From The Facts, a Brazoria County-based newspaper, in a signed editorial from Michael Morris, assistant managing editor:
In the quick defense of freshly indicted Rep. Tom DeLay by Republican talking heads on the conservative talk-show circuit last week, more than one revived the long-employed question: Where does DeLay get his reputation back when he is cleared?
As people who have had a front-row seat to DeLay’s political career, much of it spent representing portions of Brazoria County, the answer to that question is rather obvious: His indictment only serves to substantiate a reputation he has spent more than two decades building, that of someone who sees no ethical boundaries in his pursuit of individual and party power.
We have made no secret through the years of our distaste for DeLay’s brand of politics. His bullying of opponents, influence-peddling and badgering of lobbyists to fulfill the Republican agenda has brought him repeated rebukes by the House ethics committee, including three findings by that panel last year alone.
As in the past when an ethical cloud formed over him, DeLay last week pointed his finger at politics as the reason he was indicted by a Travis County grand jury on a charge of conspiracy to launder money to circumvent Texas’ law against corporate contributions. He did so again Monday night when he was re-indicted by a new grand jury on a money laundering charge.
Unfortunately for DeLay and his defenders, politics are not at the center of the charges. It is DeLay’s conduct.