Tom DeLay. The Congressman from Sugarland is currently under indictment. If you don't know why by now, then google him. I received a phone call from Congressman DeLay the day the indictment was issued. OK, it wasn't a phone call from him, rather it was a prerecorded "I'm completely innocent" call that "the very partisan Travis County DA" was attacking him, manufacturing an indictment based on the 2002 election. He insists that despite the partisan distraction, he will continue to work with us, and then he implores us to support him in fighting this "out of control district attorney." This is directly from his phone call.
In other news, according to this Newsweek article's first paragraph, Congressman DeLay owns a black book filled with the names of Washington Lobbyists who wanted to see him. "If they were not Republicans and contributors to his power base, they didn't get in to "the people's house." The rationale for such a statement was that his time was limited, why should he open his door to people who weren't on the team?
I don't know that Tom DeLay's actions were illegal. I don't really think, based on what I've heard, that the indictment has a leg to stand on. What bothers me is not that he's been charged. If the allegations are false, he'll be acquitted and everything will go back to normal. What bothers me, instead is the effort he goes to to make people choose sides. You're either "on the team" or you're a partisan. I'm not entirely worldly in the realm of Big Politics, but I've always understood that we are Americans. The military swears an oath to obey the lawful orders of the President of the United States. All branches of Government swear to uphold the Constitution. Nowhere does it say that Congresspersons are to only support those who repeat the party line. Congressman DeLay seems an extreme example of why politics alienates so many of the moderates and centrists in the country, and his pandering to the GOP power base should be embarrassing to those on his fringe.
I don't currently live in Congressman DeLay's Representative district, but if we end up moving out there (it's consistently rated one of the ten best places in the country to live), then I will cast my vote for anyone who opposes him, with little reservation.