T Nation

Delay Stepping Down



"WASHINGTON - Succumbing to scandal, former Majority Leader Tom Delay intends to resign from Congress within weeks, closing out a career that blended unflinching conservatism with a bare-knuckled political style.

Republican officials said Monday night they expect the Texan to quit his seat later this spring. He was first elected in 1984, and conceded he faced a difficult race for re-election.

"He has served our nation with integrity and honor," said Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who succeeded DeLay in his leadership post earlier this year.

But Democrats said the developments marked more than the end to one man's career in Congress.

" Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress is just the latest piece of evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray, a party out of ideas and out of energy," said Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

A formal announcement of DeLay's plans was expected Tuesday at a news conference in Houston.

DeLay is under indictment in Texas as part of an investigation into the allegedly illegal use of funds for state legislative races.

Separately, the Texan's ties with lobbyist Jack Abramoff caused him to formally surrender his post as majority leader in January, within days after the lobbyist entered into a plea bargain as part of a federal congressional corruption probe.

More recently, former DeLay aide Tony Rudy said he had conspired with Abramoff and others to corrupt public officials, and he promised to help the broad federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud that already has resulted in three convictions.

Neither Rudy, Abramoff nor anyone else connected with the investigation has publicly accused DeLay of breaking the law, but Rudy confessed that he had taken actions while working in the majority leader's office that were illegal.

DeLay has consistently denied all wrongdoing, and he capped a triumph in a contested GOP primary earlier this year with a vow to win re-election.

In an interview Monday with The Galveston County Daily News in Texas, DeLay said his change of mind was based partly on a poll taken after the March Republican primary that showed him only narrowly ahead of Democrat Nick Lampson.

"Even though I thought I could win, it was a little too risky," the paper quoted him as saying.

In a separate interview with Time Magazine, DeLay says he plans to make his Virginia condominium his primary residence, a step that will disqualify him from the ballot in Texas and permit GOP officials there to field a replacement candidate. "I can do more on the outside of the House than I can on the inside right now. I want to continue to fight for the conservative cause. I want to continue to work for a Republican majority," DeLay told the magazine for its online edition.

It was not clear Monday night whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry would call a special election to fill out the unexpired portion of DeLay's term, or whether the seat would remain vacant until it is filled in November.

Either way, DeLay's concern about the potential loss of a Houston-area seat long in Republican hands reflected a deeper worry among GOP strategists. After a dozen years in the majority, they face a strong challenge from Democrats this fall, at a time when President Bush's public support is sagging, and when the Abramoff scandal has helped send congressional approval ratings tumbling.

Until scandal sent him to the sidelines, DeLay had held leadership posts since the Republicans won control of the House in a 1994 landslide. At first, he had to muscle his way to the table, defeating then-Speaker Newt Gingrich's handpicked candidate to become whip.

But DeLay quickly established himself as a forceful presence ? earning a nickname as "The Hammer" ? and he easily became majority leader when the spot opened up.

He sat at the nexus of legislation, lobbying, political campaigns and money.

And while he was a conservative, he raised millions of dollars for the campaigns of fellow House Republicans regardless of their ideology, earning their gratitude in the process.

He supported tax cuts, limits on abortions, looser government regulation of business and other items on the conservative agenda, and he rarely backed down.

DeLay was the driving force behind President Clinton's impeachment in 1999, weeks after Republicans lost seats at the polls in a campaign in which they tried to make an issue of Clinton's personal behavior.

His trademark aggressiveness helped trigger his downfall, when he led a drive to redraw Texas' congressional district boundaries to increase the number of seats in GOP hands.

The gambit succeeded, but DeLay was soon caught up in an investigation involving the use of corporate funds in the campaigns of legislators who had participated in the redistricting.

He attacked prosecutor Ronnie Earle as an "unabashed partisan zealot," and said numerous times he hoped to clear himself of the charges quickly and renew his claim to the majority leader's office.

The trial has yet to begin."


I called this numerous months ago.

Stick a fork in Delay...he is done.

P.S. Please copy the first paragraph and the link. Scrolling though an entire article on a blog will cause carpal tunnel in the index finger.


DeLay's not even going to finish out his term. That would indicate there is some substance to the charges. Just a coincidence that DeLay resigned after Rudy agreed to cooperate with the authorities? I kinda doubt it.

You know, I bet the Democrats forced Tom Delay to launder that money.

I blame Hillary Clinton.




Where are all the pro-DeLay Texans?

The silence is deafening.

Steal this seat???? Yeah Tom, that's what this is all about... Democrats plotting to steal your seat. That's really why you are leaving office before your term is over, it's not because you are a crooked son-of-a-bitch. It's all the Democrats fault. Liberals forced you to launder that dirty campaign money!

Boy, talk about playing the victim. After all that Republican bragging about a new Era of Personal Responsibility, that is just pathetic.


brad, your ignorance is astounding.

the reason he is resigning has nothing to do with campaign finance. We all know that that charge is a trumped up charge and its just dems being bitter at delay out manuvering them on the state level.

the rudy deal is another matter, and it may be why he is resigning....try not to confuse the two.


maybe we don't all know? do you have this exonerating evidence in your back pocket?


yes i do its called common sense, and read the law. What he did is very clearly not against the law.


Dude, if it was very clear, then the odds of getting an indictment in the first place should be extremely low.

However, if he's willing to bust some laws, odds are good he's be willing to bend others as well... we'll see.

You only really get to blame the liberals for causing the initial investigation to be launched, it's silly to blame them beyond that.


well if you were following the case you would know it was very hard for him to get the indictment...i.e Earle had to go through 4 different grand juries before one actually bought his case...




LOL. grabs pom poms and covers eyes with them


I personally have no love for DeLay and am glad to see him go.

Looks like he is falling on his sword rather than run the risk of being defeated. A DeLay defeat would resonate much further than just Sugar Land, Texas.

Though I agree that Earle's prosectuion is political, I am happy DeLay is going - I think he is part of the current problems with the GOP, and cannot be part of the solution at this point.


Uh, considering corporate money was laundered through the RNC and back to a PAC Delay started in Texas...

...it is political.


Congressman Tom Expresses Love for All People

"[I] fundamentally agree that a person has a constitutional right to govern his or her own body."
--Letter to a Constituent 5-28-92.

In September, 1990, and May, 1992, Congressman Tom voted against abortion rights.

Congressman Tom Explains Your Money Problems
"Why does it take two people working in a home, instead of one, as it used to? It's the culmination of years of the government increasing the cost of living."
--Quoted in Alvin (TX) Sun-Advertiser 7-24-88.

Congressman Tom Solves His Money Problems
"I am living on this salary. I'm not living in the manner I was before I entered Congress, but I am living on it."
--Quoted in Brazosport (TX) Facts 8-2-88.

In 1990, Congressman Tom voted to raise his salary from $96,000 to $125,000.

Congressman Tom Expresses Solidarity
with Us Little Guys, Part I
"[To increase the minimum wage] would cost jobs. It's as simple as that. It would take the jobs away from many of the people who can afford it least: the young people, the students, the minorities."
--Quoted in Alvin (TX) Sun-Advertiser 7-24-88.

Congressman Tom Expresses Solidarity
with Us Little Guys, Part II
"Tom DeLay has fought for our interest and for the interests of all Americans."
--1990 campaign brochure.

Congressman Tom voted against extending jobless benefits by 13 weeks (February, 1992), against rights of workers fired and replaced during lawful strikes (July, 1991), against 12 weeks of unpaid leave for childbirth (Fall, 1991).

Congressman Tom Explains Pesticides, Part I
"You may be interested to know that most of today's pesticides are not synthetic but actually natural."
--Letter to a Constituent 1-31-92.

Congressman Tom Explains Pesticides, Part II
"Chemical pesticides are ?harmless? and foods raised without them might even be more carcinogenic."
--Letter to a Constituent 1-31-92.

Congressman Tom Explains His Optimism
Regarding Pollution
"It has never been proven that air toxics are hazardous to people."
--Quoted in Houston Chronicle 10-28-90.

Congressman Tom Expresses Hate
for Pollutants and Love for Taxpayers
"As a public official, I have an obligation to ensure that pollutants are curbed and that taxpayers [sic] dollars are spent wisely."
--Letter to a Constituent 7-10-90.

In May, 1990, Congressman Tom voted against the landmark Clean Air Act.

Congressman Tom Really Goes After the Bad Guys, Part I
"I understand and share your frustration. The deposits of several of the failed S&Ls were misused and stolen by some of the officials of the thrifts. The people who defrauded the American taxpayers should be prosecuted and go to jail."
--Letter to a Constituent 6-15-90.

In March, 1991, Congressman Tom voted for a further $30 billion to continue the S&L bailout. In November, 1991, Congressman Tom voted against the banking reform bill.

Congressman Tom Really Goes After the Bad Guys, Part II
The Brady Bill "seeks to deny gun ownership for law-abiding citizens like you and me, thus denying us our Second Amendment rights. It does nothing to stop criminals..."
--Letter to a Constituent 7-7-89.

The Brady Bill, supported by police throughout the nation, contains no prohibitions for law-abiding citizens.

Congressman Tom Expresses Love
for Disadvantaged Children
"I am a firm believer in this program [Head Start] and the opportunities it provides for disadvantaged children."
--Letter to a Constituent 8-20-91.

From April, 1986, to November, 1991, Congressman Tom repeatedly voted against funding for Head Start.

Congressman Tom Warns
of the Imminent Communist Invasion of Texas
"Allowing the Soviet Union to consolidate a communist stronghold on our mainland (only miles from our Texas border), vis-a-vis the Sandinistas, represents a major threat to our southern flank of security."
--Letter to a Constituent 2-5-88.

Why Congressman Tom Didn?t Serve in Vietnam
At the time of the war in Vietnam, "DeLay was eligible to enlist but said he did not at the urging of his wife."
--Quoted in Houston Post 8-19-88.

Congressman Tom Warns Teenagers
About Planned Parenthood
"Planned Parenthood is not an organization we can trust to provide responsible advice and wisdom to our teenagers."
--Undated Letter to Members of Congress.

Congressman Tom Explains Middle East Politics

"The greenies have led us into the crisis in the Middle East... The rabid environmentalists felt it was more important to jeopardize the lives of our brave American servicemen than risk the death of a single snail darter."
--Quoted in Washington Post 11-4-91.

Congressman Tom Reveals a Hidden Talent

"I am in demand for my speaking prowess. I am not influenced by them [corporate lobbyists] paying for me to fly to Dallas or Little Rock, or Nashville."
--Quoted in Houston Chronicle, Fall, 1991.

In 1990, Congressman Tom got $33,050 for his prowess in speaking. In 1991, under new rules requiring that all speaking fees must be donated to charity, Congressman Tom?s two honoraria speeches brought in only $4,000.
--Houston Post, 6-12-92.


pox wrote:

"LOL. grabs pom poms and covers eyes with them"

Brittle, I'm surprised it took three posts for the usual suspects to pull out their "trump card."

If they are being challenged, the libs attack the messenger. They fear other opinions/facts.

If it isn't dnc, it ain't worth it.

Brittle, don't worry about the libs.
Have fun at their expense.

Aim to educate the moderates.



"thunderbolt23 wrote:
I personally have no love for DeLay and am glad to see him go.

Looks like he is falling on his sword rather than run the risk of being defeated. A DeLay defeat would resonate much further than just Sugar Land, Texas.

Though I agree that Earle's prosectuion is political, I am happy DeLay is going - I think he is part of the current problems with the GOP, and cannot be part of the solution at this point."

Good post, Thunder. This reminds me of Newt Gingrich. The dems/media allies did a great job of making him radioactive. They used any association with him as a "hammer" to win elections.

If Delay is guilty, he should be punished.

IF HE ISN'T, then the dems/this prosecuter need the punishment.



Agreed. Unfortunately, I associate DeLay even more than Bush with the growth of pork-barrel spending with the Republicans. And I almost completely credit him with the post-Gingrich abandonment of conservative principles for the goal of keeping power for the party.


Jerffy, pay attention you asshat, these two just showed you what it looks like when conservatives consider the issues instead of playing pure partisan cheerleader.


I listened to Delay in some detail yesterday.

Something is missing from his explanation.

The first thing that springs to mind is that there is something to hide.

However, I have a hunch that the powers to be made it quite clear to Delay that he was a lightning rod for controversy. Therefore, he was asked to step down

It doesn't make sense given Delay's history that he would just "cave in."

I have no factual basis for my later hypothesis. I wonder if anyone else has any additional information that either disproves or supports this hypothesis.

I'm interested.



i think what that hypothesis misses is the fact that the leaders are Tom Delay. No one has done more for the current house republican makeup than tom delay. Say what you want about the guy but he has always but party first....i think this si just another example of that. He realized it would be bad for the party and could help better from the sidelines while at the same time helping republican retain his seat and he will still be a huge fundraiser.