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Entries in Tom DeLay (3)

Monday
Jan102011

Tom DeLay Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(AUSTIN, Texas) -- Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison Monday for helping divert corporate funds into Texas candidates' coffers in 2002.

A jury convicted DeLay in November of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A Texas judge on Monday sentenced DeLay to a three-year term on the conspiracy charge and five years for the money laundering charge, but allowed DeLay to accept 10 years of probation instead of the extra five years in prison.

DeLay, once one of the most powerful members of the U.S. House of Representatives, had faced up to life in prison.

After 19 hours of deliberation and a three-week trial, a jury concluded that DeLay illegally funneled $190,000 in corporate donations through the Republican National Committee to Republican candidates for the Texas legislature. Under Texas law, candidates cannot use private funds for campaigns.

The prosecution alleged that it was part of a strategy to ensure that Republicans were in charge of drawing the Texas district map that would favor the GOP in Washington.

DeLay's sentencing comes at the start of the year that is once again expected to feature a redistricting bloodbath as Republicans and Democrats fight over how to draw congressional and district boundaries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov242010

Former Senator Tom DeLay Found Guilty

Photo Courtesy - Ben Sklar /Getty Images(AUSTIN, Tx.) -- Former Republican House Leader Tom “The Hammer” DeLay was convicted of illegally funneling 190-thousand dollars in corporate money to fund his favorite candidates for the Texas state legislature.

Assistant District Attorney Gary Cobb spoke outside the courtroom after the verdict was pronounced saying, “It's the outcome we expected; we thought the citizens of Travis County would see this case for what it was: a corrupt politician who was caught violating the laws of the state.”  Chief Prosecutor Beverley Matthews had this to say of the guilty verdict: “This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly, ethically and if not they'll be held accountable.”

For his part, DeLay remained defiant saying “I'm not gonna blame anybody.  This is an abuse of power; it's an abuse of justice...and I still maintain that I am innocent.”

The man who was once the second most powerful House Republican now faces five years to life in prison on the money laundering count and two to 20 on a conspiracy charge.


Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov042010

Tom DeLay's Message to New GOP Majority: 'Repeal Government' One Week A Month

Photo Courtesy - Ben Sklar /Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican once known as "The Hammer" has offered some advice for John Boehner and the group of Republicans now poised to resume control in the House of Representatives: "Be more aggressive."

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay is now standing trial on state corruption charges in Texas, and watched largely from the sidelines as his party stormed back into power this week. But in an August interview with ABC News he has some pointed advice for his fellow Republicans, whom he believed correctly were headed for victory in the mid-term elections.

"They need to be more aggressive at turning back the Obama agenda and repealing the agenda," DeLay said in the wide-ranging interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross. The interview was conducted after the Justice Department informed DeLay it would be dropping its six-year probe into his conduct in office.

"In fact," DeLay suggested, "what I would do differently than we did when we took over in 1995 is I would have at least one week a month as a repeal session. So members could come in and repeal government -- repeal the bad things in government, and spend all week repealing bad laws."

It's too soon to know if Republicans who are organizing to retake control of the House in January will heed DeLay's advice. While DeLay helped oversee the party's iron grip on the legislative agenda during much of the last decade, he also became associated with the lobbying scandals that helped bring about the party's downfall.

This week's trial in Texas is something of a postscript to that era, with DeLay telling ABC News in August that he was confident his name would be cleared at the conclusion of the proceedings.

"We raised legal money, used it legally, and a rogue district attorney here in Texas shopped six grand juries" before gaining an indictment, DeLay said. "All [Democrats] wanted was the indictment and that's how they got rid of me."

DeLay has been doing consulting work since leaving office, in addition to a memorable turn as a contestant on the ABC television program "Dancing With The Stars." Back in August, he told ABC News he would not rule out a return to public office one day, saying he did not "know what the Lord has in store for me."

This week, after the elections confirmed the Republicans had indeed retaken control of the House, he seemed to have more concrete ideas about a possible comeback. Delay told the Austin American-Statesman Wednesday that he "would have liked to have been there and been a leader in this election."

"I haven't left the scene," he said.

He expressed hopes for a larger role in the future. "Once I get this trial off my back, I'll be more involved," he told the newspaper.

How eager the new majority will be for Delay's involvement remains an open question. Eric Cantor of Virginia is the leading candidate to assume DeLay's old leadership post. In a letter to his colleagues shortly after the election, he declared: "We must govern differently. Not just differently from the Democrats, but differently from a previous majority."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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