DeLay Sends Defensive Missive to Constituents

The big news this morning was Tom DeLay's six-page, single-spaced letter to his Houston constituents imporing them to listen to the "real story" about, well, there's a long list: the luxurious overseas trips he took paid for by lobbyists including Jack Abramoff, under investigation for bilking Indian tribes out of millions of dollars; changing the rules governing the House Ethics Committee and ousting Rep. Joel Hefley (R-CO) as chairman; etc. etc. Sounding again like former President Richard Nixon saying "I am not a crook," DeLay said he had never been found in violation of any law, and that even the three admonitions he'd received from the House Ethics Committee did not constitute a "sanction." Read about the letter in The New York Times , The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Also check out ABC News' The Note on all the coverage surrounding the letter.

Meanwhile, Karl Rove on CNN says the White House is standing behind its man: "We strongly support Tom DeLay. He's a good man, a close ally of this administration."

And the Hartford Courant reports on how Republican Rep. Rob Simmons is finding himself in hot water over his contributions to DeLay's legal defense fund, as well as his acceptance of campaign cash from DeLay controlled entities such as ARMPAC. See our ad urging Rep. Simmons to tell DeLay to resign here.

And...the Tom DeLay Political DeathWatch continues at Doonesbury.