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

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
Instagram

Republicans should disown DeLay

Tom Delay has been re-indicted by a Travis County grand jury on charges of money laundering. DeLay again attempted to intimidate District Attorney Ronnie Earl by saying that Earl wants a “do-over” for mistakes he made during the first indictment. When the charges first surfaced, DeLay blasted Earl by saying the charges were “manufactured and illegitimate.” He was right, but only because the law that DeLay violated was not put into effect until a little over a year later.

DeLay is no stranger to scandal; in 2001, he led the effort for the redistricting of Texas’ congressional districts, basically guaranteeing the outing of Martin Frost from Congress and increasing the Republican majority in the process. I can remember Joe Scarborough, a noted right-wing political analyst and former Republican congressman, saying that the redistricting of Texas was not a sign of a healthy democracy. This is one of only a handful of times I can remember a Republican ever criticizing anything in the party’s agenda.

The scandals involving DeLay do not stop there. House ethics rules prevent members of Congress using money from lobbyists to travel to foreign countries. Delay has taken three such trips, one to Russia, one to South Korea, and one to England.

DeLay has also caught heat for the company he keeps. Jack Abramoff is a close friend and ally of DeLay. Abramoff stands accused of bilking Native American tribes out of tens of millions of dollars while he was a lobbyist for them in Washington, D.C. Abramoff is currently under investigation by John McCain, as well as the Department of Justice.

Delay was also under investigation by the Congressional Ethics Committee for three separate charges of unethical behavior. First, there was the apparent bribe DeLay offered to fellow republican Nick Smith for Smith’s support on a Medicare bill. Then, there was the charge that DeLay had solicited money from Westar Energy at the same time that the house was considering a bill that would have a major effect on the company. Finally, there was his use of the Federal Aviation Administration to track down members of the Texas Congress who had left the state to boycott the redistricting of the Texas congressional districts.

How did DeLay avoid these allegations? By pushing bills through Congress that limited the power of the ethics committee, basically removing a major check in the checks and balances system written into our government to be sure that corrupt politicians like DeLay do not end up the speaker of the house in Washington, D.C.

What is most disturbing about all of the DeLay scandals is how close Republicans have stood by their man. After his indictment on conspiracy charges, DeLay was forced to resign from his post as speaker of the house while he fought the charges. He was, however, allowed to stay on board as a trusted advisor.

Tom DeLay is corrupt. Allegation after allegation, DeLay has found ways to cheat the system and transform American politics into his own personal view of how democracy should work. So why is DeLay still in Washington making important decisions on national policy? Republicans need to stop their cowardly ways and rid our government of this disgrace to the American system.

Jessen Wabeke is a senior advertising major. He may be contacted at [email protected].

More to Discover