June 12, 2006
So long, and thanks for all the lost clout

The Chronicle says good-bye to Tom DeLay.

DeLay's absence in office is already being felt. Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, said DeLay always stood ready to pursue or protect Texas' interests in Congress. Now, as Texas fights to be reimbursed for its costs in feeding, housing and educating hurricane evacuees, it lacks a powerful champion in Washington.


During DeLay's days as a backbencher, Congress failed to renew the federal income tax exemption for state sales taxes, placing Texans who itemize at a disadvantage against Americans who pay a fully deductible state income tax. Had DeLay remained in the leadership, the result might have been different.

In seeking to gain power for himself and his party, DeLay stretched the rules beyond the prescribed limits. Texas law says corporate funds may not be used to affect the outcome of elections, but DeLay asserted that in most circumstances they may. He felt no guilt at charging special interests for the opportunity to play golf with him while important legislation was pending on the House floor. He denied the existence of three reprimands from the House ethics committee.

Had he been more conservative in interpreting the rules governing his conduct, DeLay probably would have wielded as much influence without endangering his political career. As it is, DeLay's loss of power deprives this region of an important political asset.

Let's not forget that even if he'd stayed in Congress, Tom DeLay had already deprived the Houston region and the state of Texas of a considerable amount of power. Thanks to DeLay, we lost the following:

Max Sandlin, eight years of seniority.
Nick Lampson, eight years of seniority.
Jim Turner, eight years of seniority.
Charlie Stenholm, 26 years of seniority.
Martin Frost, 26 years of seniority.
Ciro Rodriguez, eight years of seniority.
Chris Bell, two years of seniority.

That's 86 years of seniority flushed away by DeLay's mid-decade redistricting scheme. If Chet Edwards gets knocked off this time around, that'll be another 16 years tossed aside. As always, Tom, thanks for nothing.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 12, 2006 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

BUT if Nick wins in the 22nd, I understand that his previous seniority will be reinstated.

Posted by: godmother on June 12, 2006 11:04 AM

Nice tally - I hadn't really thought about the DeLay costing TX 86 years of seniority.

Posted by: Ellen on June 12, 2006 4:14 PM

Yes, but all that hard work got his ass kicked out of the state. It will will be a hard road back with the worm shaped districts he created.

Posted by: Fred Villarreal on June 12, 2006 5:32 PM