and the redistriciting scandal — so search TalkingPointsMemo.com for more.
But this is the time to organize and remind the people and the press of the anti-democratic mischief this guy has been up to for a long time.
Remember when DeLay said “I AM the Federal Government!” If not, check out the cool website that inspires and informs, TakingonTomDeLay.com.
— Steve Clemons