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YAHOO AP NEWS...but many more sources exist

By LARRY MARGASAK, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON - A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, forcing the House majority leader to temporarily relinquish his post.

DeLay, 58, was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.

DeLay is the first House leader to be indicted while in office in at least a century, according to congressional historians.

"I have notified the speaker that I will temporarily step aside from my position as majority leader pursuant to rules of the House Republican Conference and the actions of the Travis County district attorney today," DeLay said in a statement.

Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., will recommend that Rep. David Dreier of California step into those duties, said GOP congressional officials. Some of the duties may go to the GOP whip, Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri. The Republican rank and file may meet as early as Wednesday night to act on Hastert's recommendation.

Blunt said he was confident DeLay would be cleared of the allegations and return to his leadership job. "Unfortunately, Tom DeLay's effectiveness as Majority Leader is the best explanation for what happened in Texas today," Blunt said.

Criminal conspiracy is a state felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The potential two-year sentence forces DeLay to step down under House Republican rules.

At the White House, press secretary Scott McClellan said the president still considers DeLay — a fellow Texan — a friend and an effective leader in Congress.

"Congressman DeLay is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people," McClellan said. "I think the president's view is that we need to let the legal process work."

The indictment puts the Republicans — who control the White House, Senate and House — on the defensive. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., also is fending off question of ethical improprieties. Federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission are looking into Frist's sale of stock in HCA Inc., the hospital operating company founded by his family.

Less than a week ago, a former White House official was arrested in the investigation of Jack Abramoff, a high-powered lobbyist and fundraiser.

The indictment accused DeLay of a conspiracy to "knowingly make a political contribution" in violation of Texas law outlawing corporate contributions. It alleged that DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority political action committee accepted $155,000 from companies, including Sears Roebuck, and placed the money in an account.

The PAC then wrote a $190,000 check to an arm of the Republican National Committee and provided the committee a document with the names of Texas State House candidates and the amounts they were supposed to received in donations.

The indictment included a copy of the check.

"The defendants entered into an agreement with each other or with TRMPAC (Texans for a Republican Majority Political Action Committee) to make a political contribution in violation of the Texas election code," says the four-page indictment. "The contribution was made directly to the Republican National Committee within 60 days of a general election."

The indictment against the second-ranking, and most assertive Republican leader came on the final day of the grand jury's term. It followed earlier indictments of a state political action committee founded by DeLay and three of his political associates.

Kevin Madden, DeLay's spokesman, dismissed the charge as politically motivated.

"This indictment is nothing more than prosecutorial retribution by a partisan Democrat," Madden said, citing prosecutor Ronnie Earle, a Democrat.

Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., the head of the National Republican Congressional Committee, dismissed the indictment as the work of an "unapologetic Democrat partisan" — Earle — and said, "Democrats resent Tom DeLay because he routinely defeats them both politically and legislatively."

Madden later added: "They could not get Tom DeLay at the polls. They could not get Mr. DeLay on the House floor. Now they're trying to get him into the courtroom. This is not going to detract from the Republican agenda."

The grand jury action is expected to have immediate consequences in the House, where DeLay is largely responsible for winning passage of the Republican legislative program.

Democrats have kept up a crescendo of criticism of DeLay's ethics, citing three times last year that the House ethics committee admonished DeLay for his conduct.

"The criminal indictment of Majority Leader Tom Delay is the latest example that Republicans in Congress are plagued by a culture of corruption at the expense of the American people," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

At the White House, McClellan bristled at a question about Democratic claims that Republicans have grown arrogant in their use of power and flaunt rules after years of controlling the executive and legislative branches of the federal government.

McClellan said the Republican Party has made policy that has improved the lives of Americans, and the White House stands by that record.

"We can sit here and try to rush to judgment, but I don't think that's a fair thing to do," McClellan said. "We need to let the legal process work."

However, DeLay retains his seat representing Texas' 22nd congressional district, suburbs southwest of Houston. He denies that he committed any crime.

As a sign of loyalty to DeLay after the grand jury returned indictments against three of his associates, House Republicans last November repealed a rule requiring any of their leaders to step aside if indicted. The rule was reinstituted in January after lawmakers returned to Washington from the holidays fearing the repeal might create a backlash from voters.

DeLay is the center of an ethics swirl in Washington. The 11-term congressman was admonished last year by the House ethics committee on three separate issues and is the center of a political storm this year over lobbyists paying his and other lawmakers' tabs for expensive travel abroad.

Wednesday's indictment stems from a plan DeLay helped set in motion in 2001 to help Republicans win control of the Texas House in the 2002 elections for the first time since Reconstruction.

A state political action committee he created, Texans for a Republican Majority, was indicted earlier this month on charges of accepting corporate contributions for use in state legislative races. Texas law prohibits corporate money from being used to advocate the election or defeat of candidates; it is allowed only for administrative expenses.

With GOP control of the Texas legislature, DeLay then engineered a redistricting plan that enabled the GOP take six Texas seats in the U.S. House away from Democrats — including one lawmaker switching parties — in 2004 and build its majority in Congress.
First(?), Bush lets a known gay male prostitute visit his private quarters at will & now the acting House Majority Leader is an exposed gay male...from California!!!!

Sit back, and watch the furious spin by the small minded bigots trying to defend anyone with an "R" in front of their name. Most likely, they will just ignore this thread just like the one of noted Conservative, David Brooks, admitting publicly that he has known the Bush White House strategy was to lie from day one.
 

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Hmmm. It must be Katrina's fault!:lildevil:

I hear the prosecuter down in Texas has an axe to grind with Delay. I'm not too fond of Delay myself, but I mean this thing happens sometimes regardless of the party. I remember the Democrats had a problem with a particular Sandy Berger who happened to steal documents from the National Archives...:rolleyes:

As for the gay guy replacement....Hey, thats more votes for Republicans; the party who cares about minorities and civil liberties:lildevil: But seriously, Bush WAS the first president to put an openly gay man in a high level position - Scott Everzt as director of National AIDS policy and Michael Guest as ambassador to Romania...
 

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ben72227 said:
I hear the prosecuter down in Texas has an axe to grind with Delay.
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. I'd bet that Delay is cleared of these trumped up charges.

Evidently this all surrounds campaign finance laws, and how the law is interpreted.

The prosecutor alledges that Delay funnelled corporate campaign money (illegal in Texas?) to the GOP in return for private campaign money (legal in Texas?).

The GOP claims that all GOP campaign contributions go into two national accounts, one for corporate and one for private, and then they are distributed back to states.

Then there's this part where the prosecutor himself asked for corporate donations in exchange for not indicting those corporates:

Ronnie Earle, the Texas prosecutor who has indicted associates of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay in an ongoing campaign-finance investigation, dropped felony charges against several corporations indicted in the probe in return for the corporations' agreement to make five- and six-figure contributions to one of Earle's pet causes.
 

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This prosecutor is something else...

For the last two years, as he pursued the investigation that led to Wednesday's indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Travis County, Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle has given a film crew "extraordinary access" to make a motion picture about his work on the case.

Earle "allowed us behind the scenes when the indictments came down last year, the first wave of indictments," Schermbeck says. "We got to follow him back to his home a couple of times, which I understand he doesn't allow anybody to do." Schermbeck says the film includes interviews with some critics of Earle, as well as lawyers who are representing some of the targets of the investigation.
 

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I also read that he gots companies that he would have filed charges against to "donate" money to some of his organizations in order to spare them felony charges...

He sounds more corrupt to me than Delay. I also heard he announced at a Democrat meeting in Texas that, and I quote, "I will be the man who brings down Tom Delay!"

Best Prez this country has ever had.
Not quite. He might have been if he hadn't broken the law and embarrased the nation. He also made lots of mistakes during his time too. Some that come to mind - Black Hawk Down, Waco, and not killing Osama Bin Laden when he had the chance...and not elevating national security after the FIRST arab attack on the world trade center...

The best prez ever is more like Jefferson, Lincoln or Eisenhower. Maybe Reagan, in 20 years... I mean, if you get impeached, you can't be the BEST president because you obviously did something wrong.:sneaky:
 

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The best pres was George Washington. The more I read about him the more impressed I am.

If it wasn't for him 1) The revolution probably would have failed. 2) We would have wound up a 2bit dictatorship or still an English colony.
 
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zonie77 said:
The best pres was George Washington. The more I read about him the more impressed I am.
Grew and smoked marijuana to alleviate the pain from his teeth. And, as someone who recently got a crown on a molar, I can say that I would have done meth to get rid of the excrutiating pain.

Jefferson was quite influential even if he had not purchased the Louisiana Territory.

Reagan was a horrible president that Chimp is patterning himself after. The only reason people love Reagan is because, as an actor, he knew how to manipulate others to feel better about themselves. However, his economic policies proved a disaster and he simply got lucky with the fall of the Soviet Union without causing a nuclear war. Liberal Media my ass...actually do some investigation and you'll have to either accept the facts or close your mind to the Truth....just what a typical Republican does.
 

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Deep Sleep said:
Bill Clinton was the best Prez this country ever had. That's just a fact.
Clinton enabling the Republicans to take over the Senate and Congress doesn't count as an accomplishment. That's clearly in the failure to lead category.

So please tell us one Clinton policy that was enacted by congress and what it's positive results were.
 
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ben72227 said:
Nope. It was more like Jefferson.

It's really impossible to say who THE best was, other than Washington, simply because he was the first who established the office. He had no precedents to go on and a weak country still vulnerable to foreign attack and subterfuge.

Personally, I have been a big fan of naming best presidents by century. For the 20th Century, I would have to name:

Teddy Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt
Bill Clinton

in that order. Yes, I am biased for Teddy and always will be.

As for the worst of the 20th Century:

Herbert Hoover
Warren Harding
Ronald Reagan

in that order. Study the numbers about Reagan and the warm fuzzy feelings can never overcome reality.

Worst president of all time?

Franklin Pierce is so happy to be relieved from this spot by the Chimpster! Took a looooong time, but Pierce's name no longer carries such a burden.
 

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2nd DeLay charges initially were rejected

Three days after a grand jury turned down a second indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, prosecutor Ronnie Earle went to a new grand jury citing new evidence and won indictments on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to launder money.


Well at least he didn't strike out on his third try, that really would have made him a llaughing stock.

I'm sure Scourge will defend this as a proper use of our legal system.
 

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HotRodSaint said:
Ok Scourge, we get it.
A) I'm not Scourge
B) IMHO, I belive Bill Clinton was the best Prez this country ever had. I'm not trying to convert or convince you to believe as I do. It's just my opinion. :thumbsup:
 
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