I felt like taking the rest of the day off Sunday, so here's some collected reading on all things DeLay-ish for you to scan through as you start your week.
Cris Feldman, the winning attorney in the TRMPAC lawsuit, writes about the peril DeLay still faces in Austin.
Here are the known facts. On Sept. 10, 2002, DeLay's co-defendant, John Colyandro, sent a blank check overnight to co-defendant Jim Ellis. On Sept. 13, 2002, Ellis handed over the check in question to the RNC. According to the indictment, Ellis filled in the check for $190,000 and provided the RNC with a list of seven candidates for the Texas House, along with designated sums of cash. On Sept. 20 the $190,000 was deposited by the RNC in a corporate cash account. On the morning of Oct. 2, Ellis met with DeLay at DeLay's Capitol office. That same day the RNC generated seven internal memos requesting seven different checks to the TRMPAC candidates. On Oct. 4 seven checks totaling $190,000 were cut from a noncorporate account containing millions of dollars. The check numbers were in sequential order, 7470 through 7476.
DeLay argues that the RNC sent money to state legislature candidates across the country. Yet the seven Texas TRMPAC candidates received checks ranging from $20,000 to $40,000, whereas the next-largest RNC contribution to a candidate for a seat in a state house of representatives was $2,000. DeLay has also said that the $190,000 was "left over" money that TRMPAC did not need. But numerous documents indicate otherwise. For example, on Oct. 20, 2002, Warren Robold, TRMPAC's now-indicted fund raiser, solicited a donor by stating, "We still need $125,000 of corporate funds to finish the project and pay our obligations."
DeLay's attacks on the prosecutor have been consistent, even as explanations of his own conduct have proved inconsistent. DeLay has said at different times that he knew about the $190,000 beforehand; that he heard about it after the fact; and that he did indeed discuss it with Ellis on Oct. 2, 2002.
Former DeLay Communications Directory John Feehery explains how DeLay was "betrayed" by his felonious underlings.
The overwhelming majority of DeLay's staffers were professional, honest and working in Congress for the right reasons. But Tom prized the most aggressive staffers and most often heeded their counsel. As it turned out, three of them went over the line, abused the trust of House members and seemingly broke the law. A former hockey player, Tony Rudy was DeLay's enforcer; he wasn't evil, but lacked maturity and would do whatever necessary to protect his patron. Ed Buckham, DeLay's chief of staff, gatekeeper and minister, constantly pushed DeLay to be more radical in his tactics and spun webs of intrigue we are only now beginning to unravel. And Michael Scanlon, who, in my experience, was a first-class rogue and a master of deception.
People like Rudy and Scanlon pleased DeLay because they were always pushing the envelope; only now that the scandal surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff is playing out and both are cooperating witnesses for the prosecution are we beginning to learn how far they went. I don't know if Tom always knew what his staff was doing -- I know that I didn't. But I had my suspicions, and now I have seen them borne out.
Former Democratic Chairman of Dallas County Ken Mohlberg addresses an under-explored issue in DeLay's departure.
Those who become mad with power become madmen, period. And they bring their sycophants along with them in their madness. There’s always an angle to what they do - even if it’s just the extraction of revenge - whether or not the motive or end is rational or legitimate. So, instead of stepping down immediately, DeLay has decided to hang on for awhile (until June, perhaps) in an attempt to manipulate the congressional-selection process. He says he’s withdrawing from the general election and will "move" to Virginia so that he becomes "ineligible" under the Texas Election Code. Through this charade DeLay and his backroom confederates hope to engineer the selection of a replacement nominee of their choice through a small district executive committee of the Republican Party. Contrary to the assumptions of the press and others, there are some of us who believe a replacement for DeLay cannot be lawfully selected, given the facts that now exist, and that DeLay is betting a friendly Republican judiciary will come to the Party’s aid should the legal arrows start to fly.
Greg in TX22 says that someone is doing a poll about special elections, and points to this Galveston Daily News editorial that lays out the case for a special election before November. Meanwhile, Bob Dunn explains "How To Replace Your Hammer With A New Tool".
For those of you who were worried about the lady that got shoved by one of DeLay's toadies in the "protest" incident from last week, fear not for her. Juanita tells us she's just fine.
Finally, former Harris County Republican Party Chair Gary Polland gives six reasons why the new conventional wisdom that CD22 is once again a safe Republican seat is misguided.
1. Nick Lampson has $2.5 million in the bank, his GOP opponent zero and the traditional GOP donors are tapped out by Tom's aggressive fundraising.
2. The 22nd District ORVS(Optimal Republican Voting Strength) is only 56%, down from previous years because DeLay gave up GOP voters to help other Republicans.
3. The past strong GOP straight ticket pull is weakened by the four possible candidates for Governor. The GOP's candidate Rick Perry should win, but probably won't get over 50% in this district.
4. The conservative base is upset about immigration, runaway federal spending, prescription drugs, inaction on gay marriage, etc. and when the base is angry, they stay home. The Democrats nationally are motivated and think they can take back the House, boosting turnout.
5. President Bush's popularity continues to plummet, what effect will that have on turnout and swing voters?
6. The nomination process may not involve the critical consideration of nominating the most electable candidate. If the GOP nominates an unknown, without proven ability to raise money, we could be paving the way for defeat in November.