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Monday, April 10, 2006

DeLay Inc. Systematized Exchange of Favors - by Margaret Carlson

The one message U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, the former House majority leader, wanted to get across when he announced he was dropping out of his re-election campaign was that it had nothing to do with any criminal prosecution.

The Texas Republican spun his decision as high-minded and generous, the result of praying with his wife and thinking only of others. His resignation, DeLay said, would spare the party the distraction of a referendum on him, in favor of "a referendum on ideas." It might keep his seat Republican.

What ideas could he be talking about? Other than cutting taxes for the wealthy, delivering pork to his district, and trying to outlaw abortion, is there one idea he's identified with?

If short on ideas, DeLay's office is chock-a-block with aides and acquaintances who have admitted to corruption that would make the sheiks of Abscam blush. It's as if they showed up each day wearing Sherman Adams's vicuna coat, only with the price tag dangling from the sleeve. The wonder is that he lasted this long. If the Democrats were still alive, he wouldn't have.

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