TITLE BOUT FOR "SLEAZIEST REPUG" HEATS UP AFTER A NEW DELAY EXPOSE
I mean could anyone in public office be more of a disgrace than Ohio Congressman Bob Ney? (See June 3's "What's Keeping Ohio's Bob Ney Out Of Prison?") Well, yes, almost anyone in Ohio State government, starting with Governor Bob Taft and Secretary of State Ken Blackwell who helped wealthy GOP contributor/king-maker/sleazebag/ Thomas Noe loot the Ohio Workmen's Compensation Fund in order to pay for their own campaigns and to help rig Ohio's electoral votes in favor of BushCheney last year. And, no one can count out California congressional sleaze-meister "Duke" Cunningham who was taking pay-offs up every orifice from anyone who would give it to him-- in return for no-bid contracts to supply the military or even to buy pardons from his pal George Bush from admitted criminals. But when it comes to sleaze, the fat lady never sings until we've heard from the King of Sleaze himself, former bug-exterminator turned GOP Repug strongman, the most vicious man to ever prowl the halls of the U.S. Capitol, Tom "The Hammer" DeLay.
It would take a volume to give the particulars on all the corruption around Tom DeLay, from ripping off Indian tribes to peddling influence to Russia! But so many people fear the smarmy hoodlum that it has been extremely difficult, even with witness protection policies-- to get people to testify against him. Until yesterday. Yesterday the Dallas Morning News reported that court documents show that Topeka, Kansas' Westar Energy admitted that they "donated" $25,000 to DeLay to influence pending energy legislation. Westar executives testified that after paying off DeLay, 2 company executives attended a June 2002 golf outing with DeLay and his top aides at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va. The company was willing to pay the bribe to the shameless House Majority Leader in order to get an exemption written into the federal law that would help their company. The exemption the company sought was included in a House bill with DeLay's support, but it was later withdrawn after a grand jury began investigating how DeLay was accepting bribes from corporations to raise money to rig elections in Texas in 2002 (which is how the $25,000 bribe was spent).
Three of DeLay's top fund-raisers and 8 corporations, including Westar, were indicted in the scandal last year. Under Texas law, corporate money cannot be used for direct campaign expenses, which is exactly how DeLay used the bribe money, estimated to be in the millions of dollars. And, of course, legislative favors in exchange for political donations, DeLay's trademark, are illegal under federal law.
A DeLay flunky denied all allegations, of course, as they always do and, with a straight face, made the absurd statement that "Anyone who has worked with Majority Leader DeLay knows that his legislative efforts are based on sound public policy alone." This flies in the face of a highly partisan REPUBLICAN-led House Ethics Committee's report last year which admonished DeLay for his unethical behavior. DeLay responded by firing the Committee Chairman and replacing him with a corrupt hack and slavish ally named Doc Hastings (R-WA) who promptly closed down the committee to keep it from further investigating DeLay and his allies.