The New York Times and Washington Post have been relentless on attacking Tom DeLay lately on a variety of ethics charges. Now, I’m all in favor of removing unethical politicians when their heads get too big, but is that what’s happening here? The National Review gives a rundown on the charges and asks if they’re fair or partisan. Here’s a quick summary:
- The NY Times noted that Tom DeLay’s wife and daughter were on the payroll for his relection campaign. Not only does this comply with House rules, but many other politicians do this as well, including Democrat Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid. The NY Times only mentions Delay.
- Washington Post says Tom DeLay traveled to Moscow in 1997, paid for by private Russian companies. DeLay says the National Center for Public Policy Research paid for it, and the National Center backs him up and says the reports are false
- A similar trip to South Korea was paid for by the US-Korea National Exchange Council (KORUSEC). If it’s a domestic organization, apparently it’s legal, but not if it’s a foreign agent. KORUSEC was registered as domestic when DeLay accepted the trip, then days before the trip, KORUSEC changed it’s status to foreign but neglected to tell DeLay. The NY Times doesn’t mention the Democrats on this trip, including a staff member of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
- Three former Delay associates have been indicted for taking corporate contributions to fund candidates in the Texas State house, but DeLay hasn’t been indicted. The prosecuter previously indicted Kay Bailey Hutchinson when she won her Senate seat, but courts threw all the charges out in a single day. If DeLay is simply indicted, even if he’s not guilty, House rules forces DeLay to step down. So far, he hasn’t even been indicted or accused of wrongdoing.
Until I see something more concrete, this looks like partisan thuggery to tarnish Tom DeLay.