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Tom DeLay indicted

He’s not smiling now.

Criminal and thieves at the Federal level.

Slimeball gets greased – DeLay Indicted in Campaign Finance Probe.

A Texas grand jury on Wednesday charged Rep. Tom DeLay and two political associates with conspiracy in a campaign finance scheme, an indictment that could force him to step down as House majority leader.

Actually, he has to step down as majority leader because the GOP rules say he has to. You’ll recall that Congressional Republicans earlier tried to drop that little requirement, but that heat that drew was so bad that it didn’t fly.

DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay’s national political committee.

…DeLay has denied committing any crime and accused the Democratic district attorney leading the investigation, Ronnie Earle, of pursuing the case for political motives.

Democrats have kept up a crescendo of criticism of DeLay’s ethics, citing three times last year that the House ethics committee admonished DeLay for his conduct.

Earlier, DeLay attorney Bill White told reporters, “It’s a skunky indictment if they have one.”

As a sign of loyalty to DeLay after the grand jury returned indictments against three of his associates, House Republicans last November repealed a rule requiring any of their leaders to step aside if indicted. The rule was reinstituted in January after lawmakers returned to Washington from the holidays fearing the repeal might create a backlash from voters.

DeLay, 58, also is the center of an ethics swirl in Washington. The 11-term congressman was admonished last year by the House ethics committee on three separate issues and is the center of a political storm this year over lobbyists paying his and other lawmakers’ tabs for expensive travel abroad.

Can’t wait to see him in prison gear.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding