Report from the Tom Delay sentencing

My doctor’s office is not far from the courthouse here in Austin, Texas. After my appointment I heard on the radio that Tom Delay was being sentenced after being found guilty of money laundering and giving corporate money to Republicans politicians. So, I drove over and watched the last of the trial. And there he was, in all his glory, the Houston pest control technician and former speaker of the house of reps, Tom Delay. I was surprised the courtroom wasn’t full. There was plenty of sittin’ room.

I arrived during the weird defense of his character. His attorney, Dick DeGuerin, was reciting all the great political wrangling Delay has done for Texas; the roads he built, saving NASA, bla, bla, bla. To me, being an exceptional politician doesn’t speak to his character; rather, the opposite seems true. Nothing out of the ordinary was said about the man.

During the breaks I couldn’t help but notice he was smiling. His family was in tears; clutching each other thru the proceedings. It was that weird smarmy smile he carries that unnerved me. Also, he has an enormous head on a little stocky build. More elf-like than human.

During his elocution he argued that he really believed he did nothing wrong. (Not a smart move after being found guilty.) Not a word was said by his big head that he recognized his guilt. The facts of the case were damning. Why else would he launder the money thru the RNCC if he thought what he was doing was legal? His arrogance was insufferable. And, to my surprise, he even spoke to that. He told the judge that.. . “If I’m guilty of anything it’s arrogance. Which I like to call Texas cocky.” The judge smiled.

Delay also claimed that our society was “criminalizing politics.” A weird argument. Let’s be clear. Delay broke the law. Clearly. There was no ambiguity. Every politician has known, as did Delay, that giving corporate money to Texas politicians is against the law. Delay also claimed that his wife, who is suffering bad health, was suffering more because this trial has been looming over them for five years. Why “the hammer” would believe this was of concern to the court is strange. These were five years of Delay’s delays.

No one spoke to Delay’s real crimes against humanity. If you haven’t read the whole story on Delay check out. . . . The real scandal of Tom DeLay The following is the true story of Tom Delay: the man with a callous disregard for human life:

The real scandal of Tom DeLay

May 09, 2005

Forget the freebie trips across the Atlantic and the Pacific. Forget the casinos and the allegedly illicit contributions — they represent only degrees of avarice.

To grasp the moral bankruptcy of the public Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, you only have to know about Frank Murkowski and Saipan.

Today, Frank Murkowki is the governor of Alaska, but from 1980 to 2002, he was a conservative Republican senator from Alaska.

How conservative? His voting record earned him zero ratings from organized labor’s AFLCIO and the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, and perfect 100s from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Conservative Union.

But as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Frank Murkowski became furious at the abusive sweatshop conditions endured by workers, overwhelmingly immigrants, in the U.S. territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, of which Saipan is the capital.

Because they were produced in a territory of the United States, garments traveled tariff-free and quota-free to the profitable U.S. market and were entitled to display the coveted “Made in the USA” label.

Among the manufacturers that had profited from the un-free labor market on the island were Tommy Hilfiger USA, Gap, Calvin Klein and Liz Claiborne.

Moved by the sworn testimony of U.S. officials and human-rights advocates that the 91 percent of the workforce who were immigrants — from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — were being paid barely half the U.S. minimum hourly wage and were forced to live behind barbed wire in squalid shacks minus plumbing, work 12 hours a day, often seven days a week, without any of the legal protections U.S. workers are guaranteed, Murkowski wrote a 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.

So compelling was the case for change the Alaska Republican marshaled that in early 2000, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Murkowski worker reform bill.

But one man primarily stopped the U.S. House from even considering that worker-reform bill: then-House Republican Whip Tom DeLay.

According to law firm records recently made public, lobbyist Jack Abramoff, paid millions to stop reform and keep the status quo, met personally at least two dozen times with DeLay on the subject in one two-year period. The DeLay staff was often in daily contact with Abramoff.

DeLay traveled with his family and staff over New Year’s of 1997 on an Abramoff scholarship endowed by his client, the government of the territory, to the Marianas, where golf and snorkeling were enjoyed.

DeLay fully approved of the working and living conditions. The Texan’s salute to the owners and Abramoff’s government clients was recorded by ABC-TV News: “You are a shining light for what is happening to the Republican Party, and you represent everything that is good about what we are trying to do in America and leading the world in the free-market system”

What a scum bag. Truly, “the hammer” is a sick twisted individual who deserves to go to prison. Three years is too short. Delay is out on bail pending appeal, but I hope some other prisoner will wipe that smile off his face when he is finally forced to do time in a pound-you-in-the-ass-prison. Good riddance.

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