The prostitution of democracy
DeLay Undone by Effort to Consolidate GOP Power
During a 22-year career in the U.S. House, Tom DeLay helped build up the Republican Party's power — and, by extension, his own — through a combination of shrewd strategy and hardball tactics that earned him the nickname "The Hammer" and elevated him to the chamber's second-highest post.
DeLay was defiant Wednesday after a jury convicted him in what prosecutors alleged was a scheme to send more Republicans to Congress by funneling illegal corporate money to Texas legislative candidates in 2002.
Outside the courtroom, he complained about an "abuse of power" and "miscarriage of justice" from the jury in Austin, the most Democratic city in one of the most Republican states.
"I still maintain that I am innocent. The criminalization of politics undermines our very system...."
DeLay and his attorneys maintained the former congressman did nothing wrong as no corporate funds went to Texas candidates, the money swap was legal and prosecutors had failed to prove he had committed any crime as their case relied mostly on circumstantial evidence.
As he consoled his daughter Danielle after the verdict was read in the courtroom, DeLay whispered in her ear that he couldn't get a fair trial in Austin.
DeLay had contended the charges against him were a political vendetta....
Prosecutors said DeLay conspired with two associates, John Colyandro and Jim Ellis, to use his Texas-based political action committee to send $190,000 in corporate money to an arm of the Washington-based Republican National Committee. The RNC then sent the same amount to seven Texas statehouse candidates. Under Texas law, corporate money can't go directly to political campaigns.
Of course, that will change. The Supremes appointed by the Bushies have made sure that democracy in America is based on the one dollar, one vote premise, now that it has allowed corporations open slather on political spending.
Labels: US politics