Few House Members, None from Texas Delegation Showed Up Despite Free Tickets!
But Tom Feeney Was There!
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2005, 3:16pm PT  

Featuring actual reporting (as opposed to just rewritten press releases), the Texas Observer actually writes about what happened at Tom DeLay's recent "Conservative Movement Salute" held in D.C. recently to shore up the failing GOP House Leader.

They accomplished this feat by actually attending the event, talking to people who were there, and reporting on what they saw and what they didn't see. Imagine that.

What they didn't see, was the bulk of DeLay's Republican colleagues, nor the many K Street lobbyists with whom DeLay has infamously raised millions...

"There's nobody famous here," said a realtor from Knoxville, Tennessee. "I watch politics on TV, and I haven't seen a single person that's important here." She was attending a convention at the same hotel and slipped into the dinner, where she took a seat at a half-empty table. She pointed to her dinner companions. "That guy is a real sweet World War II veteran. This guy is a retired high school principal. The man next to him is a manager of a casino in Atlantic City. Now what's he doing here?"

Then she looked at the head table: "Is there anybody important out here?"

...There's something odd about a tribute to a political leader with no political leaders in the crowd. She crashed a party expecting to see Senator Bill Frist, and all she got was salmon, filet mignon, a lot of red wine?and the plastic hammer from atop the red, white, and blue marble cake.
Later in the evening I asked a slightly drunk young woman in an elegant black dress (that was probably far too revealing for the Christians in the crowd) what brought her and her four companions to the event. ?Just the freeeeee tickets!? she said.

So what happened to keep all of DeLay's Republican friends to keep them from showing up to support their leader? The event was prior to DeLay's political action committee having been fined $200,000 this week for failing to disclose half a million dollars worth of corporate contributions after all. Perhaps many of them didn't want to be seen as losers associating with a criminal like DeLay. Well...not all of them cared about being seen as losers...

Even more unusual was the House Republican Conference passing on a "lifetime achievement" banquet for its own majority leader. Only 20 to 25 members of the 233-member Republican Conference DeLay leads turned out to support him. Melissa Hart, the Pennsylvania Republican whose work DeLay praised during his speech at the banquet, had said she would be there. Then she declined. No one from the Texas delegation showed up. Denny Hastert phoned in his congratulations. National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom Reynolds did the same but stayed away. Republican House Conference chair Deborah Pryce was not on the video screen or in the room.

Only two House Republicans, Tom Feeney and Trent Franks?not big players in party politics or policymaking?were eagerly talking to the press. Feeney is an ardent DeLay supporter from Florida. He has received $10,000 from DeLay's national political action committee (ARMPAC) since his first race in 2002. He also works on a House team coordinating DeLay's support. He said DeLay is a target because "he is the most effective leader the House has seen in 50 years."

Yes...Tom Feeney, BRAD BLOG's favorite lying Republican congressman from Florida, is proud to be associated with a man like Tom DeLay! And why wouldn't he be? He was on several of those expensive lobbyist-paid trips with his good friend Tom DeLay and a recent report showed that he's the #1 closest ally of Tom DeLay in the entire U.S. House of Representatives!

Congratulations are due Texas Observer for doing what the media is supposed to do: Investigate and Report.

Congratulations are also due to the Two Toms for being two of the most corrupt officials in the House of Representatives! No small feat that!

(Thanks to David Edwards for his tip on this article.)

For more info on The BRAD BLOG's continuing investigative series on
The Clint Curtis/Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises Vote-Rigging Scandal series, please see:
- A Quick Summary of the story so far. -
- An Index of all the Key Articles & Evidence in the series so far.