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Tag Archive: Tom DeLay

GOP Split Over Lobbying Reform:

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Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), competing for the Majority Leader post vacated by the scandal-plagued Tom DeLay (R-TX), echoed the sentiments of many in the Republican caucus when he said that Congress is good at doing two things – nothing and overreacting. According to the Washington Post, the Republican caucus is split over whether to pursue ethics reforms laid out two weeks ago by Rules Committee Chairman David Drier (R-CA). Fifty lawmakers voted against restricting former representatives from using the House gym to lobby current members, including Republicans DeLay, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA), Financial Services Committee Chairman Michael G. Oxley (R-OH), and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX). The bill was ridiculed by Democrats and Republicans alike. Drier has been forced to hold off on introducing the Republican lobbying and ethics reforms because of the belief in parts of the party that the leadership is overreacting.

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Earle Wants DeLay Trip Info:

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Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle is seeking information on a trip Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff took to London and Scotland in 2000. The Associated Press reports that “Earle wants DeLay's wife and several associates who joined him on the trip to turn over travel itineraries, expense reimbursement requests and other documents.” Newspaper reports state that the trip was funded by Abramoff’s clients e-Lottery Inc. and the Mississippi Choctaw Tribe, who funneled their money into Abramoff’s non-profit the National Center for Public Policy Research which in turn used the money to pay for the trip.

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Reality: New Majority Leader Must Keep DeLay Machine Running:

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[A]nybody who is elected is going to be expected to have exactly the same results as DeLay,” states American Enterprise Institute scholar Norm Ornstein about the new House Majority Leader. Despite all the talk about reform and the distancing of members from DeLay, the next Majority Leader is expected to deliver the same money, the same conservative legislation, and the same business-lobbyist connections, according to the St. Petersburg Times. The Times notes that most Florida GOP representatives back the front runner in the race to replace DeLay, Roy Blunt (R-MO), who has close ties to K Street and offers continuity.

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DeLay Defense Fund in the Red:

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The Houston Chronicle reports that former Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s (R-TX) defense fund is in the red, owing more money to lawyers than it took in last year. The defense fund reeled in $590,520 in 2005 but he ran up over $1 million in legal fees for the year. Support for DeLay may be dwindling on Capitol Hill considering that only 31 lawmakers contributed to his defense fund, down from 44 contributors in 2004.

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Heard on the Hill: DeLay Staff Scales Back, GOP Eyes Gym Membership:

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Rep. Tom DeLay’s staff scaled back the luxuries after the indictment and fall from grace of the former Majority Leader. The staff is holding an office party today at “Bullfeathers, a favorite House-side dive,” according to Roll Call. The less expensive Bullfeathers is no Signatures or Capitol Grille costing each person $38 each. Many former and current staffers cannot even imagine paying for their own meals. While DeLay staffers party the House GOP has scheduled a vote on banning former members from the House gym. Democrats Harry Reid (D-NV) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) do not see lobbying in the gym as a problem.  Reid: “I’ve never been lobbied in the gym. Of course, I’m pretty ugly naked. So maybe that’s why.” Pelosi claims that this proposal exhibited the “smallness and pettiness” of the GOP lobbying reform proposals.

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