AP is reporting that Tom DeLay decided not to fight for his Republican Majority Leader post in the House when Congress returns. Having become the poster boy for corruption and sleaze, DeLay made the decision this morning, after pressure from Republican leadership and party operatives, and a movement within his own House membership to oust him from consideration.
AP got the story from some
These officials said DeLay, R-Texas, was preparing a letter informing fellow House Republicans of his decision. These officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt the formal announcement.Et tu, Blunt and Boehner? Nothing says loyalty quite like sending out the hook. DeLay knew he was in trouble when even Denny Hastert stopped protecting his flank.
Articles like this one from the NYTimes today probably weren't helping things.
The firm openly promoted the idea that it could deliver access to Representative DeLay, the former majority leader. The firm paid Mr. DeLay's wife $115,000 in consulting fees, while conducting business with Mr. Abramoff's firm. Mr. Abramoff helped Mr. Buckham set up his firm.Exit the Bugman, stage Right. But who else will be joining him in the wings? (And boy, that Christine Delay sure does do a whole lot of consulting. Wonder how she got those gigs? *cough* "Wives club" indeed.)
In overseas trips and domestic meetings, Mr. Buckham and at least one member of his firm worked with clients who, prosecutors suspect, helped funnel money and perks to Mr. DeLay, his fund-raising operations and other lawmakers in ways intended to curry favor with the Republican leadership and could have directly led to "official action" in Congress, a potentially criminal act.
Oh, and one more thing: since the House was holding off resuming its actual work until the end of the month just so Tommy Boy could clear up his Texas indictment to regain his power tools, are they planning on getting off their asses and doing some work now that he's been shoved aside? I'm just asking.
(And yes, in case you are wondering, DeLay is smoking a Cuban cigar in the photo. Again, do as we say, not as we do.)
UPDATE: Here's the letter from DeLay to his House colleagues. (Hat tip to TeddySanFran for the link.)
UPDATE #2: The DCCC makes an important point. DeLay didn't get the boot because the Republicans in the House didn't like what he had done. DeLay is out for one simple reason, and only this reason, given how far they have been willing to go to protect his sorry ass in the ethics committee, holding off on the return this year for the House and everything else: Delay is out only because he got caught.