The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Curtains for DeLay

Ed Board says goodbye to Texas’ notorious congressman

Before Tom DeLay became synonymous with money laundering and ethics charges, he was known as an expert vote counter in the House of Representatives. Those skills came in handy one last time when he decided to resign his seat late Monday night.

DeLay knew he was becoming a liability to House Republicans and could possibly lead to them losing control of the chamber this November.

His decision does have serious ramifications that will play out over the next few months.

It will be interesting to see who decides to run the special election that is now necessary to fill the remainder of DeLay’s term. However, a majority rather than a plurality is needed to win a special election — so it’s pretty likely a Republican candidate will wind up finishing DeLay’s current term.

Democratic challenger Nick Lampson seems to be the biggest loser in this — besides DeLay himself. Lampson was a formidable challenger to DeLay, but now he seems destined to lose the special and general elections. Polling done by media outlets and by the two campaigns showed a close race, which is thought to have been another reason for DeLay’s departure.

That said, Lampson still has a $2 million war chest, and if dissatisfaction with Republicans nationwide trickles down to the 22nd district, he has a shot.

DeLay’s pullout from the race speaks volumes about the legal troubles he his in.

His fate got worse last week when his former deputy chief of staff, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Rudy also agreed to cooperate with authorities in related cases. Sentencing to six years in prison of super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff — a known DeLay friend — did not help matters either.

Those developments did not bode well for the congressman, despite the fact that DeLay still maintains his innocence.

The fun isn’t over yet for DeLay either. He and several of his cohorts still face trial in Austin on charges related to corporate fund raising through DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority.

DeLay’s actions represent the worse of our system of government. Elected leaders are supposed to be trusted to do good for the public — not scheme and profit their way through Congress.

His resignation Monday was the only good thing he has done recently, and that says how sorry a person Tom DeLay is.

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