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DeLay subpoenaed

No, not for his many sleazy fundraising activities, but for his role in redistricting.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, have been subpoenaed to testify in a legal challenge by Texas Democrats to a congressional redistricting plan enacted by the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature.

The subpoenas were served Wednesday and demanded that DeLay and Barton give depositions in the case next week. But the two Texas Republicans are planning to ask a federal district court in Washington to quash the subpoenas, according to a lawyer for the Democratic plaintiffs.


DeLay was widely regarded as the driving force behind a redistricting plan that would cement the GOP’s House majority at least through this decade and increase the chances that he will eventually succeed Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., as speaker.

DeLay’s aides were seen in Austin carrying maps of congressional districts and he spent three days in the Texas capital hammering out the final form of the plan.

Barton played a less prominent role in the process but is regarded by Texas Democrats as the GOP’s “point man” on redistricting.

“Every time the process seemed to stall or the Texas legislature seemed to feel it didn’t have the stomach to do this, Joe Barton and Tom DeLay came down and twisted arms,” said J. Gerald Hebert, a lawyer for the Democrats issuing the subpoenas. “And they bragged about it. They brought the maps down and obviously played an active role in the redistricting process. We believe we are entitled to ask them about that role.”

I think that’s a fair position. They were certainly involved. We already know that DeLay overstepped bounds at least once before during this whole process, back when he got Homeland Security involved in tracking Pete Laney’s plane when the Ardmore gang had bolted, so who’s to say he didn’t get overzealous again? Let the court hear what he has to say for himself. They can always choose to believe him when he says he was just an interested bystander.

Meanwhile, Byron notes that the Illinois state legislature is preparing for the possibility of a little redistricting of its own. By the Texas GOP’s stated logic, the Illinois delegation of 10 Republicans and 9 Democrats is out of whack in a state where Democrats hold the governorship and both houses. There is one Republican Senator, but he’s not running for reelection and everyone expects the seat to revert back to the Dems in 2004. I agree with what Byron says – if the courts strike down Texas’ map, then Illinois should drop this issue, but if not, I certainly won’t condemn them for retaliating.

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  1. Tim says:

    Is it just me, or has this blog become nearly a single-issue blog, with but one purpose, and that is to disgrace and defeat Tom DeLay??

    I’ll shed no tears if he’s gone or disgraced…but I do think the daily anti-DeLay entries are getting a bit tiresome, just like all the anti-Clinton stuff some right wingers used to spew every chance they got.

  2. Um, I’m sorry if you feel that way, but if you look at the Recent Entries on the sidebar, you’ll see that two of the last ten had something to do with DeLay. I don’t think that’s excessive.

  3. Steve Bates says:

    Is it just me, …

    Yes, Tim, I’m afraid it is. Kuff offers one of the most diverse menus in the political blogosphere. If you’re reading only the DeLay entries, you’re missing a lot of really good stuff.

    And I’m sorry, but DeLay’s actions are really big news to almost all of us in Texas: no individual has wrought more transformation on our political process, with the possible exception of Karl Rove through his puppet George W. Bush. Any political blog worth its salt should post frequently about DeLay. Which reminds me, I have some catching up to do.

  4. Linkmeister says:

    “DeLay’s actions are really big news to almost all of us in Texas”

    Um, to the rest of the country as well, since he’s House Majority Leader. I don’t want “All Delay All the Time,” but I appreciate the news about his doings, since I don’t have time to read the Texas papers.

    Keep up the good work, Kuff!

  5. Tom DeLay, Joe Barton Subpoenaed

    U.S. Reps. Tom DeLay (R-Sugarland) and Joe Barton (R-Ennis) have been subpoenaed to testify in the trial over congressional redistricting in Texas. The Houston Chronicle reports: House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, and Rep. Joe Barton, R-Tex…

  6. halle says:

    Interesting note about Illinois — how much effort will Hastert expend to stop this in his own yard? And will the Illinois Dems redistrict him out of a safe seat?

  7. kevin whited says:

    Halle: I suspect Hastert will be retiring soon, hence all of the talk about DeLay as a potential Speaker.

    As for Kuff’s focus or non-focus on DeLay — what else is there to talk about? The Dems are a reactionary party these days, and Tom DeLay is advancing a decidedly conservative agenda on many fronts. What else is there for a reactionary party to talk about? 🙂

  8. Ray Brown says:

    Clearly Mr. DeLay is the tip of an iceberg which continues the Lee Atwater school of my way or you are one-of-them. Power without wisdom will corrupt, decay, rust hopfully die. It is inconceivable that a Congressperson from California, will even try to interjects themselves in to the state redistricticing.