Wednesday, May 11, 2005
I got this information from MoveOn.com, a good organization.
A month ago it looked like the scandals surrounding Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay couldn't get any worse. Newspapers were breaking new stories every week about lobbyist-paid golf trips, the $500,000 paid from DeLay's political coffers to his family, and back-room deals DeLay was cutting to save his hide. Then, it got worse.
The latest scandal connects DeLay to sweatshops in the Mariana Islands making apparel with "Made in the USA" labeling while avoiding U.S. labor laws — exploiting Chinese immigrant labor.
But a growing number of Republicans are going mute on DeLay's ethical abuses. They're afraid of far-right organizations — who are staunch DeLay supporters — and of retribution from DeLay himself.
The thing that will push Tom DeLay out of his leadership role is a public outcry and pressure on the Republicans who gave him that office. That's where the public comes in. We should all contact our representatives.
Among his offenses, Tom Delay:
·Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill legislation they opposed
·Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign government in violation of House rules
·Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign contributions
·Helped sweatshops in the Mariana Islands at the behest of a lobbyist.
·Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate donor
·Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare
·Allegedly used corporate money given to his PAC to finance Texas campaigns in violation of state law
·Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with Democrats in Texas
·Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish celebrations at the Republican convention
·Threatened retaliation against interest groups that don't support Republicans
·Stacked the House Ethics Committee with representatives who have contributed to his legal defense fund
·Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics Committee by purging members who had rebuked him
·Pushed for a rules change for the House Ethics process that paralyzed the panel
·Sought a rule change that would have no longer "required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted"
As Majority Leader, DeLay is the second-ranking leader in the House of Representatives. He is responsible for developing the Republican issue agenda and sets the legislative schedule by selecting which bills the House will consider.
P.S. Here is the link to the brief that was used to document DeLay's abuses. It includes links to news reports with the specific background on each of the assertions made above. "DeLay's Dirty Dozen" from the American Progress Action Fund