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Northern Mariana Islands, Abramoff, DeLay, and Enron

[Call on your member of Congress to demand DeLay's resignation]

Okay, this admittedly has a lot of moving parts. Let me see if I can get all of this straight.

WaPo national poll

The Washington Post conducted a national survey April 21-24 among likely voters and included questions regarding Tom DeLay. Here are the results:

On another subject, do you approve or disapprove of the way Tom DeLay is handling his job as majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives?

Approve: 35%
Disapprove: 38%
No opinion: 27%

Picking up the tab

Why do I continue to be shocked by this?

About ten years ago, colleagues of mine sat down with a very prominent Democratic Party operative after Bill Clinton had won the 1992 presidential election. My colleagues argued that the public was increasingly cynical about how legislation was bought by the biggest donors. The prominent operative interrupted and said, "If the American public really knew what happened in Washington, they'd come and burn the place down."

Reject Hastings' offer

As Nancy reported yesterday and everyone has undoubtedly seen, Ethics Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and three of the Republicans on the Ethics Committee (Tom Cole of Oklahoma, Judy Biggert of Illinois, and Melissa Hart of Pennsylvania) offered to begin an investigation of Tom DeLay's travel scandals. The Democrats, led by Rep. Alan Mollahan of West Virginia, are holding up the formation of the committee to protest and insist on returning to some semblance of bipartisanship in the way the committee operates.

Placido Domingo, Lucianno Pavarotti, and the Other Guy...

The AP is reporting that in 2000 DeLay treated some donors to a night in an arena skybox that was leased by Abramoff so they could watch the Three Tenors. The pile just keeps getting bigger. Click here to read the AP story.

Questions coming from the GOP rank-and-file


Republicans held ranks one day after a few lawmakers expressed concern at a closed-door meeting over the party's handling of the ethics issue.

Several officials said Rep. Dan Lungren of California cautioned fellow Republicans about using power arrogantly, invoking the example of former House Speaker Jim Wright and the Democratic majority he once led. Wright was brought down in an ethics scandal in 1989.

Definition of Courage

Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT) calls on DeLay to step down.

Who will be next?

We released the following statement:

Watchdog group applauds Shays on DeLay statement; Will unveil ads in three more Congressional districts

Lou Dubose answers the question "How does DeLay stay in power?"

Author/journalist Lou Dubose does some of the best, most thorough reporting on Tom DeLay and DeLay Inc. This morning he has a long piece in Salon (which you can read if you have a subscription or watch a trailer to a movie to get a day pass).

Here's Lou's quick answer to why DeLay is still in power:


Just in from National Journal's CongressDaily, a report from ousted Ethics Committee Chairman Joel Hefley (R-CO) on the response of GOPers when an "unidentified member" (House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO)) spoke up for Tom DeLay at the weekly Republican Conference meeting:

Open Letter to Congress

Today, Public Campaign Action Fund sent this letter to every Member of Congress:

April 6, 2005

Dear Member of Congress:

Today two major newspapers report two more scandals swirling around House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. His scandals distract Congress from the important work before you. We urge you to ask Tom DeLay to step down from Congress so that you can concentrate on the job you came to Washington to do.