WASHINGTON - Tom DeLay deliberately raised more money than he needed to throw parties at the 2000 presidential convention, then diverted some of the excess to longtime ally Roy Blunt through a series of donations that benefited both men's causes.Christ, this just gets better and better. DeLay steps aside and puts his buddy Blunt in the leadership position, and now he could go down too? As far as Republican meltdowns go, this is getting close to rivaling the Gold Standard -- the one-two collapse of Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston during their crusade against Clinton. Good times, kids. Good times.
When the financial carousel stopped, DeLay's private charity, the consulting firm that employed DeLay's wife and the Missouri campaign of Blunt's son all ended up with money, according to campaign documents reviewed by The Associated Press.
Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist recently charged in an ongoing federal corruption and fraud investigation, and Jim Ellis, the DeLay fundraiser indicted with his boss last week in Texas, also came into the picture.
The complicated transactions are drawing scrutiny in legal and political circles after a grand jury indicted DeLay on charges of violating Texas law with a scheme to launder illegal corporate donations to state candidates.
Blunt last week temporarily replaced DeLay as House majority leader, and Blunt's son, Matt, has now risen to Missouri's governor.
Between the money laundering charges against the Republican leadership (man, that phrase is fun to type); the ever-widening Jack Abramoff scandal, which just resulted in an indictment of a Bush White House official; and now the revelation that there was a Filipino spy in the Bush White House for three years -- it's shaping up to be a banner week for Republican corruption. As if those weren't enough, we've still got the Plame investigation coming to a head soon, the Frist stock dump, and God knows what else out there.
If the Democrats don't pound the phrase "Republican corruption" every single day until the 2006 midterms, then they have officially been fitted with Neuticles. Yes, there's nothing the minority party can do in any official capacity, since the all-important powers of issuing subpoenas and holding investigations only come with control of the House or Senate. But take a lesson from the Republicans: When you're out of power and the people in power are fucking up this badly, start screaming.
The media is covering this now, but they tend to have the attention span of a brain damaged cocker spaniel. Lord knows it's only a matter of time before they lose interest in all these complicated facts and focus on the shiny object that is the Missing White Woman story. Don't let them. Anytime a reporter asks a question, the first sentence should contain the phrase "Republican corruption." I don't care if they're asking for directions to the salad bar or help with CPR. "Republican corruption."
UPDATE: This is just a rumor, but the word here is that there are 22 indictments coming down in the Plame case and Rove is on the list. Again, just a rumor right now. But oh, such a good one.
UPDATE 2.0: Courtesy of Norbizness, who's worked up his own impressive list of scandals, I'm happy to pass along Crooked Timber's Republican Bingo. Play along at home!