“The Hammer” drive a nail into Jeff
Frederick’s Political Coffin?
when I was about to get myself worked up into a good
let-fly, Ross Mackenzie and the editorial gang at
the Richmond Times-Dispatch beat me to it,
showing House Majority Tom “The Hammer” Delay,
R-Texas, the door in an editorial titled, “Delay
it was just a matter of time anyway. The dead
giveaway? The President has started bragging on him
in public. This line led an Associated Press story
Monday: “President Bush considers House Majority
Leader Tom DeLay a friend and hopes to keep working
with him, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said
you un-initiated in the Alice-in-Wonderland
high-level doublespeak required at times like this,
just know that when you’re in trouble and the
President starts saying in public what a good job
you’re doing that it is a universally recognized
“all clear” sign. The next step you take will be
through the trap door to political oblivion.
the real question: Will “The Hammer” resign
before or after he holds a fund-raiser for
Woodbridge Del. Jeff Frederick? That’s scheduled
for April 19 in Washington. The smart money says
Delay won’t make it until then.
what’s a Texas congressman under fire for a series
of ethics lapses and facing resignation calls, even
from leading national Republicans, doing raising
money for a Virginia House of Delegates candidate?
Well, I called the number listed for the invite.
Spoke to “Ted.” “Ted” didn’t seem to know.
Actually, “Ted” seemed to be deep into training
for the World Stuttering Championship. I’d say
“Ted” is favored in that one.
the Times-Dispatch Wednesday:
“…Congressional Republicans would be wise to
strip DeLay of his leadership position. Stories
about ethical questions have become a drumbeat; the
latest involve payments to DeLay’s wife and
daughter by his political and campaign committees,
and a six-day junket to Moscow funded by
guess Del. Frederick somehow missed that drumbeat.
The invitation he sent for the Delay soiree asks for
donations of $250, $500, $1000, or $2000. It lists a
number of “host” names. The only one I
recognized was my friend Paul Jost. Of course, I
pinged him with an email. Nothing back on that yet.
Remind me to ask somebody what the Virginia
Automobile and Truck Dealers Political Action
Committee is doing in cahoots with a Tom DeLay
fundraiser. It was listed too.
October of last year the House Committee on
Standards of Official Conduct admonished DeLay,
saying he had gone too far and violated rules on
three separate occasions. Just the sort of
individual you want raising money for you if
you’re running for re-election to the Virginia
House of Delegates?
the Times-Dispatch sold DeLay’s troubles a
little short Wednesday. He’s got a long list of
them. My favorite is an oldie-goldie—hoo-doing the
Indians. These allegations involve messy casino
deals with the Choctaws down in Mississippi that you
can easily read about elsewhere. Just know here that
DeLay and company have done more for Indian
relations in this country than anyone since George
that Enron—gave DeLay his real start to national
stardom, hosting the first fundraiser for his
“leadership” PAC and raising $280,000 for him at
that event. Along the way he got into all kinds of
questionable situations, none more so than the
recent role he played in politicizing the Terri
Schiavo case. That judgment probably has him in more
trouble with his Republican colleagues than anything
else. The polls went south—waaay south—for
national Republicans on that one.
Christopher Shays, R-Conn., has called on DeLay to
resign from his leadership position and the number
three Senate Republican, Rick Santorum of
Pennsylvania, has called on DeLay to answer
questions about his ethics.
bad Virginia Republicans don’t have the same
concern. They might save one of their own some
trouble. “The Hammer” could stick around just
long enough to put a nail into Delegate
Frederick’s political coffin on the 19th.
Note: This column was written April 13.)
-- April 25, 2005