Look Who's Still in the GOP Leadership

We thought we had gotten rid of him. Indictments on multiple charges of money laundering, resignation as Majority Leader and then from the House altogether... there was no way for Tom DeLay to stay in the game, right? Wrong.

Not even retirement can keep former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) from the game he loves so much.

Since his resignation from the House this month, DeLay has held at least two meetings with his old friend and political ally House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).

The two met yesterday afternoon in Hastert's office, and last week DeLay attended a regular gathering of former House leaders in the Speaker's Capitol suite.

With Tom DeLay professing to live in Northern Virginia, this story begs important questions: just how much power will the Hammer continue to wield even now that he is no longer in Congress? Will Republicans -- and in particular DeLay's "old friend and political ally" Hastert -- continue to let the Hammer dictate the direction of the House?

No one is asking the DeLay-addicted Republicans to go cold turkey. But by allowing DeLay to meet with the Speaker "at least" twice in the less than three weeks since he resigned from the House, Congressional Republicans have shown that they are not yet ready to break the cycle of corruption fostered during their more or less twelve years in complete control of Capitol Hill.

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Raymond Statement on Supreme Court Redistricting Decision

The United States Supreme Court ruled that the mid-decade Texas Republican plan to redistrict congressional boundaries "rode roughshod" over the rights of Hispanics in South Texas, and it must be remedied, State Rep. Richard Raymond (D-Laredo) said today.  

The Court's ruling means Laredo will once again be unified in one congressional district and that other districts must be changed to accommodate the Court's ruling.

Raymond, who led the opposition to the plan in the Legislature, was the only state legislator who was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that challenged the redistricting plan engineered by former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

"I felt very strongly about this.  The Court proved we were right to argue that Laredo and Hispanics in Texas were unfairly targeted," Raymond said.  "This means that adjusting the districts to make them valid will affect several other districts, and that will make those districts more representative of the people of Texas."

The Court ruled specifically that splitting up Laredo and Webb County into Districts 23 and 28 was a violation of the Voting Rights Act, and that the adjoining District 25, represented by Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Austin, was also not in compliance.  The Court said that the district court must now make changes that will make the districts lawful.

"From the very beginning, common sense told us that Laredo is one community of interest, and the only reason it was split up was to give the Republicans an unfair advantage so that they could elect another Republican to Congress from Texas -- at the expense of Hispanics, Laredo and South Texas," Raymond said.

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Bye Bye Tom DeLay!

Bumped from the diaries -- Jonathan... It's good to see Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who represents Portland and much of Multnomah County in the House, reaching out to the MyDD community. You may know him from his bow-ties, his appearance on The Colbert Report or his strong disapprobation of the Republicans' actions regarding Terri Schiavo, but if you don't, suffice it to say Earl is a Democrat doing some really great things.

In listening to Tom DeLay's farewell address to the House, I was struck to hear him list three ways to leave Congress: defeat, death, and retirement. He neglected to mention the fourth avenue, which applied to him: disgrace.

Watching this "historic presentation," I looked to my far right and spied Bob Ney  (his face extremely red and discolored) sitting next to "Mean Jean" Schmidt (the woman who attacked Jack Murtha) and Deborah Pryce, the fourthranking Republican under extreme assault. I wondered. "What must be going through their minds?"

People depart public service under many circumstances, but this was, without question, the most graceless presentation I have ever witnessed. This was not a goodbye speech, it was clearly the first speech of DeLay's next career, a practice run for delivering it countless times in the months ahead to raise tens of thousands of dollars for his legal bills.

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COPE Bill Vote Comes After Tom Delay's Goodbye Speech

Tom Delay will give his goodbye speech to the House this evening.  In a sign of how things have changed, the House will then debate the COPE Act and try to give away the internet to large telecom companies and their lobbyists.

Time to call Congress.

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DeLay on His Way Out

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This week, we say goodbye to Tom DeLay.

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) will leave Congress this week with a pronounced lack of fanfare.

The former majority leader ends his almost-24-year congressional career this week when he officially resigns Friday.

Where, might you ask, are DeLay and his cronies going to celebrate the culmination of his career in the House? A French restaurant.

DeLay spokeswoman Shannon Flaherty was unhappy with any references to the restaurant as French. "This is an American restaurant (last I checked the owner came here from France some 30 years ago) that serves French cuisine," she said in an e-mail to The Associated Press.

What a fitting example of cynicism and hypocrisy that a Congressman who spent years maligning the French would end his career with a celebration at a French restaurant -- er, um -- an American restaurant that serves French cuisine.

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Diaries

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