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ThoughtsOnline

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


The Day's DeLay watch...

The Wall Street Journal provides some insight into why DeLay was taking lobbyist financed trips ... because doing so allowed DeLay and his wife to "travel in luxury not possible on traditional taxpayer-financed congressional delegations". Over $70,000 in costs were incurred on just one trip to London for DeLay, his wife, two aides and the spouse of one of them... over $28,000 for DeLay and his wife alone. Now, I've taken some nice trips in my life. But I have NEVER managed to spend $14,000 a person for what I'm guessing was no more than a one week trip. It wasn't good enough for DeLay to take a taxpayer-paid trip to London... he's got to travel in style. I once heard a stock market analyst say that he sold the stock of companies who were building new headquarters... in his view, once a company started focusing on its office space, it was no longer focused on what made them successful in the first place. So too is it with our representatives... when they start focusing on how they can get the most out of their position, they aren't working for us anymore, they're working for themselves. And when our representatives start figuring out a way they can take trips to run up $2,000 a day tabs... that they don't pay for out of their own pocket... that's when they have crossed the line from representative to leech.

And in news that DeLay's Defenders are sure to jump all over, the Bennington Banner reports that Bernie Sanders, the Socialist from Vermont, put his family on the campaign payroll ala DeLay and Reid. Claims that others on the Hill are doing the same things as DeLay... without the critical press.... is the first of the DeLay Defenses. It's truly a sign of how farcical this has become that DeLay's Defenders are going to use the good socialist from Vermont as their role model...

As predicted, Eric Pfeiffer, who's helping to lead the DeLay defense at NRO gleefully passes on the Sanders report, saying "Beltway Buzz has been telling you about members of Congress who have their families on the payroll for weeks now, and we will continue to do so until the media backs off DeLay. There is nothing wrong with the member's actions, just in how the media has singled out and twisted its coverage of DeLay". Yeah, Eric, there is something wrong with DeLay using his office to funnel money to his family... even if it is only $50,000 a year. If someone on my staff quietly paid a member of their family $50,000 a year for 'services rendered' they'd be looking for work elsewhere....

The Associated Press piles on, with lots of examples of how lawmakers funnel "contributions they've collected from special interests and other donors" to family members. There's nothing like viewing the office as one giant family enrichment program, isn't there? Actually, in a way it's not surprising to see Democrats on this list... they've long viewed the federal government as a means of providing income to those who need it (and, of course, they define themselves as needing the money!). But, for Republicans, it's hypocritical at best...