DeLay: The Real Story

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District Attorney Ronnie Earle, responsible for bringing House of Representatives majority leader Tom Delay (R) before a grand jury on charges of violating Texas state law prohibiting corporate funds from being sent to other legislator's campaigns, is a Democrat. Tom DeLay says Earle is seeking political revenge. The record however shows Earle has obtained far more convictions or no contest pleas from Democrats than Republicans (12 out 15). But, that fact is not one that is likely to interfere with the partisan accusations attempting to divert the discussion from political corruption toward political partisanship motives. The real issue however, is the corruption.

Money corruption of America's political process is at the heart of DeLay's indictments. Rep. DeLay acknowledged on MSNBC's Hardball yesterday that money was received by TRMPAC (Texans for a Republican Majority) and passed on to the RNC. DeLay also acknowledged that RNC hard money was passed back to Texas Republican legislative races. DeLay insists however, there is no quid pro quo, and no laws or ethics were violated. Indictments and convictions against TRMPAC, an organization founded by Tom DeLay, and on whose advisory board DeLay sits, preceded this indictment of Tom DeLay.

Whether or not Tom DeLay will be found guilty of violating Texas election laws or conspiring to do so, is not the real story. The real story is that both the Democratic and Republican parties hate the laws that restrict their use of money to achieve political ends. And both parties have had members who have violated laws and ethics designed to curtail the bribing and purchasing of votes, political offices, and partisan agendas. When Tom DeLay says he has done nothing that is unprecedented in this case, he is absolutely telling the truth. This money laundering, soft money for hard money and back again, is exercised by both parties. While it is technically legal, it is ethically deplorable as it circumvents the laws designed to clean up corruption of our political process. It only becomes illegal if a direct quid pro quo of the money exchange can be proved, which is virtually impossible and the laws were written by politicians very deliberately to avoid enforceability.

And this is the scandal. DeLay's attorney says no law was broken. Technically, that claim may be proved right. But, there is no question that money was raised by Texan corporations by TRMPAC and went to support legislative races in other states, while money from the RNC came back to Texas to support Texas Republican legislative races. The law says corporate contributions cannot be used in Texas legislative races. Hence, the spirit of the law was violated, even if the technical semantics of the law was not. Americans are very aware that money is the tool of choice in corrupting our politics. Americans have demanded for decades that legislators clean it up, resulting in many state and federal campaign finance laws being passed. Yet, those laws have always been passed leaving loopholes, which both parties refuse to close, denying Americans their will in this matter of eliminating corruption of political campaigns.

Our founding fathers, to insure fair and equal representation by American voters, implemented the redrawing of Congressional District maps every 10 years based on census reports. Tom DeLay was a chief architect in the move to divorce Congressional redistricting from the census and make it a purely political activity at taxpayer expense toward the end of partisan political gain. DeLay wants to accuse Democrats including Earle and Pelosi and Democratic leaders both Texan and federal, of being motivated by his success in that venture. But regardless of the politics, finding ways to circumvent the intent of the laws is a hallmark of Tom DeLay's political career. And dropping polls in his own district prior to his last election testify to the fact that even some Republican supporters viewed DeLay's subversion of the Constitutional intent and voters desire for fair and equitable politics and undesirable use of his power.

But let's be clear, this is not just a Republican trend. Democrats also redistricted Colorado in a non-census year. And Democratic Lt. Gov. Bustamante paid a record fine for campaign finance law violation. Americans want an end to legalized bribery by special interests and the incredible dominance of money influenced outcomes in politics. Americans want elections based on issues, not the best spin money can buy. Americans want politicians to vote their conscience and not have their arms twisted by campaign donors or political party whips who hold the purse strings to their reelection. Americans want their priorities to override those of special money interests. And these are the issues which make up the real story behind Tom DeLay's indictment. Though it is doubtful conventional media will focus on the real issue at all.

2 Comments

Excellent article. You did a good job of covering your arse in qualifying that a trial may not find any guilt. Though I voted for Bush, I agree with with you, what is being done by both parties in the way of money, the law, and legislation, is corrupted. When it comes to values, I have to stick with the Republican party, but, I have to admit, the GOP in its machinery of getting things done is little better than the D's were when they were in power.

Tom J, we are in total agreement, except for voting preferences. I believe values guide action. In light of Republican's actions in Congress since 1992, I believe the GOP's values are in rhetoric only.

Thank you for your comments, and hopefully, the GOP will rediscover their values and acquire the courage to govern by them after Bush is gone.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on September 29, 2005 4:11 AM.

Going Wrong in America was the previous entry in this blog.

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