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He has three years from that date to file any lawsuits for wrongful action. In , Abramoff began representing Native American tribes that were seeking to establish gambling on reservations, starting with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Doolittle's chief of staff, Richard Robinson, said the attorney handling Doolittle's inquiry is David Barger. Abramoff claimed in emails sent in that Deputy United States Secretary of the Interior Griles had pledged to block an Indian casino that would compete with one of his clients. DeLay has been a strong supporter of the State of Israel , saying, "The Republican leadership, especially that leadership in the House, has made pro-Israel policy a fundamental component of our foreign policy agenda and it drives the Democrat [ sic ] leadership crazy—because they just can't figure out why we do it! Reviewed August 27, Not rewarding. She was joined in the opinion by visiting Justice David Galtney, also a Republican.

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Charlie Bass and Jeff Flake , [23] who wanted to avoid being associated with DeLay's legal issues in an election year, DeLay announced he would not seek to regain his position as Majority Leader. DeLay was known to "primary" Republicans who resisted his votes i. Employing a method known as "catch and release", DeLay allowed centrist or moderately conservative Republicans to take turns voting against controversial bills. If a representative said that a bill was unpopular in his district, then DeLay would ask him to vote for it only if his vote were necessary for passage; if his vote were not needed, then the representative would be able to vote against the party without reprisal, a practice which has been followed by other party leaders and whips from both sides of the aisle, Democrat and Republican, respectively, when in power.

In the th Congress, a preliminary Medicare vote passed —, a vote on Head Start passed —, a vote on school vouchers for Washington, D. Both political supporters and opponents remarked on DeLay's ability to sway the votes of his party, a method DeLay described as "growing the vote". DeLay was noted for involving lobbyists in the process of passing House bills. One lobbyist said, "I've had members pull me aside and ask me to talk to another member of Congress about a bill or amendment, but I've never been asked to work on a bill—at least like they are asking us to whip bills now.

Partly as a result of DeLay's management abilities, the House Republican caucus under him displayed unprecedented, sustained party cohesion. On September 30, , the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay because he "offered to endorse Representative [Nick] Smith 's son in exchange for Representative Smith's vote in favor of the Medicare bill. Following petition drives by citizens and organizations asking that DeLay be removed from office [29] and official admonishments by the United States House Committee on Ethics , [30] DeLay was charged in with money laundering and conspiracy charges related to illegal campaign finance activities aimed at helping Republican candidates for Texas state office in the elections.

A first grand jury rejected Earle's indictment attempt, but a second grand jury issued an indictment for one count of criminal conspiracy on September 28, On October 3, a third grand jury indicted DeLay for the more serious offense of money laundering. On January 7, , after pressure from fellow Republicans, he announced that he would not seek to return to the post. On June 9, , he resigned from Congress. DeLay moved to dismiss all charges.

Judge Priest dismissed one count of the indictment alleging conspiracy to violate election law but allowed the other, more serious charges of money laundering and conspiracy to engage in money laundering to proceed. He also refused to allow a change of venue from Travis County , which the defense argued could not be the site of an impartial trial, to Fort Bend County , in which DeLay resided.

The trial began on October 26, , in Austin. On the charge of money laundering, he was sentenced to five years in prison, but that was probated for 10 years, meaning DeLay would serve 10 years' probation. Dick DeGuerin is DeLay's defense attorney. On September 19, , a ruling by the Court of Appeals overturned his convictions and entered an acquittal.

Justice Melissa Goodwin, a Republican, wrote in the majority opinion that. Rather than supporting an agreement to violate the election code, the evidence shows that the defendants were attempting to comply with the Election Code limitations on corporate contributions. She was joined in the opinion by visiting Justice David Galtney, also a Republican. Woodfin Jones, a Democrat, dissented, writing, "I disagree with the majority's conclusion that there was legally insufficient evidence to support a jury finding that the corporate contributions at issue here were the proceeds of criminal activity.

He has three years from that date to file any lawsuits for wrongful action. In December , the Washington Post reported that, in , a group of Russian oil executives had given money to a nonprofit advocacy group run by a former DeLay staffer and funded by clients of lobbyist Jack Abramoff , in an attempt to influence DeLay's vote on an International Monetary Fund bailout of the Russian economy.

On June 25, , the U. This payment was the largest single entry on U. Family Network's donor list. The original source of the donation was not recorded.

The now-dissolved law firm's former partners declined to comment due to "confidentiality requirements". DeLay's involvement with the lobbying industry included a pointed effort on the part of the Republican Party to parlay the Congressional majority into dominance of K Street , the lobbying district of Washington, D. DeLay, Senator Rick Santorum , and Grover Norquist launched a campaign in encouraging lobbying firms to retain only Republican officials in top positions.

Firms that had Democrats in positions of authority, DeLay suggested, would not be granted the ear of majority party members. DeLay has long been a strong critic of Cuban leader Fidel Castro 's regime, which DeLay has called a "thugocracy", and a supporter of the U. However, in April , Time Magazine published a photo from a government-funded July trip to Israel, in which DeLay is seen smoking a Cuban cigar.

In September , the U. Treasury Department 's enforcement of the law toughened it to forbid consumption smoking or purchase of Cuban cigars by U. During the Texas redistricting warrant controversy, several Democratic members of the Texas House of Representatives went to Oklahoma to prevent the House from establishing a quorum of members, thereby preventing the House from acting on any legislation, including a proposed redistricting plan.

Although not a member of the Texas legislature, DeLay became involved, by contacting several federal agencies in order to determine the location of the missing legislators. DeLay's staff contacted the Federal Aviation Administration FAA for assistance in tracking down a plane that one of the legislators was flying to Oklahoma, an action that the FAA believed to be a result of safety concerns about the aircraft. Department of Transportation found that a total of thirteen FAA employees spent more than eight hours searching for the airplane.

Senator Joseph Lieberman I- Connecticut requested an investigation into DeLay's involvement in the requests, and asked that any White House involvement be reported.

The House Ethics Committee admonished DeLay for improper use of FAA resources, and for involving federal agencies in a matter that should have been resolved by Texas authorities. DeLay called the Terri Schiavo case "one of my proudest moments in Congress". On Palm Sunday weekend in March , several days after the brain-damaged Florida woman's feeding tube was disconnected for the third time, the House met in emergency session to pass a bill allowing Schiavo's parents to petition a federal judge to review the removal of the feeding tube.

DeLay called the removal of the feeding tube "an act of barbarism". DeLay faced accusations of hypocrisy from critics when the Los Angeles Times revealed that he had consented to ending life support for his father, who had been in a comatose state because of a debilitating accident in DeLay was accused of endorsing violence in the wake of a series of high-profile violent crimes and death threats against judges when he said, "The men responsible [for Terri Schiavo's death] will have to answer to their behavior".

DeLay's opponents accused him of rationalizing violence against judges when their decisions were unpopular with the public.

Ralph Neas , President of People for the American Way , said that DeLay's comments were "irresponsible and could be seen by some as justifying inexcusable conduct against our courts". In early , The New Republic picked up a story, first reported by Houston-area alternative weeklies, alleging that DeLay had committed perjury during a civil lawsuit brought against him by a former business partner in The plaintiff in that suit, Robert Blankenship, charged that DeLay and a third partner in Albo Pest Control had breached the partnership agreement by trying to force him out of the business without buying him out.

Blankenship filed suit, charging DeLay and the other partner with breach of fiduciary duty , fraud , wrongful termination , and loss of corporate expectancy. While being deposed in that suit, DeLay claimed that he did not think that he was an officer or director of Albo and that he believed that he had resigned two or three years previously.

Blankenship also alleged that Albo money had been spent on DeLay's congressional campaigns, in violation of federal and state law. DeLay and Blankenship settled for an undisclosed sum. Blankenship's attorney said that had he known about the congressional disclosure forms, he would have referred the case to the Harris County district attorney's office for a perjury prosecution.

Abramoff allegedly provided DeLay with trips, gifts, and political donations in exchange for favors to Abramoff's lobbying clients, which included the government of the U. Political columnist Robert Novak reported that Abramoff "has no derogatory information about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and is not implicating him as part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors.

In , the U. Senate unanimously passed a worker reform bill to extend the protection of U. Peter Hoekstra R-MI by threatening him with the loss of his subcommittee chairmanship. DeLay received gifts from Abramoff, including paid golfing holidays to Scotland, concert tickets, and the use of Abramoff's private skyboxes for fundraisers. At the time, campaign finance laws did not require the use of the skybox, valued at several thousand dollars, to be disclosed or for Abramoff to be reimbursed for its use.

Abramoff paid for the airfare for the trip, and lobbyist Ed Buckham paid for expenses at a hotel at St. Andrews golf course in Scotland. On the day that the trip began, The National Center received large donations from two of Abramoff's clients, internet lottery service eLottery, Inc.

Both organizations denied that they had intended to pay for DeLay's trip. House rules forbid members to accept travel expenses from lobbyists, and require that members inquire into the sources of funds that nonprofits use to pay for trips. DeLay denied knowing that lobbyists had paid for travel expenses. In July , DeLay voted against a bill that would have restricted Internet gambling. Both eLottery and the Choctaws opposed the bill.

Rudy's actions on behalf of Abramoff's clients during this time were mentioned in Abramoff's guilty plea in January A DeLay spokesman denied that the donations had influenced DeLay's actions. Scanlon, who became Abramoff's lobbying partner, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy charges. His cooperation may have forced DeLay to abandon his efforts to return to his position as House Majority Leader, [63] a decision DeLay announced only a few days after Abramoff's plea bargain.

Rudy pleaded guilty on March 31, , to illegally acting on Abramoff's behalf in exchange for gifts. DeLay's attorney, Richard Cullen, initially said the payments were for telephone calls she made periodically to the offices of certain members of Congress seeking the names of their favorite charities, and that she then forwarded that information to Buckham, along with some information about those charities. In early June , Cullen said the payments were also for general political consulting she provided to her husband.

In August , the government ended a six-year investigation of his ties to Abramoff, according to DeLay's lead counsel in the matter, Richard Cullen. A state case continued in Texas. DeLay was rated a 2. On economic policy , DeLay was rated 95 out of by Americans for Tax Reform , a conservative anti-tax group, and 95 to by the United States Chamber of Commerce , a pro-business lobby.

On environmental policy, he earned ratings of zero from the Sierra Club and League of Conservation Voters. He has been a fervent critic of the United States Environmental Protection Agency , which he has called the " Gestapo of government". In the politics of guns, DeLay firmly came down on the side of gun owners rights, loosening gun control laws and opposing stricter controls. On the issue of abortion , DeLay is pro-life.

In the s, in keeping with his opposition to environmental regulation, DeLay criticized proposals to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons CFCs , which lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.

In , DeLay introduced a bill to revoke the CFC ban and to repeal provisions of the Clean Air Act dealing with stratospheric ozone , arguing that the science underlying the ban was debatable.

DeLay opposes the teaching of evolution. After the Columbine High School massacre in , he entered into the Congressional Record a statement saying that shootings happened in part "because our school systems teach our children that they are nothing but glorified apes who have evolutionized [ sic ] out of some primordial soup of mud.

The proposal passed by a slim margin. In , the House Ethics Committee unanimously admonished DeLay for his actions related to a energy bill. A Committee memo stated that DeLay "created the appearance that donors were being provided with special access to Representative DeLay regarding the then-pending energy legislation. Critics of the legislation argued that it unduly favored creditors over consumers, noting that the credit card industry spent millions of dollars lobbying in support of the act.

The bill passed Congress. DeLay has been a strong supporter of the State of Israel , saying, "The Republican leadership, especially that leadership in the House, has made pro-Israel policy a fundamental component of our foreign policy agenda and it drives the Democrat [ sic ] leadership crazy—because they just can't figure out why we do it!

On a trip to Israel, DeLay toured the nation and addressed members of the Knesset. In , in a snub to the Bush administration, DeLay was the "driving force behind the rejection of direct aid" to the Palestinian Authority. In the wake of the legislation, some Jewish leaders expressed concern "about the degree to which the Texas Republican, an evangelical Christian who opposes the creation of a Palestinian state, will go to undercut American and Israeli attempts to achieve a two-state solution.

One American's Fight , given media interviews primarily regarding politics , begun a personal blog , [93] opened an official Facebook page written in the third-person , [94] become active on Twitter written in the first-person , [95] and appeared on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars , the highly watched ABC television reality show.

According to his personal website, since leaving office DeLay has also founded a strategic political consulting firm, First Principles LLC. DeLay's website concludes by saying that the former congressman and his wife "continue to be outspoken advocates for foster care reform and are actively involved in a unique foster care community in Richmond, Texas , that provides safe, permanent homes for abused and neglected kids.

On December 10, , DeLay launched a personal blog. One American's Fight , co-authored with Stephen Mansfield. The book's foreword is by Rush Limbaugh ; the preface, by Sean Hannity. The book contains controversial claims, including DeLay's assertion as fact the claim that the Clinton Administration had sought to have military uniforms banned from the White House , which has been repeatedly proven false.

DeLay was a participant on the ninth season of Dancing with the Stars , a reality-TV dance competition show in which celebrities such as DeLay are paired with professional dancers. DeLay is the second former politician to compete on the show, following the former mayor of Cincinnati —78 , season three 's Jerry Springer , better known as host of the tabloid television talk show The Jerry Springer Show. During season three of Dancing with the Stars in the fall of , DeLay, a big fan of the show according to his wife, [99] [] made his then-biggest foray back into the public spotlight after his resignation from Congress when he launched a public campaign [] urging people to vote for one of the show's contestants, his "good friend, country music singer and GOP supporter" [] Sara Evans , in order to promote "good American values in the media" and combat "smut on television", about a month before a very ugly public break-up, complete with dueling and graphic accusations of adultery and pornography, [] [] [] [] of Evans' marriage to Republican politico Craig Schelske, [] which caused Evans to withdraw from the competition on October 12, , midway through the show's season.

From singing at the Republican Convention to appearing with candidates in the last several election cycles, we have always been able to count on Sara for her support of the things we all believe in One of her opponents on the show is controversial talk show host Jerry Springer.

We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television by supporting good people like Sara Evans. Sara will be a great representative of the values that we want to see in the media, and we should all support her to keep her on the show as long as possible. On September 21, , in his first and main dance [] for the season nine premiere episode, DeLay donned a sequined, leopard-print lined vest as part of an outfit he called "Elvis meets animal print" [] and put on orthopedic shoes he sustained pre- stress fractures in his feet during training [] to perform the cha-cha-cha complete with air guitar , knee-sliding, finger-pointing, and hip and rear action galore to The Troggs ' hit song " Wild Thing ".

DeLay said "Wild Thing" was an apt description of him during his college days. DeLay received a score of only 16 out of a possible 30 points from the three-judge panel.

For week two of the competition , the assigned dance for the man once known as the "Meanest Man in Congress" [] was the tango.

Remarked DeLay in anticipation of his dance: He received straight "6"'s from the three judge panel Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge! Unfortunately for the former congressman, that point total landed him in a tie with former supermodel Kathy Ireland for last place among the 14 remaining celebrities.

DeLay was spared elimination when the votes from the television audience, combined with the points from the judges, determined Ireland received the lowest overall score for week two. Preparation for week three of the competition was difficult for DeLay, as the pre- stress fractures in his feet turned into full stress fractures. Because of the pain, he was shown in pre-dance footage having to stop practicing at times, including during his pre-show rehearsal the day of his dance.

His doctors told him not to dance anymore anytime soon, and they and show producers advised him to withdraw from the remainder of the competition. In announcing his decision to dance anyway, DeLay laughed, "What's a little pain when you can party? I don't know which," [] but also cited how his father always used to tell him never to quit. And so, outfitted in red pants with a red and white candy-cane striped shirt red is the unofficial color of the Republican Party , which had emblazoned on its back a large, sequined version of the GOP's elephant symbol, DeLay and his partner Burke, who wore a blue the unofficial color of the Democratic Party dress with white stars and a sequined version of the Dems' donkey symbol, danced the samba video available [] to the bouncy, song by the band War , " Why Can't We Be Friends?

They awarded him a combined 15 out of 30 possible points. Once again, however, such a score placed the former congressman low on the leader board, in second-to-last place. Our church recently charted a motorcoach with your company and we wanted to express that our driver, whose name is Gustabo, was an excellent driver, courteous, and friendly.

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