PR - Crisis and Management

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tom Delay to resign in coming weeks


Former Majority Leader Tom Delay intends to resign from Congress within weeks. The conservative is known for his bare-knuckled political style. Delay was first elected in 1984 and his career will come to an end in the coming weeks. Republican officials expect Delay to quit his seat later this spring. "He has served our nation with integrity and honor," said Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, who succeeded DeLay in his leadership post earlier this year.

Tom DeLay's decision to leave Congress is just the latest piece of evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray, a party out of ideas and out of energy," said Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

DeLay is under indictment in Texas as part of an investigation into the allegedly illegal use of funds for state legislative races. He is accused of funneling corporate donations to Republican candidates for the Texas House in violation of state laws. A federal investigation also is pursuing DeLay's ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Delay's ties with lobbyist Jack Abramoff caused him to formally surrender his post as majority leader in January.

Neither Rudy, Abramoff nor anyone else connected with the investigation has publicly accused DeLay of breaking the law. DeLay has consistently denied all wrongdoing. Delay told Time magazine he was to announce on Tuesday that he was not running for re-election. "I'm very much at peace with it," he said.

On Friday, March 31, DeLay's former chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiracy and promised to help with a federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud relating to Abramoff. Tony Rudy admitted conspiring with Abramoff, both while Rudy worked for Delay and after he left the lawmaker's staff to become a lobbyist himself. He is the second former DeLay staffer to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the lobbying probe. The plea agreement makes no allegation that DeLay did anything wrong.

Delay has had a successful career filled with legislation, lobbying, political campaigns and money. And while he was a conservative, he raised millions of dollars for the campaigns of fellow House Republicans regardless of their ideology. He supported tax cuts, limits on abortions, looser government regulation of business and other items on the conservative agenda, and he rarely backed down. DeLay was the driving force behind
President Clinton' impeachment in 1999.

NewYorkTimes.com
CBSNews.com

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