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Bev's Burner
Some's Hot, Some's Not 

By B.K. Carter

"Bev Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend Star, winner of numerous state and national awards. She has been a voice of Fort Bend's largest circulated newspaper for 28 years."


 

A DeLay blog....I know you’ve heard me rant about Tom DeLay for the past nine years. I suspect you are tired of it. But with the recent events, I just can’t help myself. I won’t say “I told you so.” At least not now.

When Tom DeLay called a press conference Saturday afternoon, I thought it was a non-story. After all, he was announcing that he was not going to continue to fight for a job (majority leader) that he couldn’t have anyway (because of Republican rules). So what’s the big deal?

But the way the press covered it, you would have thought he was resigning from the House.

Actually, DeLay called the press conference because twenty-five of his peers had already signed a petition asking him to give up his quest to be reinstated as majority leader. He was simply trying to get ahead of the story.

He wasn’t giving up his quest for the stated purpose of concentrating on representing his district; he was giving up because he was an embarrassment to the Republican party and the other representatives were just about to call him on it.

I guess it was a big deal because it shows there are some cracks in the facade.

The Abramoff connection...DeLay has close ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who plead guilty to to federal conspiracy, tax evasion and mail fraud charges and admitted conspiring to defraud Indian tribes, which he sometimes directed to make contributions to lawmakers. This guilty plea was with the proviso that he drop a dime on some other congress-people. Supposedly, he has agreed to tell the Feds about alleged bribes to as many as 20 members of Congress and their aides.

It has every Washington politician scrambling to give back the money they received from Abramoff, both Democrats and Republicans alike.

Although many other politicians took contributions, trips, and spouse salaries from Abramoff, the only problem is most of Abramoff’s running buddies started out as Tom DeLay’s aides.

DeLay has changed the climate of politics in Washington and Austin....Whether the federal prosecutors eventually find a quid pro quo of influence peddling among the congress-people, Tom DeLay’s days as a power broker are over. And since DeLay is almost single-handedly responsible for the climate of extreme partisanship that exists in Washington today, it’s about time.

Not content to spread his radical partisanship in Washington, DeLay came to Austin with redistricting two years ago, about the time the state legislature started doing absolutely nothing, and brought that special brand of partisanship to Austin. The state legislature has done nothing since.

He is the poster boy of the Republican’s political-corporate-lobbying complex has co-opted the idealistic wing of the Republican Party.

I have a theory that Carole Keeton Strayhorn is running as an Independent because she is ashamed of the Republican party as it exists in Austin today.

We deserve better.....Fort Bend County and the rest of Tom Delay’s district needs and deserves full-time representation. With his current legal trouble, and more on the horizon, he will not be able to give his full attention to representing our district.

Also, because he is tainted, his power base has eroded and he will find it difficult to get the support he needs from other congressmen in order to further his and Fort Bend’s agenda.

Former resident Begala’s take on it......Although he is a liberal Democrat, Paul Begala, who has been quoted as saying that all he learned about politics he learned over a nail keg at Court’s Hardware, went to junior high and high school at Dulles. He is a well-known television commentator and author of many books. In a blog he wrote the other day, he references a recent CNN-USA Today/Gallup poll that says that 52 percent of the residents of Tom DeLay’s district has an unfavorable opinion of him and just 37 percent view him favorably.

Begala asks “Who are the 37 percent?” He says they are not fundamentalists because he is Catholic and he went to vacation bible school with his fundamentalists friends in Fort Bend and he never heard a preacher say it was okay to help gambling lobbyists or support cigarette companies, or help rum-makers - all things Congressman DeLay has done.

He doubts that it is veterans because they wouldn’t think kindly of a congressman who said he didn’t serve because all those lucky minorities took all the good slots in Vietnam.

Begala says that his guess is that folks are looking for a conservative, not a crook.

I’ve often wondered why seemingly intelligent people have continued to support Tom even in the face of all of the bad publicity.

I have a theory. I think it’s because he is the only celebrity they know. If he is no longer in power, they would know no one on the national stage.

 

Contact bkcstar@earthlink.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  September 07, 2006