Tag Archives: Tom DeLay

Tom DeLay: ‘God Created This Nation And God Created The Constitution’

Keep in mind that the tagline for The Fifth Column is “sorting out the crazies”.  This is as crazy as it gets from a major former politician.  My pick for the winner of the current crop of crazy politicians is Michele Bachmann.

Right Wing Watch

During a service last weekend, John Hagee spent a half hour interviewing former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay during which DeLay revealed that God has commissioned him to write a book and promised him that he’ll play a role in the coming spiritual revival.

Hagee praised DeLay for being victorious over the Devil by beating the corruption charges that ended his political career, while DeLay asserted that God was the author of the United States Constitution.

“Jesus died for our freedom,” DeLay said. “And Jesus destroyed Satan so that we could be free and that is manifested in what is called the Constitution of the United States. God created this nation and God created the Constitution; it is written on biblical principles.”

DeLay went on to recount a recent experience he had in which he spent four hours “on a conference call with the Lord” during which God told DeLay that he is to write a book called “Shut It Down” about the need for Constitutional revival. On top of that, God also told DeLay that He has heard the voice of His people and that “my awakening is beginning,” in which DeLay will play a role:

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Rick Perry Veto To Be Reviewed By Special Prosecutor, Judge Says

I know Democrats have issues too, like yet another Anthony Weiner sex scandal.   Also, that Mayor in San Diego, Bob Filner has some serious political problems resulting from sexual harrassment toward many women,  the latest being his inappropriate behavior toward a great-grandmother.  

They don’t go unnoticed on this blog, it’s just that their stories are more personal than political.  Yes, they’re political figures but in my opinion, their stories are not as news worthy.

Now, on the other hand, the GOP 2016 hopefuls and others seem to be getting into political trouble.  Enter…Texas Governor Rick Perry:

The Huffington Post

A Texas judge said Thursday he plans to have a special prosecutor review allegations that Gov. Rick Perry abused the powers of his office and broke the law over a veto that cut funding for state public corruption investigators.

Judge Robert Richardson said he expects to select someone in the coming days to look at a two-page complaint filed by a watchdog group, Texans for Public Justice. The special prosecutor could quickly deem the complaint meritless or decide it warrants further investigation.

Perry’s office denies wrongdoing.

The complaint stems from the April drunken-driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office houses the Public Integrity Unit that is the state’s criminal ethics arm. Its high-profile cases include the 2010 prosecution of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and an ongoing investigation into the state’s $3 billion cancer research agency.

Lehmberg pleaded guilty after her arrest and served half of a 45-day jail sentence. But she refused calls from Republicans to resign, including from Perry, who publicly said he would eliminate $3.7 million in annual state funding if she did not step down.

Lehmberg stayed in office, and Perry vetoed the money in June.

In a two-page complaint filed shortly after Perry’s veto, the head of Texans for Public Justice accused Perry of possibly violating laws regarding coercion of a public servant, bribery, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

“Governor Perry violated the Texas Penal Code by communicating offers and threats under which he would exercise his official discretion to veto the appropriation,” wrote Craig McDonald, the group’s executive director, in the June 26 complaint.

Perry spokesman Josh Havens said Thursday he was not aware of any contact from investigators concerning the veto.

Havens said Perry “exercised his constitutional veto authority through line item vetoes in the budget” as he does each session. He went on to point to Perry’s statement following the veto of the prosecution unit dollars.

“Despite the otherwise good work the Public Integrity Unit’s employees, I cannot in good conscience support continued state funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence,” Perry said.

The appointment of a special prosecutor is less reflective of the allegations’ possible merits than the unique circumstances of the complaint.

The complaint from the Austin-based watchdog group was originally filed with Lehmberg’s office, where investigators would normally review the complaint and determine whether it was worth pursuing. But Lehmberg recused herself and the complaint eventually trickled to Richardson, a former state district judge, who is now finding his own prosecutor to review the complaint.

Following Perry’s v eto, Travis County commissioners originally voted to send layoff notices to nearly three dozen staff members in the public corruption office. They have since approved a reduced budget for the unit that trims the staff cuts to 10.

As part of the reduced budget, the unit will also drop at least 54 of its more than 400 active cases.

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Conservative Group With Abramoff Scandal Ties Picks Up Voter ID Issue Where ALEC Left Off

One has to wonder, why the GOP think that they will truly suppress tens of thousands of voters without a valid ID from casting their ballots on election day.  If their strategy was to make sure those tens of thousands don’t vote, activists and civil rights advocates are making an effort to help voters with the process of obtaining an ID before election day.

In the meantime, some of us sit and watch this attack on democracy try to take hold, but I am certain those leading the effort to retain our democratic principles will eventually rule the day.  I intend to do my part.

TPM Muckraker

Shortly after the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) announced it was dropping voter identification laws from its agenda, another conservative group is stepping in to fill the void.

The National Center for Public Policy Research announced this week it had formed a “Voter Identification Task Force” to continue ALEC’s “excellent work” in “promoting measures to enhance integrity in voting.” Describing itself as a “conservative, free-market, non-profit think-tank,” the group was established in 1982.

“The fact that ALEC is no longer going to be offering the services it did got us interested in doing something,” National Center for Public Policy Research executive director David Almasi told TPM. “We obviously can’t do everything ALEC did, but we can do something to make sure the issue doesn’t go away.”

“This is something that we picked up because someone else dropped it and not because anyone has come to us and said here’s a check, do it. It’s something that we feel strongly enough about that we’re willing to do it off our regular strategic plan,” Almasi said.

“We’re putting the left on notice: you take out a conservative program operating in one area, we’ll kick it up a notch somewhere else,” Amy Ridenour, chairman of the National Center for Public Policy Research, said in a statement. “You will not win. We outnumber you and we outthink you, and when you kick up a fuss you inspire us to victory.”

Corporate CEOs who “cower in the face of liberal boycott threats need to understand that the left never gives up,” Ridenour said. “If these corporations do not reverse course and immediately grow enough of a backbone to say no when the left tells them what to do, conservatives may as well consider them part of the organized left. It doesn’t matter if corporate executives have free-market sentiments hidden deep inside them if they continually surrender to the left’s Trotskyite strategy of making relentless demand after demand in public.”

While several conservative organizations have taken up the issue of voter identification, no national group that considered voter ID their central issue has existed since the American Center for Voting Rights disappeared back in 2007. More recently, the Tea Party group True the Vote has held a national conference to address the issue and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has produced a number of “undercover” videos in an attempt to show why they believe voter ID laws are necessary.

The NCPPR got a bit tangled up in the Jack Abramoff scandal a few years back. The Center for Media and Democracy points out that a Senate investigation found that Ridenour directed money received by the NCPPR at Abramoff’s direction. The group reportedly covered the cost of several of former Rep. Tom Delay’s overseas junkets. Nobody from the group faced charges.

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The Koch Brothers & The Tea Party

Dylan Ratigan Makes It Official: Mark Ames & Yasha Levine Broke The Koch Brothers’ Takeover Of America

You should know this:

  • From the time they founded the Tea Party in 2009 to today, their wealth shot up from 28 billion to 44 billion, nearly 60 percent;
  • They led the campaign against health care;
  • The Kochs spend more fighting climate change than anyone or any company in the world;
  • The Kochs bankrolled Scott Walker;
  • The Kochs wrote Bush’s environmental policies;
  • Cato wrote the Republican Congress’s 1995 legislative agenda, acting as the think-tank for Tom DeLay and Dick Armey.
  • The Kochs control up to 35,000 miles of pipelines in the US and Canada, enough to circle the globe 1-1/2 times.

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The Week In One-Liners

 

Politico

The week’s top 10 quotes in politics: 

“We didn’t elect Superman, we elected a human being.” – Colin Powell, on President Barack Obama. 

“I’m trying to stay out of prison, obviously.” – Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, on his current goals. 

“Am I looking at the right camera?” – White House advisor David Axelrod, mocking Michele Bachmann’s confusing Tea Party Express interview, during his own TV interview. 

“In spite of the fact that I’m now on TV, I don’t want to be on TV.” – Former President George W. Bush, telling C-SPAN how low-key he’d prefer his life to be. 

“Granny is safe.” – President Obama, defending his health care bill from the “death panel” charges. 

“I can’t spell at all. … In fact, you don’t have to know how to spell anymore” – Vice President Joe Biden, revealing one of the perks of power. 

“It’s a tricky job. I’m sure I wouldn’t be any good at it.” – Incoming White House press secretary Jay Carney, assessing the job in a 2006 interview on C-SPAN. 

“I’m Italian. We don’t have problems with olives.” – Rep. David Cicilline, dinging Rep. Dennis Kucinich in an interview with ABC News. 

Promiscuous.” – Former President Bill Clinton, describing political advisor David Gergen’s political switch-hitting, while in Davos, Switzerland. 

“Back off.” - Sen. Harry Reid, issuing a warning to the White House on its efforts to rein in congressional earmarks.

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Politico’s “The Week In One Liners” 1-14-11

Politico

“An attempt on you could bring the republic down.” – Fox News’s Glenn Beck, encouraging Sarah Palin in a letter to “look into protection for your family.” 

“Keep your mouth shut.” – Commentator Bernie Goldberg, knocking Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik for his remarks in the wake of the Tucson shootings. 

“I wouldn’t have done it.” – Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, on Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map. 

“This Jared guy’s chalkboard in his basement, I’m not sure it wouldn’t look that different than Glenn Beck’s chalkboard.” – HBO’s Bill Maher, discussing the Tucson shooter. 

“Oh, you guys are nothing if not entertaining over there. It’s like living next door to The Simpsons, you know, the dysfunctional family down the block. Watching you guys, I mean I shouldn’t make too light of it, I think this is really a bad situation.” – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, comparing neighboring Illinois to “The Simpsons.” 

“Tone it down.” – Fox News Channel President Roger Ailes, requesting that his on-air employees take down the rhetoric a notch in the wake of the Tucson shooting. 

“Whack-job nut maggot.” – Mike Huckabee, describing accused Tucson shooter Jared Loughner. 

“I can’t be remorseful for something I think I didn’t do.” – Former Rep. Tom DeLay, defending himself despite being sentenced to three years in prison. 

“Oh, so he’s into love-making. He’ll make great love to you then tell you what’s wrong with you. That’s called ‘seducing and reducing.’” – “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger, offering analysis after some of Julian Assange’s earlier online profiles were read to her (she didn’t know it was Assange at the time). 

“Still taking bites of the bacon, chewing and talking, VPOTUS chatted up the Delaware troops, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.” – A pool report, describing a scene from Vice President Joe Biden’s trip to Afghanistan.

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Meet the New Guys (2011…Same As The Old Guys…1995)

A few nights ago, Rachel Maddow’s substitute host, Chris Hayes of  The Nation gave us a rundown on the new GOP majority back in 1994.

You don’t want to miss this report, I promise you.  Compare and contrast.

Washington Monthly

[...]

The new Republican House operation is starting to look an awful lot like the old Republican House operation. DeLay’s aides will help run the show; corporate lobbyists have been brought on to shape policy; and the K Street project that Boehner swore to leave in the past is looking reconstituted.

Given the spectacular failures of the last Republican majority, getting the old gang back together isn’t exactly encouraging.

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Top Ten Poliical Scandals of 2010

Bltwy – MSNBC

1.  John Edwards Admits Paternity, While Mistress Does Weird Photo Shoot - The former senator finally admitted that he fathered Rielle more

2.  The BP oil spill has been repeatedly called the biggest environmental disaster in American history. Leaving wildlife and the Gulf coast economy devastated, BP’s CEO only made matters worse when he said “I’d like my life back” and the proceeded to hop aboard his yacht as dead birds and economic strife filled the Gulf.

3.  New York Rep. Charlie Rangel spiced up his ethics trial by walking out, declaring he was too broke to pay for representation and throwing himself a lavish birthday party during the proceedings. The strategy didn’t go over so well as he was found guilty of 11 ethics violations, more

4.  It was a rough year for the Gore family. Not long after the former vice president separated from his wife, a masseuse accused Gore of behaving like a crazed sex poodle and fondling her inappropriately. Police eventually ruled that there wasn’t any real evidence and analysts suggested it was an empty National Enquirer fueled storyline, but the accusations left an undeniable stain.

5.  General Stanley McChrystal, the architect of the surge in Afghanistan, is likely still furious at himself for agreeing to a profile by a Rolling Stone reporter. Amid light-hearted details like McChrystal’s love of BudLight Lime, the story more

6.  One of the most powerful Republicans in the country faces the possibility of life behind bars. In November, former U.S. House Majority Leader –- and Dancing with the Stars participant — Tom DeLay was convicted of illegally funneling corporate money to Texas candidates. more

7.  Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, left a voicemail for Anita Hill, asking for an apology in October. Anita Hill, you might remember, accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991 (when this photograph was taken). The timing of Mrs. more

8.  Oops, I didn’t realize she wasn’t here legally? It’s an awkward revelation for any candidate, but particularly one with a strong anti-undocumented immigrant platform such as former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. Making matters even worse, more

9.  Shirley Sherrod got accused of racism from all sides – the NAACP, conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart and the Obama administration — and was forced out of her job at the Department of Agriculture before anyone knew what she’d actually said. more

10. It’s too soon to assess the full extent of WikiLeaks impact on the world. Regardless of whether you think Julian Assange is a terrorist or a hero, however, there’s no denying that he’s a scandal-maker. His organization’s release of thousands of confidential diplomatic cables more

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Tom DeLay Guilty of Money Laudering

Tom Delay

Image via Wikipedia

The “Hammer” has been hammered by a jury of his peers in Austin, Texas…

Huffington Post

Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay – once one of the most powerful and feared Republicans in Congress – was convicted Wednesday on charges he illegally funneled corporate money to Texas candidates in 2002.

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before returning guilty verdicts against DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

Prosecutors said DeLay, who once held the No. 2 job in the House of Representatives and whose heavy-handed style earned him the nickname “the Hammer,” used his political action committee to illegally channel $190,000 in corporate donations into 2002 Texas legislative races through a money swap.

DeLay and his attorneys maintained the former Houston-area congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to Texas candidates and the money swap was legal.

The verdict came after a three-week trial in which prosecutors presented more than 30 witnesses and volumes of e-mails and other documents. DeLay’s attorneys presented five witnesses.

Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based PAC to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee, or RNC. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas House candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can’t go directly to political campaigns.

Prosecutors claim the money helped Republicans take control of the Texas House. That enabled the GOP majority to push through a Delay-engineered congressional redistricting plan that sent more Texas Republicans to Congress in 2004 – and strengthened DeLay’s political power.

DeLay’s attorneys argued the money swap resulted in the seven candidates getting donations from individuals, which they could legally use in Texas.

They also said DeLay only lent his name to the PAC and had little involvement in how it was run. Prosecutors, who presented mostly circumstantial evidence, didn’t prove he committed a crime, they said.

Continue reading here…

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DeLay Will Not Face Federal Charges

After a six-year criminal investigation…

TPM

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will not face federal charges related to his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, Politico reported.

The Justice Department notified DeLay’s lead attorney, McGuireWoods Chairman Richard Cullen, about the decision last week, the lawyer said.

“The federal investigation of Tom DeLay is over and there will be no charges,” Cullen told Politico. “This is the so-called Abramoff investigation run by the Public Integrity section of DOJ. There have been a series of convictions and guilty pleas since 2005.”

Cullen said that DeLay “voluntarily produced to the prosecutors over 1,000 emails and documents from the DeLay office dating back to 1997. Several members of Congress objected to producing official government records under Speech or Debate Clause concerns,” Cullen said.

“DeLay took the opposite position, ordering all his staff to answer all questions. He turned over more than 1,000 documents, and several of his aides gave interviews and grand jury testimony.”

Reached by TPMMuckraker, Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to comment.

A separate state probe in Texas into an alleged scheme to funnel corporate money in the 2002 campaign remains open, Cullen said. DeLay and two other men are allegedly raised $190,000 in corporate money in Texas through a fundraising committee and sent it the Republican National Committee, which then gave the money to candidates in Texas, a state which bans corporate donations.

DeLay would like to see that case go to trial, his lawyer Dick DeGuerin told TPMMuckraker in April.

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