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GOP Pushes Rule Change To Protect Indicted Leaders

Old 11-16-04, 10:06 PM
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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.


More here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004Nov16.html
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Old 11-16-04, 10:15 PM
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Well...without the change, there wouldn't be any Republicans around five years from now
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Old 11-17-04, 08:36 AM
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The party of principles strikes again.
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Old 11-17-04, 09:13 AM
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Nothing new - the party in power frequently changes the rules.

Nothing to get excited about.

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Old 11-17-04, 11:26 AM
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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
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Old 11-17-04, 01:59 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:01 PM
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It passed!
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Old 11-17-04, 02:05 PM
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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!!
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Old 11-17-04, 02:07 PM
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It's simply a return to things as they were before 1993.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:08 PM
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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?
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Old 11-17-04, 02:10 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:12 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:17 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:18 PM
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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
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Old 11-17-04, 02:18 PM
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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).

Last edited by JasonF; 11-17-04 at 02:23 PM.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:20 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:21 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:25 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:31 PM
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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.
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Old 11-17-04, 02:38 PM
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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.
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Old 11-22-04, 01:56 PM
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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
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Old 11-22-04, 02:23 PM
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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.
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Old 11-28-04, 11:39 PM
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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
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Old 11-29-04, 09:17 AM
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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.
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Old 11-29-04, 09:37 AM
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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.
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