During a recent ethics subcommittee meeting, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay sought a loyalty pledge to President Bush from all members. As part of this pledge, subcommittee members were asked to give their souls to Jesus and their asses to the Republican cause. When Democrats suggested the later was a bit too much, DeLay ordered them to be strip-searched and marched naked through the Senate. When asked by Senate Majority Leader Dennis Hassert why he had resorted to such a demeaning tactic, DeLay replied, "Jesus told me to do it!" At that Hassert acknowledged that Jesus, indeed, now had the "political capital" to determine marching the Democrats through the Senate naked was appropriate. Hassert did say he would be verifying this with the Reverend Jerry Falwall.
The House debated a measure that would have installed DeLay as the provisional Attorney General for Texas under marital law. This was shelved for a later vote. Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earl would be placed under mandatory indefinite house arrest if the bill had passed thereby rendering his possible indictment of Tom DeLay an unlikely event. Reached for comment, Mr. DeLay simply said, "This action may become necessary to counter a nasty, wholly untrue and partisan attack on my illegal activities."
"I'm Tom DeLay, son. I make laws. I change laws. Haven't you heard of the DeLay Protection Act? The very idea that some peon like a District Attorney would think they could impugn my character just because I broke a few silly Texas campaign finance laws is ridiculous. Those laws were never meant to apply to me. We're talkin' the intent of the law. If that Ronnie Earl wants to make a case against me, he's got to get past every Republican and Democrat I got under my thumb!" DeLay retorted.
Just prior to the recent election, three of DeLay's closest political operatives were indicted for campaign finance violations with seemingly solid evidence. At that time Mr. DeLay's office issued a statement that "These charges are laughable. These men did nothing that hasn't been done in Texas for a hundred years. These cases have no merit and we'll stand by these gentlemen until just after their appeals are completed."
Attempts to reach the three DeLay aides by telephone were unsuccessful, however, an anonymous caller suggested this reporter visit Hooks Airport, a small municipal airport outside Houston. There I found the three men waiting for a chartered Aero Costa Rica jet to take them on a two-month long vacation. The three men asked they not be directly quoted but reluctantly did agree to be interviewed by this reporter.
Q: Why are you going to Costa Rica and out of this airport? Isn't a charter more expensive?
A: "Ah…yes. We are going to a special meeting of the Political Asylum Program to work out…details. We're going to kinda take a vacation and hang out...you know...relieve stress and stuff. Mr. DeLay was kind enough to allow us the use of his jet for the trip."
Q: So Mr. DeLay owns an Aero Costa Rica Airlines jet?
A: "Yes…No, not really, but his banker in Costa Rica allows him to use his jet for his monthly trips to Costa Rica. We're just bumming a ride since Mr. DeLay is busy defending himself in Washington today."
Q: If you are all going on vacation, shouldn't you have more luggage? You each have what appear to be rather large and heavy briefcases, but are dressed in business suits. What do you intend to do in Costa Rica?
A: "We are…ah…planning to visit a bank, maybe catch the latest movie and just hang out at the hotel bar."
Q: Why would you visit a bank? Hey…and why are each of you handcuffed to your briefcases?
A: "Here's our plane! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk to you. Tell our families we'll be back real soon and ‘Hasta La Vista'!"
With that the men simply ran to the waiting jet whose door opened and an armed guard quickly escorted the men inside. The door shut and the plane departed without shutting down the engines.
When Mr. DeLay was asked about the suspicious nature of his aides' departure, he responded, "What the hell! Don't you liberal; left wing media types have nothing better to do than to harass decent hardworking Republicans? Why shouldn't these men take a vacation? They earned it, not like you welfare wantin', tree huggin', dope tokin' Democrats.
This reporter will stay on this story and attempt to gain some insight into the ever-changing character of Congressman Tom DeLay.