The Net Closes Around DeLay
A top aide to onetime bug man and disgraced former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay just pleaded guilty to conspiracy in connection with the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling scandal. The aide, former deputy chief of staff Tony Rudy, admitted getting DeLay to sign a letter that benefited disgraced lobbyist Abramoff’s clients, and coordinating efforts in DeLay’s office to push legislation that benefited the lobbyist’s clients after “receiving gifts and money indirectly from Abramoff,” according to the Houston Chronicle. Rudy faces up to five years in prison.
Meanwhile, perhaps attempting to divert attention from charges of money-laundering and conspiracy to violate the US elections code by gerrymandering the Texas redistricting plan to increase Republicans’ majority in the House, DeLay declaimed a new “war on Christianity.” His evidence: a society that “provides abortion on demand, has killed millions of innocent children, degrades the institution of marriage and all but treats Christianity like some second-rate superstition.”
DeLay’s Democratic opponent, Nick Lampson—a former congressman whose district was eliminated in DeLay’s redistricting scheme— is a long-shot candidate who nevertheless represents the best chance yet to get Sugar Land’s slimiest citizen (and one of the most influential Republicans in the House) out of Washington.