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dork 11-16-04 10:06 PM

GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect Indicted Leaders
 

GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect DeLay's Post

By Charles Babington
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 17, 2004; Page A01

House Republicans proposed changing their rules last night to allow members indicted by state grand juries to remain in a leadership post, a move that would benefit Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) in case he is charged by a Texas grand jury that has indicted three of his political associates, according to GOP leaders.

The proposed rule change, which several leaders predicted would win approval at a closed meeting today, comes as House Republicans return to Washington feeling indebted to DeLay for the slightly enhanced majority they won in this month's elections. DeLay led an aggressive redistricting effort in Texas last year that resulted in five Democratic House members retiring or losing reelection. It also triggered a grand jury inquiry into fundraising efforts related to the state legislature's redistricting actions.

House GOP leaders and aides said many rank-and-file Republicans are eager to change the rule to help DeLay, and will do so if given a chance at today's closed meeting. A handful of them have proposed language for changing the rule, and they will be free to offer amendments, officials said. Some aides said it was conceivable that DeLay and Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) ultimately could decide the move would be politically damaging and ask their caucus not to do it. But Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), another member of the GOP leadership, said he did not think Hastert and DeLay would intervene.

House Republicans adopted the indictment rule in 1993, when they were trying to end four decades of Democratic control of the House, in part by highlighting Democrats' ethical lapses. They said at the time that they held themselves to higher standards than prominent Democrats such as then-Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (Ill.), who eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to prison.
:lol:

More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Nov16.html

waveform 11-16-04 10:15 PM

Well...without the change, there wouldn't be any Republicans around five years from now

VinVega 11-17-04 08:36 AM

The party of principles strikes again. :lol:

classicman2 11-17-04 09:13 AM

Nothing new - the party in power frequently changes the rules.

Nothing to get excited about.

:)

Mordred 11-17-04 11:26 AM

Re: GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect Indicted Leaders
 

Originally posted by dork
But Rep. Jack Kingston (Ga.), another member of the GOP leadership, said he did not think Hastert and DeLay would intervene.
Why does that not surprise me :lol:

Damfino 11-17-04 01:59 PM

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

If he's convicted, he probably won't even have to resign from Congress either. He can do his job from a country club prison and vote by email.

dork 11-17-04 02:01 PM

:banana: It passed! :banana:

dick_grayson 11-17-04 02:05 PM

because he's under indictment for corruption, a law is passed ensuring he remains in power? am I missing something? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!

classicman2 11-17-04 02:07 PM

It's simply a return to things as they were before 1993.

classicman2 11-17-04 02:08 PM


Originally posted by dick_grayson
because he's under indictment for corruption, a law is passed ensuring he remains in power? am I missing something? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!
Indictment, under our system, is not guilt.

You do agree with that, don't you?

dork 11-17-04 02:10 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
It's simply a return to things as they were before 1993.
About forty years off from where some in the GOP would like to return, but it's a start.

dick_grayson 11-17-04 02:12 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
Indictment, under our system, is not guilt.

You do agree with that, don't you?

yes, I agree, but still something aint right about it.

classicman2 11-17-04 02:17 PM


Originally posted by dick_grayson
yes, I agree, but still something aint right about it.
You can be assured that the Democrats, if DeLay is strongly implicated in this further, will proceed to get rid of his ass just as Gingrich & his cohorts went to work on the then Speaker of the House, Jim Wright.

dick_grayson 11-17-04 02:18 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
You can be assured that the Democrats, if DeLay is strongly implicated in this further, will proceed to get rid of his ass just as Gingrich & his cohorts went to work on the then Speaker of the House, Jim Wright.
that's probably true. I forgot about Newt

JasonF 11-17-04 02:18 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
Indictment, under our system, is not guilt.

You do agree with that, don't you?

At the same time, indictment is not non-indictment.

Elected officials should avoid the appearance of impropriety. There are 434 unindicted Congressmen (some of them are even Republicans). Let one of them serve as majority leader. If DeLay is acquitted, he can have his job back (assuming the caucus still wants him).

X 11-17-04 02:20 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
You can be assured that the Democrats, if DeLay is strongly implicated in this further, will proceed to get rid of his ass just as Gingrich & his cohorts went to work on the then Speaker of the House, Jim Wright.
And as Bonior and his cohorts went to work on Gingrich in return.

classicman2 11-17-04 02:21 PM


Elected officials should avoid the appearance of impropriety. There are somehwere 434 unindicted Congressmen (some of them are even Republicans). Let one of them serve as majority leader. If DeLay is acquitted, he can have his job back (assuming the caucus still wants him).
That's a decision for the House to make.

As a matter of fact - since he's majority leader it's a decision for the House Republican Conference to make.

JasonF 11-17-04 02:25 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
That's a decision for the House to make.

As a matter of fact - since he's majority leader it's a decision for the House Republican Conference to make.

It's the House Republican Conference's Rule, so of course it's their decision. I'm just pointing out that in my opinion, there's a rigth decision and a wrong decision here, and changing the rule to allow DeLay to keep his post is the wrong decision. If the Republican Conference disagrees with me, I assure you they won't let me hold up DeLay's continued assumption of leadership duties.

classicman2 11-17-04 02:31 PM

As I previously said, the Democrats probably smell blood.

It's payback time for what the Repubs (Gingrich) did to Jim Wright.

I predict they'll be after his ass.

I'll be surprised if you don't see a bunch of Special Order Speeches by the Democrats on this very subject.

X 11-17-04 02:38 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
As I previously said, the Democrats probably smell blood.

It's payback time for what the Repubs (Gingrich) did to Jim Wright.

As per my post above, I thought they already got their revenge for Newt.

This would be for redistricting.

JasonF 11-22-04 01:56 PM


DeLay Appears To Be Off The Hook

NEW YORK, Nov. 22, 2004

(CBS) By David Paul Kuhn,
CBSNews.com chief political writer

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, appears to have dodged a bullet.

The powerful GOP chieftain is unlikely to be indicted by a state grand jury probing alleged campaign finance violations in Texas, according to an official involved in the investigation.

"No, no, I really donít think DeLay will be indicted," the official told CBSNews.com. "And to be quite honest, [DeLayís] lawyers know that."

Anticipating a possible indictment by a state grand jury in Travis County (Austin) Texas, House Republicans last week took steps to protect DeLay's position by changing a party rule that would have forced him to step aside as majority leader if indicted on a felony charge. The change will leave it up to a committee of GOP House members to decide whether an indicted leader should step down.

DeLay has denied playing any role in the move to protect him. DeLay's office did not return telephone messages requesting comment on this story.

Three close political associates of DeLay have been charged with illegally accepting and laundering corporate money for political purposes.

In 2002, DeLay led a successful effort to win local races that strengthened the GOP's hold on the Texas legislature. The additional clout was used to redraw Texas congressional districts in a way that benefited GOP House candidates. As a result, the Republicans gained five Texas House seats in the election earlier this month.

Texas law forbids labor unions and corporations to fund such legislative campaigns. Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle alleges that the three Delay associates and eight corporations violated the law by illegally funneling money into these races.

A review of documents made public through civil litigation indicate DeLay was kept aware of the fundraising activities that were taking place. (DeLayís daughter was a paid consultant to two fund-raising committees that pumped money into the races.)

Nevertheless, the official familiar with investigation said investigators would have to establish that DeLay "acted to promote" the illegal activity, and that such evidence had not been forthcoming.

"To indict and prosecute someone, we have to be able to show not just that they were aware of something," the official explained. "We have to show that they engaged in enough conduct to make them party to the offense."

There were also jurisdictional hurdles, the official said.

"For a penal code offense [such as money laundering] we would have to find something done in Travis County, Texas, to be able to indict," the officials said. "And [DeLay] wasnít here very often."

DeLay and other Republicans have asserted that the Travis County probe was politically motivated. The Travis County district attorney, Ronnie Earle, is a Democrat.

Speaking to reporters last week, DeLay said the Democrats were engaging in the "politics of personal destruction."

"At this particular time, our rules could be used against us and so they fixed the rules so that the Democrats cannot use our own rules against us," DeLay said of the rule change that helped him.

Earle dismissed the GOP allegations of partisanship. The veteran prosecutor said he had brought charges against far more Democrats (12) than Republicans (3) during his years in office.

"Iíve heard this for 27 years," Earle said in a telephone interview with CBSNews.com. "What else are they going to say?"
http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/...in656960.shtml

classicman2 11-22-04 02:23 PM

The Travis County DA has made a habit out of indicting folks for political reasons - ask the current senior senator from Texas.


Iíve heard this for 27 years," Earle said in a telephone interview with CBSNews.com. "What else are they going to say?"
I believe that's the same thing he said before.

Draven 11-28-04 11:39 PM

So the Republicans added the rule when the Democrats were the ones looking at indictment, and removed it when the Republicans were facing the same thing...gotcha.

If this was vice versa the conservatives here would be asking for a neat row of Democratic heads on the White House lawn. Gotta love the hypocrisy of the Other forum :thumbsup:

classicman2 11-29-04 09:17 AM

The Republican Conference rule did not affect the Democrats.

The Democratic Caucus didn't have the rule.

Their leaders could continue to serve if indicted.

They do have a rule about their committee chairmen. Of course they have to be in the majority to have committee chairmen. ;)

tonyc3742 11-29-04 09:37 AM

I don't have a problem with this.
Yes, congresscritters should avoid the appearance of impropriety.
They don't. They are fallible people just as much as we are. Wasn't Traficant running from office from within prison, or something?
I think there should be standards, but being indicted is in no way a measure of admission of guilt. That lawyer who was allegedly after Delay, he had *himself* indicted a couple years back--should he have lost his job or his position just for that? I agree in some cases it's the right thing to do, but it shouldn't be a hard and fast rule. And it would depend on the charge.

bfrank 11-29-04 10:15 AM

This guy is a scumbag. I am amazed anyone could defend him.

classicman2 11-29-04 10:24 AM


Originally posted by bfrank
This guy is a scumbag. I am amazed anyone could defend him.
The Travis County DA is even a bigger scumbag.

He's even more political than DeLay, and that's saying something.

Myster X 11-29-04 04:36 PM


Originally posted by bfrank
This guy is a scumbag. I am amazed anyone could defend him.
I agree if you put Boxer's name on the list. :lol:

dork 11-29-04 05:33 PM


Originally posted by classicman2
The Travis County DA is even a bigger scumbag.

He's even more political than DeLay, and that's saying something.

You keep saying that. Could you please provide some evidence? Something not originating from DeLay's office might be nice.

classicman2 11-29-04 05:43 PM

Look up the Kay B. Hutchison (now senior senator from Texas) fiasco.

You might want to check into two former Texas Land Commissioners (just happened to be Democrats) also.

dork 11-29-04 06:02 PM


With no assurance that the judge would admit the prosecution's evidence, Mr. Earle refused to open his case in court, leading to a directed acquittal. Ms. Hutchison, who won the election, has not forgotten, her spokesman, Kevin Schweers, said. ''It was a nakedly partisan attempt to win a Senate seat in the courtroom rather than the ballot box,'' Mr. Schweers said, saying it cast a cloud over Mr. Earle's actions in the current contributions inquiry.

Mr. Earle disputed the charge. ''I did at the time what I thought was right,'' he said.

Dick DeGuerin, the lawyer who represented Ms. Hutchison, called the prosecution ''just an excuse to prevent her from being elected'' and said Mr. Earle got pressure from Ms. Richards and other Democrats after Mr. DeGuerin moved to subpoena telephone logs of the governor and the Democrats to show they ran their offices the same way Ms. Hutchison did.

Mr. Earle denied any pressure from Ms. Richards to drop the case. At any rate he had also clashed with her a few years before on an ethics bill that she signed but that he called ''a new rug to sweep things under.''

Mr. Earle has been recognized as an innovator for working, sometimes with his wife, Twila, to mobilize communities to fight crime. ''Mostly, I got tired of waiting for something terrible to happen before I could do anything,'' Mr. Earle told a 2002 conference on drugs at Rice University.

Meanwhile, he racked up some other prominent prosecutions of Democrats, winning a guilty plea for misuse of office against State Treasurer Warren G. Harding in 1982; a guilty plea on financial disclosure violations from the Texas House speaker, Gib Lewis, in 1992; and various convictions against state legislators of both parties. But he lost a felony bribery case against Attorney General Jim Maddox, a Democrat, acquitted in 1985.

He took considerable heat in the 1990's for his capital murder prosecution of an 11-year-old Austin girl, LaCresha Murray, charged with killing a toddler in her care. Two convictions were successively overturned, in part over disputes about the girl's statements to the police.

The girl's supporters said she was railroaded, but Mr. Earle said the facts permitted him no other course.

Among those he successfully prosecuted was himself. As he announced in a news release on March 14, 1983: ''I have discovered that my officeholder campaign finance reports were not filed for 1981 and 1982.'' He filed them belatedly, he said, apologizing to his constituents for the misdemeanor and adding: ''I have today caused a complaint to be filed against me in this matter and this afternoon I expect to pay a fine assessed by the court.'' It came to $212, including court costs.

X 11-29-04 06:35 PM

Here's the link for dork's quote in case anyone wants it:

http://www.cleanuptexaspolitics.com/node/view/257

dork 11-29-04 06:53 PM

My link was from LexisNexis, not some weirdo blog. :mad:

classicman2 11-29-04 06:58 PM

I just heard 2 commentators say that 'the Republicans changed the rules of the House.'

FACT: The Republicans changed the rules of the Republican Conference - they didn't change the rules of the House. If they had, this might be a somewhat meaningful story.

X 11-29-04 07:06 PM


Originally posted by dork
My link was from LexisNexis, not some weirdo blog. :mad:
You're just lucky I didn't find it at Slate!

bfrank 11-29-04 07:12 PM


Originally posted by Myster X
I agree if you put Boxer's name on the list. :lol:
not really a fan but what did she do?

classicman2 11-29-04 07:17 PM


Originally posted by bfrank
not really a fan but what did she do?
She put the members of the Senate Energy Committee on the floor in paroxym of laughter that took them a full 30 minutes to recover from when Murkowski was Chairman with her 'understanding' of the energy problem faced by this country. ;)

Does that count? :)

X 11-29-04 07:19 PM


Originally posted by bfrank
not really a fan but what did she do?
She let her daughter marry Hillary's sleazeball brother. :yack:

Didn't last very long.

DarkElf 11-30-04 03:56 AM


Originally posted by classicman2
I just heard 2 commentators say that 'the Republicans changed the rules of the House.'

FACT: The Republicans changed the rules of the Republican Conference - they didn't change the rules of the House. If they had, this might be a somewhat meaningful story.

So. Thanks for clarifying this. This hasn't gotten much attention (on the media outlets I get to listen to), but it's been grossly misreported. So it's less of an issue than I thought it was.

But, it sounds like the Republicans raised the standard when the Democrats were embattled, and now that they have some ethical problems, they've re-lowered the bar.

So the party that preaches ethics and morals has retreated to "the norm" when it's clear that one of their own has violated their "standard" of ethics. Again, when push comes to shove, they've lowered the bar to where things used to be, yet they preach ethics.

Myster X 11-30-04 12:01 PM


Originally posted by bfrank
not really a fan but what did she do?
Look at how much $$$$ her son got for Indian casinos consulting work.


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