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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
  
  
  
 
The Texas Hammer by George on 8 January 2006 6:36am
 
Anyone who has followed American politics lately is familiar with the name, Tom "The Hammer" DeLay,(R)Texas. He is my home district congressman and no one knows his case better than we do. Under the circumstances, his resignation from the majority leadership is the right thing to do. Whether or not he runs for reelection to his seat next year is an open question, but I doubt seriously he would lose. Before he got into politics, he was a small businessman who took over his father's family business. Around here, that makes him an "average Joe".

If he doesn't run for office next year, people will think he's been disgraced, which he hasn't, at least in the minds of his constituency.





 
Re: The Texas Hammer by tucsonmike on 8 January 2006 6:47am
 
OK George, what's he really like and do you think he is guilty? He doesn't seem like a particularly nice guy.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by George on 8 January 2006 7:07am
 
Wow, that's a quick response.

Around here, if there's any bad sories about you, it becomes common knowledge within mere moments. That said, I've never heard anything particularly bad about DeLay. Lord knows, we have public figures who make asses of themselves all the time.

He's guilty of taking lobbyists' money and going on vacation with it. But, the big issue behind all of this was when the districts were redrawn after the 2000 census, giving the Republicans an "unfair" advantage. Naturally, he was quite important in all of this, and this is just the Democrats way of getting even.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by George on 8 January 2006 7:21am
 
Wow, that's a quick response.

Around here, if there's any bad sories about you, it becomes common knowledge within mere moments. That said, I've never heard anything particularly bad about DeLay. Lord knows, we have public figures who make asses of themselves all the time.

He's guilty of taking lobbyists' money and going on vacation with it. But, the big issue behind all of this was when the districts were redrawn after the 2000 census, giving the Republicans an "unfair" advantage. Naturally, he was quite important in all of this, and this is just the Democrats way of getting even.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by intrepid on 8 January 2006 5:41pm
 
You know, it's hard to know what is "acceptable" lobbying and what isn't, and the scale of lobbying which is tolerable. At what point is influence "undue"?
One thing is clear: Before this is over, many more quotation marks will be used. Here are my contribution """"""""
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by George on 8 January 2006 6:49pm
 
Well, I can tell you of 2 extremes and both are pretty indicative of our culture of government. During much of the Roosevelt/Truman administrations, the Speaker of the House was Sam Rayburn. When he died, it was discovered that he didn't even own a home, just rented a small apartment. The total value of his estate was no more than $20,000. He was one of the most respected men in the country. On the other hand, Lyndon Johnson, who was the Senate Majority Leader before he was President, died a very wealthy man. He made virtually all his money using "influence". He was hated and feared by most people. Today, he is largely forgotten except for Vietnam.

As far as general lobbying or donations go, the law forbids individuals from giving more than $2000 to any particular candidate. However, there's no limit to what an individual or a labor union can give to a "campaign", which is called "pac-money". Also, there's no limit to what a foreign individual can give to a candidate.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by tucsonmike on 9 January 2006 2:53am
 
Thanks, George. That is actually a good analysis. The irony? Both were Texans, but I don't know anything about Sam Rayburn's youth. I've heard of him, but only as a Congressman.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by George on 9 January 2006 11:01am
 
Did I know they were both Texans? Sure. That's why I can speak with authority on them. "Mr. Sam" and Johnson had similar issues which brought them together. Rayburn was from East Texas and he grew up very poor. But, unlike Johnson, Rayburn never tried to hide his humble roots. He was also very shy outside of government. Since his seat in Congress was as safe as anyone's, he never took any contributions or honoraria for speaking engagements.
 
Re: The Texas Hammer by tucsonmike on 10 January 2006 1:08am
 
So Sam Rayburn genuinely saw what he did as a service. After reading Washington Goes to War, I imagined this powerful backslapper with a big ego. Boy was I wrong.
I was just reading about LBJ again in the Complete Idiots Guide to the Cold War.
 



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