Wednesday, October 06, 2004


Quite a week for Tom "Developmental" DeLay -- formally chastised by the House for his part in the Nick Smith bribery scandal, and now this:
U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Tom DeLay, rebuked by his chamber's ethics committee last week for offering an improper political favor, was admonished by the same panel on Wednesday night for two unrelated matters.

The committee rebuked DeLay for his participation in an energy company golf fund-raiser in 2002, and for having intervened with help of a federal agency in a partisan dispute in Texas last year.

DeLay called a late-night news conference to respond to the admonishments, which prompted another citizen's watchdog group to call for him to step aside.

Earlier this week, top House Republicans voiced confidence in DeLay. But a number of Republican lawmakers privately expressed concern he was becoming too much of a political liability . . . .

The ethics committee, in a letter to DeLay, raised concerns about his role in the 2002 energy company golf fund-raiser for his political action committee.

Signed by Chairman Joel Hefley, a Colorado Republican, and Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, the panel's top Democrat, the letter also cited DeLay's intervention last year in a conflict involving the Texas House of Representatives.

A federal agency was used to help track down Democratic lawmakers who had bolted the state of Texas as part of a failed effort to stop a congressional restricting plan that favored Republicans.
Slate's Tim Noah, who's been chasing the story from day one, has some fresh speculation on l'affaire Smith here.

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