The "virtual" room was packed at this morning's telephone press conference announcing Public Campaign Action Fund's and Campaign for America's Future's ad launch criticizing Tom DeLay. More than 30 reporters were on the call, representing mainstream outlets such as CNN, NBC, Fox News, the Associated Press, Reuters, and the National Journal. Stay tuned for coverage. Meanwhile, here is the statement made by David Donnelly, Public Campaign Action Fund's political director:
Today Public Campaign Action Fund is unveiling the first wave of advertising to demand that Republicans in Congress clean up their own mess and by calling for Tom Delay’s resignation.
The ads will run in the districts of Republican National Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds of New York; Ethics Chairman Doc Hastings of Washington State; and Representative Rob Simmons of Connecticut.
Mr. DeLay is unfit to serve in, let alone lead, Congress.
He’s accepted trips paid for by a disgraced lobbyist and a registered foreign agent.
He’s helped raised corporate money for a committee in Texas that under criminal investigation.
He embodies the worst of pay-to-play politics, and has displayed a pattern of abuse of power behavior. Tom DeLay, frankly, is a politician-for-hire. He’s got to go.
We know that Mr. DeLay will not resign because some Democrats in Washington think he should.
That’s why we’re taking this issue straight to the people, and straight to the districts of Republican members of Congress who will have to make a very conscious choice: Stand with Mr. DeLay’s corruption and stench of the money-rot in Washington. Or do the job they were elected to do on behalf of voters back home.
So, today we start with Representatives Tom Reynolds, Doc Hastings, and Rob Simmons.
Rep. Simmons, in particular has to make a smart choice. Back home in Connecticut, voters still remember the backbone he displayed when, early on, he called on disgraced former Governor John Rowland to step down. Today, Simmons’s campaign account is flush with cold cash from a $1.5 million fundraiser that Tom DeLay hosted for him and nine other members of Congress. Simmons should reflect on the lessons of the Rowland scandals, then refuse the money and call for DeLay’s resignation.
Other members of Congress should reflect on this as well. The next list of potential targets can be found by looking at who is receiving Tom DeLay’s fundraising help.
That $1.5 million is hush money to keep members of Congress silent on Tom DeLay. Which one of them would want to appear in their districts with him today?
Today’s news is about today’s ads. Tomorrow’s news is about how Tom DeLay and Republican members of Congress respond.
Public Campaign Action Fund is putting Republican members of Congress on notice that democracy belongs to the people, and we won’t stand on the sidelines as Tom DeLay hijacks it for his personal, political gain. Neither should members of Congress.