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Stench of Corruption Grows Stronger; DeLay Should Step Down

May 26, 2005

Stench of Corruption Grows Stronger; DeLay Should Step Down

Today’s verdict in the civil trial involving House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s political action committee affirms that illegal corporate money was injected into Texas state races as part of DeLay’s bid to consolidate power by changing the Texas House from Democratic to Republican so that he could redraw congressional districts to favor Republican candidates.

This civil trial provided an impartial forum for the airing of all of the evidence and an opportunity for Texans for a Republican Majority, the political action committee founded by DeLay and run by his close lieutenants, to put its best case forward. The questions now are who was responsible for soliciting that corporate money and who determined how that money should be used. A grand jury is still investigating, and three of DeLay’s closest associates await criminal trial.

“The stench of corruption surrounding Tom DeLay and his seemingly insatiable appetite for power and control grows stronger every day as we find out more and more about his ethical lapses,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. “It is clear that he has abused the public trust and is unfit to lead. He should step down from his leadership post immediately.”

Tom “Smitty” Smith, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, added: “This verdict shows that Texans for a Republican Majority operated outside of the law and clearly reinforces the criminal charges that Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle is prosecuting. He should pursue those charges vigorously and continue the grand jury investigation until all the facts are on the table.”