Former GOP House Majority Leader Tom Delay Found Guilty Of Money Laundering

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Former Republican House majority leader and one-time Dancing With The Stars contestant Tom Delay has been convicted of multiple counts of money laundering. Delay was found guilty of funneling almost $ 200,000 to the campaigns of GOP House and Senate candidates.

“I still maintain that I am innocent,” DeLay told reporters. “The criminalization of politics undermines our very system. I’m very disappointed.” Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg said the verdict showed no one was above the law. “This case is a message from the citizens of the state of Texas that the public officials they elect to represent them must do so honestly and ethically, and if not they’ll be held accountable,” Lehmberg said. DeLay’s sentencing was set for December 20, and he faces a possible maximum prison term of 99 years on the money laundering charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge. Two other men facing charges in the case are awaiting trial. DeLay, a conservative Republican, helped Newt Gingrich spearhead the GOP revival in 1994 that won control of the House and Senate in the first midterm election under Democratic President Bill Clinton.

In 2006 Delay resigned from the House in the face of the scandal.

Joe. My. God.

Former Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay Convicted Of Money Laundering Charges

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Associated Press is reporting that former Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) has been convicted of money laundering charges. “The verdict came down five years after DeLay was forced to step down as the second most powerful Republican in the U.S,” noted the AP. According to the New York Times, DeLay faces “up to life in prison”:

Jurors deliberated for 19 hours before they came back with guilty verdicts against Mr. DeLay on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The verdict was the latest chapter in a long legal battle that forced Mr. DeLay to step down. The trial also opened a window on the world of campaign financing in Washington, as jurors heard testimony about large contributions flowing to Mr. DeLay from corporations seeking to influence him and junkets to posh resorts where the congressman would rub shoulders with lobbyists in return for donations.

Mr. DeLay faces up to life in prison on the money laundering charge.

DeLay had concocted a scheme to funnel corporate money from his lobbyist allies into Texas state politics, illegally circumventing state law barring corporate money. DeLay’s front, Texans for a Republican Majority, then used that money to elect a new majority of Republicans to the state legislature and gerrymander the state so DeLay could elect more House Republicans. The new district lines, drawn in 2003, targeted House 11 Democrats for defeat. Investigators narrowed down $ 190,000 in corporate money funneled by DeLay into the redistricting scheme.

ThinkProgress

Majority of Republicans Favor Racial Profiling at Airports

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Greg Sargent dives into a new Washington Post/ABC News poll and finds Republicans are the only partisan group that favors racial profiling at airports, with a majority supporting the policy, while Democrats and independents are strongly opposed.

Key findings: 53% of Republicans think race “should be included in a passenger’s security profile” as compared to just 39% of independents and 31% of Democrats.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

Alabama House of Representatives: Four House Dems (Boothe, Millican, Vance & Hurst) Switch Parties Gives GOP Super Majority

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The 2010 midterm election, the gift that keeps on giving …

The backlash continues against the Democrat party as dividends continues to come in from the 2010 midterm elections. The biggest story of the 2010 midterm elections was not the GOP pick ups in the US House, Senate and Governorships … it was that in the state Houses. Guess what, it just increased again. What an impact this will have for the 2012 elections and the next decade.

As if the Republicans did not benefit enough from the political tsunami that took place on November 2, 2010 when the GOP gained 680 state legislature seats, the hits keep on coming. In Alabama, four Democrat House members just switched from Donkeys to Elephants and have given the GOP a super-majority in the Alabama House. Representatives Alan Boothe of Troy, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Lesley Vance of Phenix City and Steve Hurst of Munford all have seen the handwriting on the wall and abandoned the Democrat party.

All four lawmakers who made the jump to the Republican party said they felt their views were more aligned with the Republican Party. Look for this to be a pattern in the future on the state and national level, especially if Obama. Pelosi and Reid continue their far Left agenda against the will of the people. The 2010 midterms showed that any Democrat in a conservative or middle of the road district or state is vulnerable.

Republicans now have a super-majority in the Alabama House after four Democrats defected and joined the GOP on Monday.

Rep. Alan Boothe of Troy, Rep. Mike Millican of Hamilton, Rep. Lesley Vance of Phenix City and Rep. Steve Hurst of Munford all jumped ship on Monday, giving Republicans 66 seats in the House and a filibuster-proof majority.

All four representatives come from conservative-leaning districts, and had a track record of voting with Republicans on issues that are considered key to the party. State Rep. Phil Williams (R) of Huntsville says House leadership had talked with all four prospects about crossing over in the last week. Williams dismissed questions that the switchovers were politically motivated, and called the moves a formality

Devastation: GOP Picks Up 680 State Leg. Seats:

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures.

That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.

Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta” — both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship — in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina — probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats — Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposals.

The symbol of the midterm elections comes from the Pine Tree state of Maine. The 2010 midterm elections marked GOP House state legislature wins across the United States. This was no place more evident than in Maine, “as goes Maine, so goes the nation”. For the first time since the 1960′s, the GOP has the Governor, House and Senate. Republicans grabbed 23 House seats to earn a 78-person majority.The GOP also won 20 of the 35 seats in the state senate.

Hat Tip: pat in Alabama

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Scared Monkeys

Alabama House of Representatives: Four House Dems (Boothe, Millican, Vance & Hurst) Switch Parties Gives GOP Super Majority

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The 2010 midterm election, the gift that keeps on giving …

The backlash continues against the Democrat party as dividends continues to come in from the 2010 midterm elections. The biggest story of the 2010 midterm elections was not the GOP pick ups in the US House, Senate and Governorships … it was that in the state Houses. Guess what, it just increased again. What an impact this will have for the 2012 elections and the next decade.

As if the Republicans did not benefit enough from the political tsunami that took place on November 2, 2010 when the GOP gained 680 state legislature seats, the hits keep on coming. In Alabama, four Democrat House members just switched from Donkeys to Elephants and have given the GOP a super-majority in the Alabama House. Representatives Alan Boothe of Troy, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Lesley Vance of Phenix City and Steve Hurst of Munford all have seen the handwriting on the wall and abandoned the Democrat party.

All four lawmakers who made the jump to the Republican party said they felt their views were more aligned with the Republican Party. Look for this to be a pattern in the future on the state and national level, especially if Obama. Pelosi and Reid continue their far Left agenda against the will of the people. The 2010 midterms showed that any Democrat in a conservative or middle of the road district or state is vulnerable.

Republicans now have a super-majority in the Alabama House after four Democrats defected and joined the GOP on Monday.

Rep. Alan Boothe of Troy, Rep. Mike Millican of Hamilton, Rep. Lesley Vance of Phenix City and Rep. Steve Hurst of Munford all jumped ship on Monday, giving Republicans 66 seats in the House and a filibuster-proof majority.

All four representatives come from conservative-leaning districts, and had a track record of voting with Republicans on issues that are considered key to the party. State Rep. Phil Williams (R) of Huntsville says House leadership had talked with all four prospects about crossing over in the last week. Williams dismissed questions that the switchovers were politically motivated, and called the moves a formality

Devastation: GOP Picks Up 680 State Leg. Seats:

The GOP gained majorities in at least 14 state house chambers. They now have unified control — meaning both chambers — of 26 state legislatures.

That control is a particularly bad sign for Democrats as they go into the redistricting process. If the GOP is effective in gerrymandering districts in many of these states, it could eventually lead to the GOP actually expanding its majority in 2012.

Republicans now hold the redistricting “trifecta” — both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship — in 15 states. They also control the Nebraska governorship and the unicameral legislature, taking the number up to 16. And in North Carolina — probably the state most gerrymandered to benefit Democrats — Republicans hold both chambers of the state legislature and the Democratic governor does not have veto power over redistricting proposals.

The symbol of the midterm elections comes from the Pine Tree state of Maine. The 2010 midterm elections marked GOP House state legislature wins across the United States. This was no place more evident than in Maine, “as goes Maine, so goes the nation”. For the first time since the 1960′s, the GOP has the Governor, House and Senate. Republicans grabbed 23 House seats to earn a 78-person majority.The GOP also won 20 of the 35 seats in the state senate.

Hat Tip: pat in Alabama

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Scared Monkeys

Majority Supports Air Travel Security Measures

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Despite the reported uproar about full-body screening procedures at airports, a new Gallup poll finds that relatively few frequent U.S. air travelers are angry about the new procedures or inclined to cut back on flying as a result.

In fact, 71% of air travelers who have flown at least twice in the past year say any potential loss of personal privacy from the full-body scans and pat-downs is worth it as a means of preventing acts of terrorism.
Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire

New Jersey Passes Landmark Anti-Bullying Legislation With Veto-Proof Majority

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Joe.My.God points out that the New Jersey legislature has “overwhelmingly approved” the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, a measure “designed to combat harassment, intimidation and bullying among students.” The bill, which comes in the wake of the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi — who threw himself off the George Washington bridge after his roommate broadcast an internet feed of him engaged in sexual activity with another man — passed the State Senate and the General Assembly with a veto-proof margin of 30 to 0 and 72 to 1, respectively.

The Bill of Rights eliminates “the vagueness and loopholes that weaken the anti-bullying laws of the 45 states that have them” and establishes a method of enforcement to ensure school compliance. Below are some of the highlights of the new measure:

– The legislation is the first in America to set firm statewide deadlines for incidents of bullying to be reported, investigated and resolved. Teachers and other school personnel will have to report incidents of bullying to principals on the same day as a bullying incident. An investigation of the bullying must begin within one school day. A school will have to complete its investigation of bullying within 10 school days,
after which there must be a resolution of the situation.

– The legislation is the first in America to create a anti-bullying team at each school led by a designated anti-bullying specialist. Also serving on a school’s anti-bullying team will be the principal, a teacher and a parent, and others appointed by the principal.

– The legislation is the first in America to grade every school on how well it is countering bullying – and requires that every school post its grade on the home page of its website. Every school will also be required to post on the home page of its website the contact information for the school’s anti-bullying specialist.

– The legislation incorporates instruction appropriate to each grade to counter bullying, and creates an annual school-wide Week of Respect during which each school will provide anti-bullying programming.

– The legislation strengthens suicide prevention training for teachers, to include information on reducing the occurrence of suicide among bullied students.

Gov. Chris Christie (R) has not said whether he would sign the bill, but “he spoke out against bullying after Clementi’s death.” If he vetoes the measure, the state legislature should be able to pass an override by a vote of at least two-thirds of the members of each house (27 votes in the Senate; 54 votes in the General Assembly.)

Wonk Room

Majority Of Australians Support Marriage

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

A just-released poll shows that 57% of Australians now support legalizing same-sex marriage. Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

The poll of 1400 voters, taken from Thursday night to Saturday evening, finds two-thirds of Labor voters and 86 per cent of Greens voters support same-sex marriage, while 51 per cent of Coalition voters were against it and 42 per cent supported it. More than half of voters support gay marriage in every state, except Queensland where 47 per cent support it and 43 per cent are opposed. The findings are expected to intensify pressure on political leaders at least to allow a conscience vote on the issue. Both main parties oppose gay marriage and there is no sign of a change within the Coalition.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said that her party will not debate the issue until their conference in December 2011.

Joe. My. God.

Building a Conservative Majority Starts at Home

November 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

-By Warner Todd Huston

If conservatives intend to translate Tea Party enthusiasm into actual power they are certainly going to have to begin to put like-minded folks into office and not just at the federal level. Every office from dogcatcher, to city offices, to county and state offices needs to be filled with Tea Party advocates. Conservatives cannot expect an enduring governing capability by focusing solely on federal elections.

To that end, this week American Majority (AmericanMajority.org/) unveiled a new free of charge initiative to help train Tea Party groups to groom local candidates in order to build a more enduring conservative governing majority across the country. The project is called the New Leaders Project.

AM hopes to help local Tea Party groups to identify 10 new leaders in their local community to run for state or local office. “The program will help community leaders identify quality candidates while fostering a new era of accountability between voters and elected officials,” said representatives for the group.

“This was an historic election, but the systemic change our nation needs to thrive and prosper will require much more time and effort. The next election starts now,” stated Ned Ryun, President of American Majority. “There is a real need for new leadership at all levels of government that believes in, and will advocate for, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and limited government. We believe this project will not only impact state and local levels, but also create a significant ‘farm team’ for higher office for years to come.”

As important as it is, there is no doubt that the Tea Party movement is still somewhat amateurish when it comes to governing. Its wonderful excitement and enthusiasm is incredibly important, to be sure, but a coherent message, a slate of candidates, and a membership pulling together and on the same page is imperative for the continued influence of the thousands of disparate Tea Party groups out there. They don’t need to be led from the top, but they do need the tools to turn their ideas into a governing reality.

American Majority will help these groups learn the nuts and bolts of running for office, how to articulate a message to voters, and how to manage a campaign. It’s one thing to want to get involved and push Tea Party candidates, but another thing entirely to actually roll up one’s sleeves and get involved.

Contrary to the biased reporting of this effort by Politico, this training program is not a response to the “problem candidates” of the 2010 election as defined by the Old Media. No particular 2010 candidate was targeted for discussion by American Majority at its press conference, for instance. Further, American Majority does not intend to involve itself in the coming 2012 presidential elections. The presidential election is not the goal that AM is trying to undertake. A working conservative governing majority is the goal, one that encompasses the whole country at every level of government, not just the White House.

Another miscue from coverage of this effort is that AM is “jockeying for influence.” This is no top down operation. American Majority is not the sort of organization that wants to take your mailing list, it does not run or endorse particular candidates, nor does it attempt to control the message or the makeup of local conservative or Tea Party groups. American Majority offers free training sessions meant to assist local conservative groups to make a difference at home. It is not interested in “influencing” those local groups or controlling their efforts. American Majority seeks to offer training to help groups control their own message, to control their own candidates, and their own members.

Lastly, these are the sorts of efforts that the left has been engaging in for decades. You may wonder why ACORN and unions are so successful in running slates of candidates and then getting their way in our city, county, and state governments? It is because they help train local groups to run campaigns and they groom young candidates for office. These local efforts create a sort of farm team of candidates that the left can choose from when seeking candidates to run for federal offices, even president.

The grassroots efforts of the left have yielded significant gains for left-wing ideology. It is about time conservatives undertook similar efforts of their own. American Majority’s efforts are a welcome change to the usual conservative habit of writing white papers, commenting in the media and on blogs, but otherwise doing nothing to actually get conservative-minded candidates elected to office.

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Stop The ACLU

Building a Conservative Majority Starts at Home

November 18, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

If conservatives intend to translate Tea Party enthusiasm into actual power they are certainly going to have begin to put like-minded folks into office and not just at the federal level. Every office from dogcatcher, to city offices, to county and state offices needs to be filled with Tea Party advocates. Conservatives cannot expect an enduring governing capability by focusing solely on federal elections.

To that end, this week American Majority (AmericanMajority.org/) unveiled a new initiative to help train Tea Party groups to groom local candidates in order to build a more enduring conservative governing majority across the country. The project is called the New Leaders Project.

AM hopes to help local Tea Party groups to identify 10 new leaders in their local community to run for state or local office. “The program will help community leaders identify quality candidates while fostering a new era of accountability between voters and elected officials,” said representatives for the group.

“This was an historic election, but the systemic change our nation needs to thrive and prosper will require much more time and effort. The next election starts now,” stated Ned Ryun, President of American Majority. “There is a real need for new leadership at all levels of government that believes in, and will advocate for, fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and limited government. We believe this project will not only impact state and local levels, but also create a significant ‘farm team’ for higher office for years to come.”

As important as it is, there is no doubt that the Tea Party movement is still somewhat amateurish when it comes to governing. Its wonderful excitement and enthusiasm is incredibly important, to be sure, but a coherent message, a slate of candidates, and a membership pulling together and on the same page is imperative for the continued influence of the thousands of disparate Tea Party groups out there.

They don’t need to be led from the top, but they do need the tools to turn their ideas into a governing reality.

American Majority will help these groups learn the nuts and bolts of running for office, how to articulate a message to voters, and how to manage a campaign. It’s one thing to want to get involved and push Tea Party candidates, but another thing entirely to actually roll up one’s sleeves and get involved.

Contrary to the biased reporting of this effort by Politico, this training program is not a response to the “problem candidates” of the 2010 election as defined by the Old Media. No particular 2010 candidate was targeted for discussion by American Majority at its press conference, for instance. Further, American Majority does not intend to involve itself in the coming 2012 presidential elections. The presidential election is not the goal that AM is trying to undertake. A working conservative governing majority is the goal, one that encompasses the whole country at every level of government, not just the White House.

Another miscue from coverage of this effort is that AM is “jockeying for influence.” This is no top down operation. American Majority is not the sort of organization that wants to take your mailing list, it does not run or endorse particular candidates, nor does it attempt to control the message or the makeup of local conservative or Tea Party groups. American Majority offers free training sessions meant to assist local conservative groups to make a difference at home. It is not interested in “influencing” those local groups or controlling their efforts. American Majority seeks to offer training to help groups control their own message, to control their own candidates, and their own members.

Lastly, these are the sorts of efforts that the left has been engaging in for decades. You may wonder why ACORN and unions are so successful in running slates of candidates and then getting their way in our city, county, and state governments? It is because they help train local groups to run campaigns and they groom young candidates for office. These local efforts create a sort of farm team of candidates that the left can choose from when seeking candidates to run for federal offices, even president.

The grassroots efforts of the left have yielded significant gains for left-wing ideology. It is about time conservatives undertook similar efforts of their own. American Majority’s efforts are a welcome change to the usual conservative habit of writing white papers, commenting in the media and on blogs, but otherwise doing nothing to actually get conservative-minded candidates elected to office.


Big Government

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