The New York Times reports that Tom DeLay (R-TX) had become dispirited by the ethics scandals surrounding him, particularly following the guilty plea filed by his ex-aide Tony Rudy that implicated Ed Buckham, one of DeLay’s closest aides and friends. An associate of DeLay told the Times, “Tony Rudy and especially Ed Buckham were more than just former colleagues — they are Tom DeLay’s friends.” Rep. Ray LaHood (R-TX) also stated about Rudy and Buckham, “Every story that is written will include DeLay’s name, that’s for sure.” Knight Ridder reports that DeLay’s decision is clearly related to the Rudy plea deal and the prosecution surrounding him. Kendall Coffey, a former federal prosecutor, tells KR, “Any rational person in his (DeLay’s) position would be very concerned. Whether it’s working up the ladder at Enron or a drug organization, it’s classic strategy to work up by getting plea agreements and cooperation at each level.” The Washington Post interviewed a former aide to both DeLay and Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) who stated that DeLay’s reason for putting of his resignation announcement until after the primary election was to convert campaign contributions into money for his legal defense fund. “He needed to raise money for the defense fund. That was the bottom line. He wanted to make sure he could take care of himself in the court of law.” The National Journal provides a timeline of DeLay’s troubles from 1997 to his announced resignation.