From Baylor University to US Congressional District 22 – Tom Delay’s Dubious History

(Links to references for each entry are included at the end of the article.)

Tom Delay was asked to leave Baylor University for drinking and vandalism. (1)

As a state legislator, he gained a reputation as a playboy, earning the nickname “Hot Tub Tom”. He called his condo “Macho Manor”. (1)

DeLay faced tax liens three times by the IRS for not paying payroll and income taxes, and paid settlements to two different associates who claimed they were cheated by him. (1)

DeLay was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1978. He struggled with alcoholism during his service there. By his own admission, he was drinking “eight, ten, twelve martinis a night at receptions and fundraisers.” (1)

When asked about a New Yorker Magazine profile which said he is estranged from much of his family, including his widowed mother and a brother, he said, “I’d rather not talk about that.” (1), (2)

According to The Washington Post, DeLay was close to his brother, Randy, a Houston lobbyist, until 1996, when a complaint to the House Ethics Committee prompted Tom DeLay to cut his brother off in order to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. (1)

DeLay criticizes the National Endowment for the Arts and the Environmental Protection Agency. DeLay said, “It’s the arrogance of man to think that man can change the climate of the world. Only nature can change the climate.” (1), (3)

DeLay said that he had tried to enlist during the Vietnam War, but was told that “so many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself.” (4)

A group of Russian oil executives gave money to a non-profit advocacy group linked to DeLay and to lobbyist Jack Abramoff in an attempt to influence his vote on a 1998 International Monetary Fund bailout of the Russian economy. (5)

Associates of DeLay advisor Ed Buckham, the founder of the U.S. Family Network, said that executives from the oil firm Naftasib offered a donation of $1,000,000 cash to be delivered to a Washington, D.C.-area airport in order to secure DeLay’s support. On June 25, 1998, the U.S. Family Network received a $1 million check via money transferred through the London law firm James & Sarch Co. This payment was the largest single entry on U.S. Family Network’s donor list. (6)

In 1994, Robert Blankenship, charged that DeLay and a third partner in Albo Pest Control had breached the partnership agreement by trying to force him out of the business, charging Delay and the other partner with breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, wrongful termination, loss of corporate expectancy, and injunctive relief. While being deposed in that suit, DeLay claimed that he was not an officer or director of Albo and believed he had resigned two or three years ago. Yet his own congressional disclosure forms, including one filed after the deposition, state that he was either president or chairman of the company between 1985 and 1994. The plaintiff also alleged that Albo money had been spent on DeLay’s congressional campaigns, in violation of federal and state law. DeLay and Blankenship settled for an undisclosed sum, and Blankenship’s attorney told Bardach that if he known about the congressional disclosure forms, he would have referred the case to the Harris County district attorney’s office for a perjury prosecution. (7)

DeLay’s latest voting record ratings: The Humane Society of the United States 0%; Public Citizen’s Congress Watch 0%; Leadership Conference on Civil Rights 0%; Human Rights Campaign 0%; National Parent Teacher Association 0%; National Education Association 25%; American Wilderness Coalition 0%; Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund 0%; Sierra Club 0%; League of Conservation Voters 0%: Children’s Defense Fund 0%; Citizens for Global Solutions, D+; Center for International Policy 0%; American Association of University Women 0%; Federally Employed Women 0%; U.S. Public Interest Research Group (government reform) 0%; American Public Health Association 12%; National Breast Cancer Coalition 0%; Alliance for Retired Americans 0%; National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association 25%; Disabled American Veterans 0%; The Retired Enlisted Association 33%; Vietnam Veterans of America 25%; (8)

Publicly, DeLay stated he was neutral on Houston’s 2003 METRORail light rail initiative. However, public filings later showed that DeLay had his Americans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee (ARMPAC) and his congressional campaign committee send money to Texans for True Mobility, a group that spent $1.5 Million on advertisements advocating the rejection of the proposal. (9) After the initiative passed, Delay flip-flopped and supported funding. (10)

DeLay initiated a provision would have retroactively protected the makers of the gasoline additive MTBE, which poses a health risk related to groundwater contamination, in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. (11)

DeLay, Senator Rick Santorum, and Grover Norquist launched a campaign in 1995 encouraging lobbying firms to retain only Republican officials in top positions. Firms that had Democrats in positions of authority would not be granted the ear of Majority Party members. Shortly after the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, DeLay called prominent Washington lobbyists into his office. He had pulled the public records of political contributions that they made to Democrats and Republicans. According to Texans for Public Justice, “he reminded them that Republicans were in charge and their political giving had better reflect that—or else. The “or else” was a threat to cut off access to the Republican House leadership.” (12)

DeLay accepted a $25,000 TRMPAC contribution from a Reliant Energy Corp. lobbyist, Drew Maloney, who had previously served on DeLay’s House staff. (12)

Williams Cos., one of the eight corporations under indictment in Texas, had addressed to “Congressman Tom DeLay” a letter conveying “$25,000 for the TRMPAC that we pledged at the June 2, 2002 fundraiser.” (12)

DeLay interfered in the Terri Schiavo case by pushing a special bill to circumvent existing law. Delay criticized removal of Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube; however, DeLay consented to not connecting his own father to a dialysis machine when his kidneys failed in 1988. (13)

DeLay was criticized for rationalizing violence against judges when their decisions are unpopular. He said, ” The time will come for the men responsible for this (Terri Schiavo’s death) to answer for their behavior.” Federal judges are seeking $12 million in new security measures after Delay’s remarks. (14)

Although DeLay has long been a supporter of the trade embargo against Cuba, he has been seen smoking a Cuban cigar. (15) When he was asked to obey the law and not smoke in a federal government building, DeLay retorted, “I am the federal government!” (16)

DeLay has received gifts from convicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including paid golfing holidays to Scotland, concert tickets, and the use of Abramoff’s private skyboxes for fundraisers. (17)

The Associated Press reported on April 7, 2005 that DeLay’s political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of the skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn’t have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time. The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came just three weeks before DeLay accepted a trip to Europe, including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St Andrews course for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist’s clients. Two months after the concert and trip, DeLay voted against gambling legislation opposed by some of Abramoff’s Indian tribe clients. (17)

Abramoff referred clients to the Alexander Strategy Group, the lobbying firm for which DeLay’s wife, Christine, worked from 1998 to 2002, allegedly in exchange for political favors from her husband. (18)

In 2001, DeLay cosigned a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft calling for the closure of a casino owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Two weeks earlier, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff’s clients, had donated $1,000 to DeLay’s Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC). (19)

Abramoff lobbied DeLay to stop legislation banning sex shops and sweatshops that force employees to have abortions in the Northern Mariana Islands when Abramoff accompanied DeLay on a 1997 trip to the commonwealth. While on the trip, DeLay promised not to put the bill on the legislative calendar. In 2000, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Murkowski worker reform bill to extend the protection of U.S. labor and minimum-wage laws to the workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas. DeLay stopped the House from even considering Murkowski’s bill. DeLay later blocked a fact-finding mission planned by Representative Peter Hoekstra by threatening Hoekstra with the loss of his subcommittee chairmanship. (20), (21)

On September 30, 2004, the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay because he “offered to endorse Representative (Nick) Smith’s son in exchange for Representative Smith’s vote in favor of the Medicare bill.” (22)

On October 6, 2004, the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay on two counts. The first count stated that DeLay “created the appearance that donors were being provided with special access to Representative DeLay regarding the then-pending energy legislation.” The second count said that DeLay “used federal resources in a political issue” by asking the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Justice to track Texas legislators and interfere in the business in the State of Texas. (23)

In 2005, the Federal Elections Commission audited ARMPAC, DeLay’s political action committee. The FEC found that ARMPAC had failed to report $322,306 in debts owed to vendors, and that it had incorrectly paid for some committee expenses using funds from an account designated for non-federal elections. The FEC also found that ARMPAC had misstated the balances of its receipts and ending cash-on-hand for 2001, and of its receipts, disbursements, and beginning and ending cash-on-hand for 2002. (25)

On September 8, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted Texans for a Republican Majority, which allegedly accepted an illegal political contribution of $100,000 from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, and the Texas Association of Business on four indictments, including charges of unlawful political advertising, unlawful contributions to a political committee and unlawful expenditures such as those to a graphics company and political candidates. (25)

On September 13, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted Americans for a Republican Majority (ARMPAC, created by DeLay) executive director Jim Ellis and Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC, also created by DeLay), former executive director John Colyandro, who already faced charges of money laundering in the case, as well as 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution. (26)

On September 28, 2005, DeLay was indicted for conspiring to violate Texas state election law stemming from issues dealing with his involvement in Texans for a Republican Majority. (27), (28)

On November 21, 2005, in proceedings before Federal District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle, Michael Scanlon, former communications director for Delay, pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe a member of Congress and other public officials. (29)

In 1998, Peter Cloeren pleaded guilty to violation of federal campaign law, admitting that he got employees to donate $37,000 in their names to a Republican candidate, Dr. Brian Babin. Cloeren said, “He (Delay) said there’s ways to get money into the Babin campaign. He said his staff would take care of it.” (30)

On March 31, 2006, Tony Rudy, a former deputy chief of staff to DeLay, pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. (31)

(1) Washingtonpost.com
(2) About.com
(3) The Washington Note
(4) houstonpress.com
(5) Washingtonpost.com
(6) The Daily Telegraph
(7) The Texas Observer
(8) Project Vote Smart
(9) Chron.com | Ideas for mobility fix take different roads
(10) Chron.com – How did rail plan get back on track?
(11) MSNBC.com
(12) Salon.com
(13) CBS News
(14) USATODAY.com
(15) TIME.com
(16) Washingtonpost.com
(17) MSNBC.com
(18) Washingtonpost.com
(19) CBS News
(20) CNN.com
(21) ABC News
(22) Washingtonpost.com
(23) DeLay Memo
(24) MSNBC.com
(25) Washingtonpost.com
(26) Statesman.com
(27) New York Times
(28) The Seattle Times
(29) CNN.com
(30) TPJ.org
(31) Truthdig.com

 

 

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About Jim Vogas

Texas A&M Aggie, Retired aerospace engineer, former union member, Vietnam vet, Demcratic Party organizer, husband and father.

3 Responses to From Baylor University to US Congressional District 22 – Tom Delay’s Dubious History

  1. Pingback: The WAWG Blog » Government by the Party, for the Party, and of the Party - Part 1b, The Double High House of Delay

  2. Andy Hailey says:

    Recent news from NPR, “The pastor of a church in Maryland says he became tangled in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal through a member of his evangelical congregation. Chris Geeslin says that the man used him as a front for possibly illegal activities.”

    The member he is referring to is Ed Bucham, who became Chief of Staff for Tom Delay in 1995.
    Mr. Bucham also became Tom Delay’s “spiritual advisor.”