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Tom DeLay: A Bully Takes a Coward’s Exit
Assessing DeLay's Damage to Texas Congressional Clout
Congressional Redistricting and DeLay's Ethics Problems Cost Texas Clout
While the media and politicians typically focus on the partisan battles that take place in Congress, many important decisions, particularly the appropriation of funds, are settled on a regional basis where seniority and key committee leadership play an important role. While Tom DeLay delivered a valuable political gift to national Republicans with Texas redistricting, he placed a burden on Texas citizens fighting for their fair share of federal resources. In the process, he lost his own leadership position, put his political career at risk, and squandered his ability to assist his home state. DeLay’s most repeated quote, “I’m the Majority Leader, and I want more seats” (Source: Washington Post, 1/19/2003) now has an ironic twist. Republicans do indeed have more seats, but DeLay is no longer the Leader and Texas voters no longer benefit from a powerful House delegation in Congress.
“It's just so contrary to what Texas is all about, to turn tail and run and not fight for what you believe in.”-Tom DeLay, (El Paso Times, May 14, 2003) in a now ironic comment criticizing Texas House members who broke quorum to block his redistricting scheme.
Tom DeLay will apparently leave Congress in the same shameful way he exercised power, acting like a bully who is above the law and a coward who wants to rig one last election. DeLay will leave the State of Texas bitterly divided along partisan lines, led by corrupt leaders like House Speaker Tom Craddick and Governor Rick Perry. From Sam Rayburn to George W. Bush, Texans crossed party lines to do what was best for our state and its people. First in Washington and then in Austin, Tom DeLay destroyed traditional bipartisanship and now leaves Texas in worse shape than he found it. As a result of DeLay’s corrupt redistricting scheme and the ethics scandal that surrounds him, Texas lost almost 100 years of seniority and high leadership positions in both parties. Now, rather than face the judgment of the voters in a race against an accomplished and ethical opponent, Tom DeLay has decided to “turn tail and run.”
Replacing a resigning Member of Congress is not a straightforward task. Read the Full Lone Star Project release.