Tuesday, November 16, 2004

What a difference DeLay makes! 

And what goes around, comes around. Heh.

House Republicans were contemplating changing their rules in order to allow members indicted by state prosecutors to remain in a leadership post...

That's our "moral values" party at work, showing every ounce of the class we know and love them for!

....a move designed to benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, GOP leaders said today.

A purely hypothetical and extremely remote possibility, bien sur, since all of DéLay's dealings have been highly legitimate.

Republicans tonight were considering several proposed changes to the 1993 rules. One of them, proposed by Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-Tex.), would apply only to leaders indicted by a state prosecutor or grand jury. A party leader indicted by a federal court would have to step down at least temporarily. The GOP conference, however, could waive that restriction at any time. Bonilla's proposal will be among several rules changes that House Republicans will vote on in a closed meeting Wednesday.

"Congressman Bonilla's rule change is designed to prevent political manipulation of the process while preserving the original ethical principles of the rule," said Bonilla spokeswoman Taryn Fritz Walpole.

Wow. I really have to pause to savor that one. "Preserving the ethical principles of the rule." [cough]

Asked whether he supported the change, Hastert told reporters, "that's going to be the will of the conference and we'll see what happens."

Too bad. After Bush decided the Cheney heart attack thing wouldnn't fly (yet), Hastert's still stuck in the House—and we know what kind of a "house" it is, don't we—and doesn't get to be Vice President! Chorus: Awwww!

A Texas grand jury in September indicted three of DeLay's political associates on charges of using a political action committee to illegally collect corporate donations and funnel them to Texas legislative races.

The Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee, known as TRMPAC, is closely associated with DeLay. DeLay has said he has not acted improperly and has no reason to believe he is a target of the grand jury, which continues to look into the matter.

The House ethics committee on Oct. 6 admonished DeLay for asking federal aviation officials to track an airplane involved in the highly contentious 2003 redistricting battle, and for conduct that suggested political donations might influence legislative action. The ethics panel deferred action on a complaint related to TRMPAC, noting that the grand jury has not finished its work.

The Texas investigation is headed by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, a Democrat who has been bitterly criticized by DeLay supporters. Cantor today called Earle's efforts "a witch hunt."

House Republicans in 1993 -- trying to underscore the ethics problems of Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.), then-chairman of the Ways and Means Committee -- adopted the rule that requires a party leader to surrender his or her post
(via WaPo)

But now the jackboot's on the other foot, isn't it?

Oh my. Let's not talk about the facts of the case. Let's froth and stamp and change the rules.

Typical Republicans. Sad, sad, sad.

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