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MSN Money: "Republican leadership in disarray after DeLay indictment"

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deadparrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:27 PM
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MSN Money: "Republican leadership in disarray after DeLay indictment"
Republican leadership in Congress was thrown into disarray on Wednesday after Tom DeLay, the second most powerful member of the House of Representatives, was forced to step aside to fight allegations of campaign finance irregularities. Mr DeLay, the House majority leader, is a central figure in the conservative movement, valued for his fundraising prowess, his ability to squeeze out victories on close votes, and his management of House schedules to protect his members from difficult votes. His indictment is a blow to President George W. Bush at a time when the White House is facing growing unrest in Congress. "He's the one person they can't replace," Steny Hoyer, a senior Democrat in the House, said earlier this year of Mr DeLay.The tabular content relating to this article is not available to view. Apologies in advance for the inconvenience caused. Mr DeLay, 58, was charged by a Texas grand jury with one count of criminal conspiracy for an alleged violation of the state's campaign finance laws. He could face up to two years in jail if convicted. Mr DeLay - nicknamed The Hammer for his enforcement of party discipline - said he would stand down temporarily from his leadership position, as party rules require, but showed no intention of giving up his seat in Congress. The charges come as Republican leaders face increasing difficulty in using their majority to carry out Mr Bush's legislative agenda. The president's ambitious plans to rebuild the Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina have raised strong objections from fiscal conservatives within his party. There is growing consensus that Congress will be unable to enact Social Security reform this year. And extension of his first-term tax cuts is threatened. The continued investigation of Jack Abramoff, a Republican lobbyist with close ties to Mr DeLay, and the arrest last week of David Safavian, the former head of procurement at the White House's Office of Management and Budget, in connection with a land deal involving Mr Abramoff, have also exposed Republicans to charges of impropriety. Separately, a stock sale by Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader, is being probed by the Justice department and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, said Mr Bush considered Mr DeLay "a good ally and a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people". But Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, called Mr DeLay's indictment "the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people". The grand jury had been investigating Mr DeLay's political action committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, and its conduct during the 2002 campaign for the state House of Representatives. The indictment alleges that the PAC illegally channelled corporate contributions through the Republican National Committee and back to Texas to help pay for state elections. Mr DeLay, a former pest exterminator, has already been admonished by the House ethics committee for appearing to link political donations to support for legislation. A spokesman for Mr DeLay said Wednesday's charges have "no basis in the facts or the law" and accused Ronnie Earle, the Democratic state prosecutor who brought the charges, of "misusing his office for partisan vendettas".
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:29 PM
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1. They really thought he was untouchable, didn't they? He got to arrogant
and tripped himself up.
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drb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 03:31 PM
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2. The coolest part of this whole thing.... that Tom "The Cockroach" DeLay's power was his ability to raise serious money. Who's gonna give him a dime now? Anybody who wants to spend the next 5 years testifying in front of a grand jury!
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