To Drop Out of Upcoming Election and Leave Congress Shortly!
The Exterminator Gets Exterminated...
By Brad Friedman on 4/3/2006, 8:06pm PT  

-- TIME Mag covers here...
-- WaPo covers here...
-- MSNBC covers here...
-- CNN covers here...
-- AP covers here...
-- LATE ADDITION: Houston Chronicle offers more details, and DeLay's Political Obit in the early/late web edition (12:44am PT - Hat tip to Pokey A. in Houston)

From TIME...

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months.
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"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday.
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The surprise decision was based on the sort of ruthless calculation that had once given him unchallenged dominance of House Republicans and their wealthy friends in Washington's lobbying community: he realized he might lose in this November's election.
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Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing."
...
DeLay brushed off the torrent of investigative news articles questioning the funding behind the golf, private planes and resort hotels that marked his travel at home and abroad. He even accepted a plane from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco to go to his arraignment. "There's nothing wrong with it," he said. "They had a plane available. My schedule was such that I couldn't do it commercially --- that I had to get up there and then get back and do my job. And that's the only plane that was available at the time."

"You can't prove to me one thing that I have done for my own personal gain," he added.
...
DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues.

What TIME didn't mention, but WaPo did...And which would seem to explain a lot more about his sudden exit after his bravado of the last six months since his indictment...

The decision came just three days after his former deputy chief of staff, Tony C. Rudy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and corruption charges, telling federal prosecutors of a criminal enterprise being run out of DeLay's leadership offices.

From CNN...

Last week, a former senior aide to DeLay pleaded guilty in federal court to fraud conspiracy, saying he joined a scheme with lobbyist Jack Abramoff and others to enrich themselves and illegally influence members of Congress.

In a deal with federal prosecutors, Tony Rudy --- DeLay's former deputy chief of staff and press secretary --- pleaded guilty to one count of mail and wire fraud in a conspiracy after he left DeLay's office to become a lobbyist. (Full story)

Says MSNBC...

[Chris] Matthews said that DeLay told him in an interview that "the polling on him in the 22nd District was going down," as a result of his part in a campaign contribution controversy.

And here come the bloggers. First in, from Josh Marshall who tends to know this stuff cold...

I haven't seen anything but the headlines yet. But I think the story here is clear. Prosecutors knocking down one pin at a time. Paul Kiel and I were talking about this before I left the office early this evening: Rudy, to Buckham, to DeLay. They're each going to down. And the road map was clear --- though largely implicit --- in the Rudy plea documents.

DeLay's lawyers must have sat him down over the last 72 hours and explained to him that he needs to focus on not spending most of the rest of his life in prison.

JesseLee at StakeHolder is similarly all over it...

DeLay leaves plenty of corruption behind, of course. As witnessed by John Boehner's (DeLay's replacement as Majority Leader) comment to AP...

House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called his predecessor "one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known."

"He has served our nation with integrity and honor, and I'm honored to call him my colleague and friend," Boehner said.

"Integrity and honor" indeed. If I was a Republican right now, I'd be brimming with pride over Tom's replacement.

And then there's this, from DeLay, again from TIME...

"I said a little prayer before I actually did the fingerprint thing, and the picture," he said. "My prayer was basically: 'Let people see Christ through me. And let me smile.' Now, when they took the shot, from my side, I thought it was fakiest smile I'd ever given. But through the camera, it was glowing. I mean, it had the right impact. Poor old left couldn't use it at all."

Poor old left...

And as long as we're strolling down Tom DeLay Memory Lane, who can forget this?...

Salute, Tom! The Conservative Movement can't thank you enough for all you've done to for it!

Well, that's one Tom down, and one more Tom to go. DeLay is not the only Congressional Tom who knows how to play golf with Abramoff on the lobbyists' dime in St. Andrews after all!

Remember this after the big salute?

Even more unusual was the House Republican Conference passing on a "lifetime achievement" banquet for its own majority leader.
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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, that's right. Nobody will miss Tom DeLay more than Florida's Tom Feeney!

Aside from receiving money from DeLay and trips to St. Andrews and elsewhere around the world paid for by lobbyists and foreign agents, apparently Feeney also was one of the top earners of largesse from the disgraced Duke Cunningham and, of the 35 members of Congress to take money from Tom DeLay's former chief of staff Rudy, guess who was number 5 in the list?

Congratulations to both Tom's for having so much in common! Perhaps they can enjoy more golf during retirment together!

To help unseat the other corrupt Tom in Congress, please feel free to contribute to Clint Curtis' campaign! He's running against Feeney this year, and if you think DeLay was corrupt? Wait until you see what Curtis knows about Feeney...

...More as events warrant...

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.