Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More On DeLay Indictment

Tom DeLay’s indictment by a Texas grand jury today was a basic charge of conspiring to violate political fundraising laws and has caused DeLay to temporarily stepped down as House Majority Leader. An incorrect Associated Press article earlier in the day reported that House Speaker Dennis Hastert was going to appoint California Republican David Dreier to replace DeLay as majority leader.

In fact, House Republican whip Roy Blunt of Missouri was named their acting majority leader. Other reports say that Blunt will share leadership responsibilities with Dreier.

DeLay, 58, was indicted on a single felony count of conspiring with two political associates. The two previously had been charged with the same conspiracy count. They are John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

The indictment stems from a plan DeLay helped set in motion in 2001 to help Republicans win control of the Texas House in the 2002 elections for the first time since Reconstruction.

The grand jury accused the men of conspiring to route corporate donations from DeLay's Texas committee to the Republican Party in Washington, then returning the money back to Texas legislative candidates. It was a scheme intended to evade a state law outlawing corporate donations going to candidates, the indictment said.

“This is the punishment for winning the Texas House and for redistricting,” said DeLay on MSNBC’s Hardball. DeLay also called Texas prosecutor, Ronnie Earle, who brought the charges, an "unabashed partisan zealot" and a "rogue district attorney."

That doesn’t square with the statement of William Gibson, the grand jury’s foreman, who said that Earle did nothing to pressure the panel to indict DeLay. "Ronnie Earle didn't indict him. The grand jury indicted him," Gibson said in an interview at his home.

DeLay's indictment "is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, said.

Meanwhile, Senate historian, Donald Ritchie, said after researching the subject, "There's never been a member of Congress in a leadership position who has been indicted."

Stand by.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is now in hot water over his sale of stock in a family-founded hospital company. The Frist case is remarkably similar to the famed Martha Stewart legal action, in which Stewart was sentenced to jail time.

And next comes treasonous Karl Rove, who may be indicted within a month for intentionally divulging the identity of covert CIA operative, Valerie Plame.

And the walls come crumbling down…