Ethics Cloud Hangs Over DeLay Campaign
Christianity Today's coverage of this year's election includes profiles of John Kerry and George W. Bush. For the rest of this week, we will highlight other campaigns and issues to be decided this election season.
Texas Republican Tom DeLay, the House majority leader renowned as "The Hammer" of the Christian Right in Congress, is facing both trial and tribulation as the November election draws nigh. DeLay is known for his fierce partisanship, outspoken conservatism, and effective fundraising. He is one of Israel's strongest defenders in the House and regularly receives a 100 percent voting score from the Christian Coalition.
In 20 years as a U.S. congressman, DeLay has consistently won with upwards of 60 percent of the vote. The 10-term incumbent represents Sugar Land in Houston's prosperous southwest and is often labeled the third-most-powerful man in Washington.
But ethical quandaries, including an inquiry by the House ethics committee and a criminal investigation of his Texas-based political action committee, are likely to shrink his typically wide margin of victory.
In July, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct announced it was reviewing accusations brought by Democratic Rep. Chris Bell of Houston that DeLay illegally solicited campaign donations in return for legislative actiona violation of House bribery laws.
The committee announced in late September that it remains deadlocked on whether to launch a formal investigation. Bell was defeated in the Texas Democratic primary after a remapping plan that DeLay championed redrew his district. Bell, who is finishing out his term, lodged the complaint after his primary loss. However, the House ethics committee said yesterday, September 30, that DeLay acted ...