Sparky: Tom DeLay makes News again...
An ass and his lawyer ... (courtesy of CBS)
Tom DeLay Wants Gun License Back
“Rep. Tom DeLay is fighting to regain his concealed handgun permit after it was suspended because of his indictment on felony charges.©MMVI, The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
A justice of the peace suspended DeLay's license in January after the former majority leader was indicted last year. A judge dismissed a conspiracy charge, but DeLay still faces a felony charge of money laundering.
Under state law, the Texas Department of Public Safety can suspend a handgun license if its holder has been charged with certain misdemeanors or higher. ...”
Some Delay Highlights —
- Main article: Terri Schiavo
DeLay made headlines for his role in the Terri Schiavo controversy. On Palm Sunday weekend in March 2005, several days after the brain-damaged Florida woman's feeding tube was disconnected for the third time, DeLay and other House members met in emergency session to pass a bill allowing Schiavo's parents to petition the removal of the feeding tube to a federal judge. DeLay called the removal of the feeding tube "an act of barbarism." DeLay faced accusations of hypocrisy from critics when the Los Angeles Times revealed that he had consented to ending the life support for his own father, who was in a comatose state because of a debilitating accident in 1988. 
DeLay was accused of stirring up controversy in the wake of a series of high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges when he said that "the men responsible [for Terri Schiavo's death] will have to answer to their behavior." DeLay's comments came soon after the February 28, 2005 homicide of the mother and husband of Chicago Judge Joan Lefkow, and the March 11, 2005 killing of Atlanta Judge Rowland Barnes. DeLay's opponents accused him of rationalizing violence against judges when their decisions were unpopular with the public. Ralph Neas, President of the liberal People for the American Way, said that DeLay's comments were "irresponsible and could be seen by some as justifying inexcusable conduct against our courts."  DeLay publicly apologized for the remark after being accused of threatening the Supreme Court.
In May 2005, the hit NBC television drama Law & Order: Criminal Intent used DeLay's name in a negative way. On the show, Detective Alexandra Eames, investigating homicides of several judges, said, "Maybe we should put out an APB for somebody in a Tom DeLay T-Shirt." The show was apparently referring to the comments DeLay made about Supreme Court justices during the Terri Schiavo controversy. DeLay responded by writing to Jeff Zucker, president of Universal Television Group: "This manipulation of my name and trivialization of the sensitive issue of judicial security represents a reckless disregard for the suffering initiated by recent tragedies and a great disservice to public discourse." The producer of the show, Dick Wolf, replied that "these shows are works of fiction." Wolf also commented, "But I do congratulate Congressman DeLay for switching the spotlight from his own problems to an episode of a television show." 
Cuban cigar photograph
DeLay has long been a strong critic of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and a supporter of the trade embargo against Cuba. In April 2005, Time Magazine published a photo from a July 2003 trip to Israel. In the photo, DeLay is seen smoking a Cuban cigar.  The consumption or purchase of Cuban cigars is illegal in the United States, but legal in Israel. At the time, smoking a Cuban cigar abroad was legal for U.S. citizens. Since September 2004, the U.S. Treasury Department's enforcement of the law has been toughened to forbid consumption or purchase of Cuban cigars by U.S. citizens anywhere in the world. 
- Main article: Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal
DeLay has received gifts from Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, including paid golfing holidays to Scotland, concert tickets, and the use of Abramoff's private skyboxes for fundraisers. Abramoff has since pleaded guilty to federal charges in an influence-peddling investigation. Scumbag Robert Novak reports that Jack Abramoff "has no derogatory information about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and is not implicating him as part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors."
The Associated Press reported on April 7, 2005:
DeLay's political action committee did not reimburse lobbyist Jack Abramoff for the May 2000 use of the skybox, instead treating it as a type of donation that didn't have to be disclosed to election regulators at the time.
The skybox donation, valued at thousands of dollars, came just three weeks before DeLay accepted a trip to Europe, including golf with Abramoff at the world-famous St Andrews course for himself, his wife and aides that was underwritten by some of the lobbyist's clients.
Two months after the concert and trip, DeLay voted against gambling legislation opposed by some of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients. 
DeLay may be one of the targets of the Justice Department investigation into Abramoff's actions. Abramoff referred clients to the Alexander Strategy Group, the lobbying firm for which Christine DeLay worked from 1998 to 2002, allegedly in exchange for political favors from her husband. 
On January 10, 2006, The Associated Press reported that in 2001, DeLay co-signed a letter to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft calling for the closure of a casino owned by the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas. Two weeks earlier, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, one of Abramoff's clients, had donated $1,000 to DeLay's Texans for a Republican Majority PAC (TRMPAC).  Currently, and at the time of the letter, casinos or other private gambling establishments are illegal in Texas, even on Indian reservations.  In fact, the U.S. law, Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas Restoration Act in 1987 , which reinstated the rights of the Alabama-Coushatta and other Texas tribes has a specific section denying those tribes the right to violate Texas gaming law. 
Northern Mariana Island legislation
According to ABC's 20/20 television program, Abramoff lobbied DeLay to stop legislation banning sex shops and sweatshops that force employees to have abortions in the Northern Mariana Islands when Abramoff accompanied DeLay on a 1997 trip to the commonwealth. While on the trip, DeLay promised not to put the bill on the legislative calendar.
In 2000, Frank Murkowski, a conservative Republican senator from Alaska, compelled the U.S. Senate to unanimously pass the Murkowski worker reform bill to extend the protection of U.S. labor and minimum-wage laws to the workers in the U.S. territory of the Northern Marianas. DeLay, then the House Republican Whip, stopped the House from even considering Murkowski's bill. 
DeLay later blocked a fact-finding mission planned by Representative Peter Hoekstra by threatening Hoekstra with the loss of his subcommittee chairmanship. 
Accusations of misconduct in Texas fundraising and indictments
- Main article: Tom DeLay corruption investigation
In the reapportionment following the 1990 census, Texas Democrats drew what Republican political analyst Michael Barone argued was the most effective partisan gerrymander in the country. The Democrats won 70 percent of the Texas congressional seats in 1992, the first year in which the new districts were in effect, while taking half of the total number of votes cast for Congress statewide. After the 2000 census, Republicans sought to redraw the district lines to support a GOP majority in the congressional delegation while Democrats desired to retain a plan similar to the existing lines. The two parties reached an impasse in the Texas Legislature, where Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. As a result the new district lines were drawn by a three judge federal court panel that made as few changes as possible while adding the two new seats.
In 2001 the Texas Legislative Redistricting Board (a panel composed of the state's Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, Speaker of the House, Attorney-General, and Land Commissioner) redrew state legislative districts in accordance with the census. The new map that was adopted by the Republican-dominated board gave the GOP an edge in winning the Texas House of Representatives, still controlled at that time by the Democrats. During the 2002 elections under these new maps, DeLay aggressively fundraised for Republican candidates under TRMPAC. It has since been alleged that TRMPAC was used to funnel illegal corporate donations into the campaigns of Republican candidates for State Representative.
The GOP victories in 2002 resulted in their control of the Texas House in addition to the Senate. As a result, the Texas Legislature was called into session in 2003 to redistrict the state's congressional lines in favor of the Republican Party. A number of Democrats left the state, going to Oklahoma, and later New Mexico, to deny a quorum for voting, but they eventually returned, and the legislation passed.
On May 26, 2005, a Texas judge ruled that a committee formed by DeLay had violated state law by not disclosing over $600,000 worth of fundraising money, mostly from the credit card industry, including $25,000 from Sears, Roebuck & Co. , and $50,000 from Diversified Collections Services of San Leandro, California.  Five Texas congressional seats changed hands from Democrats to Republicans during the 2004 elections, in part because of the new redistricting. 
On September 30, 2004, the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay because he "offered to endorse Representative [Nick] Smith's son in exchange for Representative Smith's vote in favor of the Medicare bill." 
On October 6, 2004, the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay on two counts. The first count stated that DeLay "created the appearance that donors were being provided with special access to Representative DeLay regarding the then-pending energy legislation." The second count said that DeLay "used federal resources in a political issue" by asking the Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Justice to help track Texas legislators during the battle over Texas redistricting.  At the time of the latter admonishment, the House Ethics committee deferred action on another count related to fundraising while that matter was subject to state criminal action. That state investigation eventually led to the felony indictment on September 28, 2005.
In 2005, the Federal Elections Commission audited ARMPAC, DeLay's political action committee. The FEC found that ARMPAC had failed to report $322,306 in debts owed to vendors, and that it had incorrectly paid for some committee expenses using funds from an account designated for non-federal elections. The FEC also found that ARMPAC had misstated the balances of its receipts and ending cash-on-hand for 2001, and of its receipts, disbursements, and beginning and ending cash-on-hand for 2002. ARMPAC corrected the omission of the debts in amended reports, and is reviewing the portion of the audit dealing with incorrect payment for expenses. 
Grand jury indictments
On September 8, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted Texans for a Republican Majority, which allegedly accepted an illegal political contribution of $100,000 from the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, and the Texas Association of Business on four indictments, including charges of unlawful political advertising, unlawful contributions to a political committee and unlawful expenditures such as those to a graphics company and political candidates. 
On September 13, 2005, a federal grand jury indicted ARMPAC's executive director Jim Ellis and TRMPAC's former executive director John Colyandro, who already faced charges of money laundering in the case, as well as 13 counts of unlawful acceptance of a corporate political contribution. 
On September 28, 2005, a Travis County grand jury operating under Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle indicted DeLay for conspiring to violate Texas state election law stemming from issues dealing with his involvement in Texans for a Republican Majority. Texas law prohibits corporate contributions in state legislative races. The indictment charged that Texans for a Republican Majority accepted corporate contributions, laundered the money through the Republican National Committee, and directed it to favored Republican candidates in Texas. DeLay had waived his rights under the statutes of limitations, which had expired in the summer of 2005.
On September 30, 2005, in response to a motion to dismiss his initial indictment, Earle sought a second indictment of DeLay from a second grand jury. That jury refused to indict. Contrary to normal Texas procedure, a "no bill" document was not publicly released, and no public announcement was made regarding the result until after Earle had presented evidence to a third grand jury and obtained an indictment.
On October 3, 2005, a Monday, Earle sought and received a new indictment of DeLay from a third grand jury in Austin on charges of conspiracy and money laundering. The maximum sentence for money laundering under Texas law is a life sentence. The next day, in a written statement, Earle publicly admitted "that prosecutors presented their case to three grand juries — not just the two they had discussed — and one grand jury refused to indict DeLay. When questions arose about whether the state's conspiracy statute applied to the first indictment returned last Wednesday, prosecutors presented a new money-laundering charge to (a) second grand jury on Friday because the term of the initial grand jury had expired. Lawyers for DeLay immediately called foul after Earle released his statement after 5 p.m. Tuesday." 
On October 7, 2005, DeLay's attorneys filed a motion in court to have the latest indictment thrown out, charging that Earle coerced the grand jury and illegally discussed grand jury information and encouraged others to do the same. 
Tom DeLay's mug shot (Harris County
Sheriff's Department, October 20, 2005)
On October 19, 2005, a Texas court issued a warrant for DeLay's arrest, setting initial bail at US $10,000. DeLay surrendered at the Harris County, Texas jail the next day, was booked, was photographed, was fingerprinted, and posted a $10,000 bond. He appeared in court on October 21, 2005. 
On November 1, 2005 DeLay prevailed in a motion to remove assigned Travis County judge Bob Perkins from the case. Perkins had donated to Democratic candidates and organizations, including MoveOn.org. DeLay's attorneys argued Perkins could not be publicly perceived as impartial under the circumstances. DeLay is also attempting to have the venue changed from Democratic-leaning Travis County.
On November 3, 2005 Pat Priest, a "semi-retired" judge, was chosen to preside over the case. Priest is also a Democrat.  On November 22, 2005 DeLay filed a motion to dismiss the charges against him.  On December 5, 2005 Judge Priest dismissed one count (conspiracy to violate election law), but let stand two counts alleging money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. .
Indictments of associates
DeLay's indictment occurred along with that of two associates, John Colyandro, TRMPAC's former executive director, and Jim Ellis, who was the head of ARMPAC at the time. The charges were brought before the grand jury by Earle.
Joe Turner, who represents Colyandro, has said that he does not want a jury trial in Austin, because he believes that "DeLay and Republicans are hated [there]". 
The indictment charges that DeLay, Colyandro and Ellis conspired to pass corporate contributions to candidates for the Texas legislature in violation of Texas campaign finance law. Allegedly, several corporations made contributions to TRMPAC. The indictment charged that TRMPAC then sent a check for $190,000 to the Republican National Committee, made payable to "RNSEC" (the Republican National State Elections Committee), along with a list of state-level Republican candidates who should receive the money. According to the indictment, the Republican candidates in Texas did in fact receive the money so designated. 
The indictment was issued by a grand jury of Texas citizens. Grand jury foreman William Gibson said that there were "stacks and stacks" of evidence and, "As far as we're concerned, they presented us enough evidence and witnesses that we felt we were on the right track. I would not have put my name on that grand-jury indictment unless I felt we had ample probable cause." 
Gibson told KLBJ Radio in an interview that he had made up his mind to indict DeLay before he heard the grand jury evidence, because he did not like DeLay's newspaper ads from the Texas Business Association. (audio and transcript)
Earle's investigation of DeLay is the subject of an upcoming documentary, which was filmed with Earle's cooperation over the past two years, before DeLay was notified of the charges.   
Terry Nelson was named in the money laundering indictment against DeLay, though he was not charged. Nelson was the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee in 2002. Nelson went on to become George W. Bush's national political director in 2004. On March 20, 2006, Senator John McCain appointed Nelson to be a senior advisor to his political committee, the Straight Talk America PAC. 
Reaction to indictments
DeLay blasted the charges as a "sham" and an act of "political retribution," perpetuated by his opponents. He added, "I have done nothing wrong, I have violated no law, no regulation, no rule of the House." 
Earle, a Democrat, has indicted both Democratic and Republican office-holders in Texas, including an unsuccessful 1993 investigation of Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison on charges of official misconduct and records tampering. DeLay and his attorney, Dick DeGeurin, have said that Earle has a history of indicting his political enemies.
Because of Republican party rules regarding leadership and indictments, DeLay stepped down from his position as House Majority Leader, while he retains his seat representing Texas' 22nd congressional district. White House spokesman Scott McClellan commented by saying that President Bush still viewed DeLay as "a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people." On January 7, 2006, DeLay announced that he would not seek to return to his position as Majority Leader.
DeLay's lawyers have asserted that there are various problems with the indictments. On October 3, 2005, DeLay's lawyers filed a motion to get the indictment of conspiracy to violate election law thrown out as fraudulent, claiming it was a violation of the U.S. Constitution's ban on ex-post facto applications of law. DeLay's lawyers claim that, in 2002, the crime of conspiracy did not apply to Texas election law. However, George Dix, a professor of law at the University of Texas at Austin, believes that charges of criminal conspiracy could legally be applied to any felony (including violation of election law) committed prior to the 2003 law, and characterized the 2003 change cited by DeLay's lawyers as a clarification of existing law, stating "It isn't unheard of — the Legislature passing a law to make clear what the law is." 
While the Texas Penal Code defines laundered money only as money gained as the "proceeds of criminal activity," DeLay's lawyers maintain the corporate donations came from normal and legal business activity. Stuart Roy, a GOP consultant and former DeLay aide, criticized the second charge, saying, "Ronnie Earle may truly be the Elmer Fudd of politics."
Texas Penal Code Chapter 34:02 
§ 34.02. MONEY LAUNDERING. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
(1) acquires or maintains an interest in, receives, conceals, possesses, transfers, or transports the proceeds of criminal activity
(2) conducts, supervises, or facilitates a transaction involving the proceeds of criminal activity; or
(3) invests, expends, or receives, or offers to invest, expend, or receive, the proceeds of criminal activity or funds that the person believes are the proceeds of criminal activity.
Later, when two liberal groups planned to air a 30 second political advertisement about DeLay, he threatened to sue any television stations that aired the ad. As news of this began to surface, liberal bloggers called DeLay's move an attempt to coerce the media. 
Can't someone put a stake in this asshole and end his career as a Political Vampire? Why won't Cheney take him hunting along with W? - Sparks