“That’s happened with increasing frequency at the FEC lately. Election-law experts, supporters of campaign-finance regulations, and even some members of the commission itself are expressing growing concern about a string of cases in which the three Republicans on the commission — led by Tom DeLay’s former ethics lawyer — have voted as a block against enforcement, preventing the commission from carrying out its basic regulatory function.” Pete Martin and Zachary Roth of TPM Muckraker delve into how Republicans antithetical to campaign finance reform have effectively sabotaged the FEC. “The FEC, he said, has been made ‘ineffective’ — and not by accident. ‘This is what McConnell had in mind.’“
“Of course, the one person who could do the most to get the commission back on track is President Obama…Most experts believe that the White House supports stronger campaign-finance laws as a goal, but, with a host of other issues on its plate, is reluctant to pick a fight with the GOP Senate leader. ‘They’re picking their priorities, and they don’t want to take on Mitch McConnell right now,’ said Hasen. ‘I consider that unfortunate.‘” Anyone else sensing a pattern?
“If government is necessary, bad government, at least for conservatives, is inevitable, and conservatives have been exceptionally good at showing just how bad it can be. Hence the truth revealed by the Bush years: Bad government–indeed, bloated, inefficient, corrupt, and unfair government–is the only kind of conservative government there is. Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are not likely to do it very well.” Perhaps overplaying the Hartzian “America is liberal and liberal only” card just a bit, Boston College professor Alan Wolfe argues convincingly why conservatives can’t govern, and explains how, despite the emerging right-wing consensus to the contrary, Dubya’s many failures and Boss DeLay’s corruption aren’t a betrayal of conservative thinking, but a culmination of it. (By way of Blivet.)
“Every redistricting is a partisan political exercise, but this is going to put it at a level we have never seen…That’s the gift that the Supreme Court and Tom DeLay have given us.” In other news, the Court votes 5-4 that DeLay’s Texas redistricting plan needs to be tweaked — namely, that one district needs to be redrawn to accommodate the Voting Rights Act — but is otherwise legal and constitutional. “[W]ith six justices producing 123 pages of opinions, without any five of them able to agree on how to define an unconstitutional gerrymander, politicians of both parties said that the ruling leaves the door wide open to attempts to copy the DeLay strategy in other states.”
“‘It clearly shows some members live in a dream world of high-class living and fictional accounting. DeLay’s office was part of the public deception. It makes you wonder if there are more filings as fictional as this one is turning out to be,’ said Kent Cooper, the former chief of public disclosure for the Federal Election Commission.” Prosecutors disclose an e-mail trail indicating that Boss DeLay’s office knowingly filed false reports about Abramoff-paid boondoggles and were “concerned ‘if someone starts asking questions.’“
“‘Any rational person in [DeLay’s] position would be very concerned,’ said Kendall Coffey, a former federal prosecutor who is now a prominent defense lawyer in Miami. ‘Whether it’s working up the ladder at Enron or a drug organization, it’s classic strategy to work up by getting plea agreements and cooperation at each level.‘” As the GOP preps for a DeLay-less future, it seems that, for Boss DeLay — despite having theoretically left “on his own terms” — the legal woes are just beginning.