March 31, 2006
And we now have two ex-DeLay staffers pleading guilty to felony charges.
Tony Rudy, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, will plead guilty today to one count in connection with the ongoing federal investigation of the activities of disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to law enforcement officials.
The plea from Rudy, who served as DeLay's deputy chief of staff, comes two days after Abramoff was sentenced to 70 months in prison for fraud in connection with the purchase of a casino-boat company in Miami.
The details of Rudy's plea were not yet available.
Former DeLay spokesman Michael Scanlon, who was an Abramoff business partner, has also pleaded guilty to fraud charges in that case.
DeLay has denied knowledge of his former employees' activities. DeLay attorney Richard Cullen has said that the Justice Department has not approached the lawmaker seeking information or cooperation.
I'll say this again
: There's been a lot of baying and yapping in some blogs here over the activities of former Mayor Pro Tem Carol Alvarado's staff, and how she should have known about their improper activities (as no one has yet been charged with a crime, it's premature to call anything "illegal" in this situation). If Alvarado should have known what kind of shenanigans her staff was up to, and if she should be held responsible in some way for not exerting more control over them - just so we're all clear here, I agree that she should have known and that she bears responsibility for not knowing - then shouldn't the same standard be applied to Tom DeLay and his felonious employees? For some strange reason, I've not seen nearly as much electronic ink expended on that topic. I wonder why that is.
UPDATE: More about Mike Scanlon than Tony Rudy, but let this be a lesson to every man who's ever considered dumping his fiancee for a 24-year-old waitress. Link via Wampum.
UPDATE: Turns out that this story was first reported by Jason Leopold in The Raw Story back in January. You would not know that from the WSJ piece. I have to agree with Jason and with Jeralyn that it was wrong on the WSJ's part to not acknowledge Jason's earlier work.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 31, 2006 to Scandalized!
I've called for DeLay to step down, (as I've called for Alvarado to step down) and I agree that where there's smoke there's probably fire. I don't hold to the "he's probably done nothing wrong" idea of the whole DeLay situation. With most of his aides seemingly embroiled in one legal scandal or another then yes, he should be held to the same standard as Ms. Alvarado.
But this sword cuts both ways: I haven't seen near the ire from the InterLeft regarding the Alvarado situation as I have from the DeLay situation, so I'm assuming that most bloggers want to pick and choose their topics based on their political orientation.
Same thing goes for the Neoblogservatives...much ado about Alvarado, but not much on DeLay.
I know that for me, I've quit writing about it because most everything that has to be said has been said, just like I've quit putting forth much effort on the whole Alvarado mess.
Until the courts rule (in both cases) there's not much more to say that doesn't sound like "see, I told you so"...
There's already enough of that going around the blogs as it is.
I think you wanted somebody to say that citizens who might feel inclined to discuss our leadership might personally feel more threatened by Delay than by Alvarado. Or maybe you wanted somebody to say that incompetence is less of a crime than willfully sowing discord.
"Whatever judgment is to be visited on Alvarado for her lack of oversight should be visited on DeLay as well. It's that simple."--How much justice can you afford?
I don't think that your comments are directed to me since I haven't spend a single pixel discussing Alvarado. For the record, I think DeLay and Alvarado are both unfit for public office. We should try to remove both by any legal means necessary -- resignation, conviction or the best outcome, simply voting them out.
But I notice a disconnect in your writing. You're willing to let events play out for Alvarado, but you're not willing to do that for DeLay. Why?
I don't want to hear anyone screech "Innocent until proven guilty". First of all, I'm not involved in the judicial system. I'm not constrained by that cliche. Secondly, DeLay hasn't been proven guilty of a crime, either. But I am certainly capable of making determinations of who has the abilities and character to hold public office.
You're willing to let events play out for Alvarado, but you're not willing to do that for DeLay. Why?
Mostly because of DeLay's long track record of acting to accumulate and consolidate power. What the people who worked for him have been charged with doing is consistent with the things DeLay has done all throughout his career. I believe it's a fundamental perversion of the democratic process, and in my mind that's as bad as it gets for an elected official. Alvarado doesn't have anything like that kind of record, so I'm willing to cut her a little more slack.
I should point out that while I've never called for Alvarado to resign from City Council, I've also never called for DeLay to resign from Congress. I want to see the system go through its process to determine what happened in each case. I just have less faith in DeLay's non-culpability than I do in Alvarado's.
I did of course call on DeLay to step down as Majority Leader after he was indicted. That's because the rules that the House Republicans set up for themselves when they took control of Congress said that was necessary. I objected to the effort to change those rules to accomodate him.