Thomas D. DeLay's "Transgressions"

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The following relates to the various Allegations, Accusations, and "Transgressions" surrounding Tom DeLay.

Common Cause: "Tom DeLay's Transgressions"

In a lengthy account of "Tom DeLay’s Transgressions: A Pattern of Misbehavior," Common Cause listed the following, as well as details listed under "Protecting Delay: Changing Ethics Rules"; "Protecting Delay: Ethics Committee Purge"; "Protecting Delay: Intimidate Accusers"; and "Fixing the Problem?"

  • Pending case:
  • Questionable Conduct: However, these are not being considered by the House Ethics Committee.
  • DeLay made a trip to Moscow in 1997 which was possibly "underwritten by business interests lobbying on behalf of the Russian government," reportedly with $57,238 cost of trip "transferred from a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas, Chelsea Commercial Enterprises Ltd., to the nonprofit group, the National Center for Public Policy Research, which officially paid for the trip. On the trip, DeLay met with two registered lobbyists for Chelsea, including Jack Abramoff." Source: "A 3rd DeLay Trip Under Scrutiny; 1997 Russia Visit Reportedly Backed by Business Interests," Washington Post, April 6, 2005.
  • "DeLay's political action and campaign committees have paid his wife and daughter more than $500,000 since 2001. According to disclosure forms, the payments were for 'fund-raising fees,' 'campaign management' or 'payroll.'" Source: "Political Groups Paid Two Relatives of House Leader," New York Times, April 6, 2005.
  • DeLay accepted "illegal gifts of foreign travel, lodging and an exclusive golf outing from lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Although DeLay listed the nonprofit National Center for Public Policy Research as the sponsor of a $70,000 trip, Abramoff reportedly had actually solicited checks from two of his clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and eLottery Inc., to pay for the trip through the nonprofit group. Two months after the trip, DeLay helped kill legislation opposed by the tribe and the company." Source: "Probe of Abramoff and Nonprofits’ Money Opens; Senate Finance Committee Seeks Records on Trips by Reps. DeLay and Ney, Donations to Indian Tribes," The Washington Post, March 17, 2005.
  • DeLay took a "trip to South Korea with other House Members and staff funded by Korea-U.S. Exchange Council, a business-financed group created with the help of a lobbying firm headed by DeLay’s former chief of staff. The Council is a registered foreign agent, and House rules state: 'a Member, officer or employee may not accept travel expenses from a registered lobbyist or agent of a foreign principal.'" Source: "S. Korean Group Sponsored DeLay Trip; Visits May Have Broken House Rules," The Washington Post, March 10, 2005.

Also see:

Other Foundations and PACs

Misuse of Federal Investigative Agencies

During the above Texas redistricting warrant controversy, several members of the Texas State House of Representatives who were members of the Democratic Party left the state in order to prevent the House from having a quorum of members, and therefore preventing the House from acting on any legislation. Although not a member of the Texas legislature, DeLay became involved, contacting:

DeLay apparently intended to find out where the Democratic legislators were located, and to force them to return to Texas in order to create a quorum in the House of Representatives.

Senator Joseph Lieberman requested an investigation into the Congressman's involvement in the requests, and asked that any White House involvement be reported. Neither was forthcoming.

The K Street Project

DeLay's involvement with the lobbying industry also includes a pointed effort on the part of the Republican Party to parlay the Congressional majority into a dominance of K Street, the famed lobbying district of Washington, D.C. DeLay, Senator Rick Santorum, and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform launched a campaign in 1995 encouraging lobbying firms to retain Republican officials in top positions. Firms that had Democrats in positions of authority, DeLay suggested, would not be granted the ear of Majority Party members. Firms initially responded to this campaign but it has waned since 2004, when the possibility of Senator John Kerry winning the presidency gave ample incentive for hiring Democrats.

DeLay Defended Dan Quayle

In 1988, when questions were raised about then-Republican vice-presidential nominee Dan Quayle's apparent use of family connections to get into the Indiana National Guard and thus avoid possible combat service in the Vietnam War, DeLay reportedly defended Quayle by saying that he had tried to enlist himself at the same age, but was told ethnic minorities had already filled most of the available positions and there were none left for him.

No one close to him could say whether he made any other attempt to serve, and later The Washington Post reported that he had received student deferments while at Baylor, gotten a high lottery number in 1969 and then gotten married prior to his 1970 graduation from Houston.

However, he had been asked to withdraw from Baylor for a semester and managed to keep his student deferment during that time, which has never been explained.

Settlement in Civil Suit

In early 1999, as the House vote on impeaching president Bill Clinton approached (a vote DeLay had worked very hard to ensure would succeed), Anne-Louise Bardach [1] at The New Republic picked up a story first reported by Houston-area alternative weeklies (1) alleging that DeLay himself had committed perjury during a civil lawsuit brought against him by a former business partner in 1994.

The plaintiff in that suit, Robert Blankenship, had charged that DeLay and a third partner in Albo Pest Control had breached the partnership agreement by trying to force him out of the business without buying him out, and filed suit against DeLay, charging him and the other partner with breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, wrongful termination, loss of corporate expectancy, and injunctive relief. While being deposed in that suit, DeLay claimed that he didn't think he was an officer or director of Albo and believed he had resigned two or three years ago (2). Yet his own congressional disclosure forms, including one filed subsequent to the deposition state that he was either president or chairman of the company between 1985 and 1994. The plaintiff also alleged that Albo money had been spent on DeLay's congressional campaigns, in violation of federal and state law.

DeLay and Blankenship settled for an undisclosed sum, and Blankenship's attorney told Bardach that had he known about the congressional disclosure forms, he would have referred the case to the Harris County district attorney's office for a perjury prosecution. These allegations have never been investigated and DeLay has never been charged.

DeLay and Terri Schiavo

DeLay also made headlines for his role in the Terri Schiavo controversy. On Palm Sunday weekend in March 2005, several days after the brain-damaged Florida woman's feeding tube was disconnected for the third time, DeLay and other House Republicans met in emergency session to pass a bill allowing Schiavo's parents to petition the removal of the feeding tube to a federal judge. DeLay called the removal of the feeding tube "an act of barbarism." He also said, in reference to the Supreme Court judges who had refused to hear the case when Schiavo's parents appealed the tube removal, that "there will come a time for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." DeLay publicly apologized for the remark after being accused of threatening the Supreme Court. DeLay also faced charges of hypocrisy from his critics when the Los Angeles Times revealed that he had consented to ending the life support for his own father, who was in a comatose state because of a debilitating accident in 1988. [2]

Court Violence Controversy

DeLay produced controversy in the wake of a series of high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges when he said that "the men responsible [for Terri Schiavo's death] will have to answer to their behavior." DeLay's comments came soon after the February 28, 2005 homicide of the mother of the husband of Chicago Judge Joan Lefkow, and the March 11, 2005 killing of Atlanta Judge Rowland Barnes. DeLay's opponents argued that this amounted to rationalizing violence against judges if their decisions were unpopular with the public. Ralph Neas, President of the liberal People for the American Way, said that DeLay's comments were "irresponsible and could be seen by some as justifying inexcusable conduct against our courts." [3]

Law & Order TV Series

In May 2005, the hit NBC television drama "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" used DeLay's name in a negative way. On the show, a law enforcement agent, investigating homicides of several judges, said, "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-Shirt." The show was apparently referring to the threatening comments DeLay made about Supreme Court justices during the Terri Schiavo controversy. DeLay responded by writing to Jeff Zucker, president of Universal Television Group: "This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse." The producer of the show, Dick Wolf, replied that "these shows are works of fiction". Wolf also commented, "But I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a television show."

Related SourceWatch Resources

External links

Thomas D. DeLay: External Links

Thomas D. DeLay: External Links 2004

Thomas D. DeLay: External Links 2005