AP: "The grand jury’s finale coincided with a wide swath of political trouble for the GOP. Ethical questions have been raised about stock sales by the Republican leader of the Senate, Bill Frist, R-Tenn. And President Bush, an uneasy ally of DeLay, faces the lowest approval ratings of his presidency."
(Originally published on July 14, 2005) Tom Delay is the current House Majority Leader and self-appointed savior for the late Terri Schiavo. He is also under investigation for possible laundering of campaign funds and other alleged misdeeds that might lead to federal indictments in Texas. Sue Kelly represents New York's 19th Congressional District in the United States Congress.
Many New York Republican members of Congress have taken money from Tom DeLay's political action committee including Sue Kelly, in fact she tops the list.
Rep. Sue Kelly (R) - $12,020
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R) - $10,020
Rep. Vito Fossella (R) - $10,000
Rep. Jack Quinn (R) - $5,019
Rep. John E. Sweeney (R)- $4,915
Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) - $1,500
Rep. Amo Houghton (R) - $20
Rep. Pete King (R) - $20
Rep. John M. McHugh (R) - $20
Rep. James T. Walsh (R) - $20
DATA SOURCE: Federal Election Commission. Researched and analyzed by the Center for Responsive Politics. October 4, 2004.
Recently, Delay, who spoke out for Terri Schiavo said, "One thing that God has brought to us is Terri Schiavo, to help elevate the visibility of what is going on in America. ... This is exactly the issue that is going on in America, of attacks against the conservative movement, against me and against many others."
Further, he said, "Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo’s friends in this time of deep sorrow."
I don't get it. Why did House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who has helped lead a congressional effort to keep a brain-damaged Florida woman alive, join family members nearly 17 years ago in allowing doctors not to take extraordinary measures to extend his father's life?
So then, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (who probably also doesn't get it) (D-NJ) issues a strongly-worded letter to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) over his recent remarks threatening those involved with the Schiavo case, which Lautenberg takes to mean federal judges.
April 1, 2005
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Majority Leader DeLay,
I was stunned to read the threatening comments you made yesterday against Federal judges and our nation’s courts of law in general. In reference to certain Federal judges, you stated: “The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior.”
As you are surely aware, the family of Federal Judge Joan H. Lefkow of Illinois was recently murdered in their home. And at the state level, Judge Rowland W. Barnes and others in his courtroom were gunned down in Georgia.
Our nation’s judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That’s why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?
You should be aware that your comments yesterday may violate a Federal criminal statute, 18 U.S.C. §115 (a)(1)(B). That law states:
“Whoever threatens to assault…. or murder, a United States judge… with intent to retaliate against such… judge…. on account of the performance of official duties, shall be punished [by up to six years in prison]”
Threats against specific Federal judges are not only a serious crime, but also beneath a Member of Congress. In my view, the true measure of democracy is how it dispenses justice. Your attempt to intimidate judges in America not only threatens our courts, but our fundamental democracy as well.
Federal judges, as well as state and local judges in our nation, are honorable public servants who make difficult decisions every day. You owe them – and all Americans – an apology for your reckless statements.
Frank R. Lautenberg
Back to Congresswoman Kelly... I'd like Sue to give Tom back all his money. Certainly, I'd hate to see all of the good things Congresswoman Kelly has done for the 19th district, during her SIX terms, be tarnished by her association with an extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalist like Delay.
U.S. Rep. Sue Kelly
2025 Crompond Rd.
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Phone (914) 962-0761
Fax (914) 962-9537
More than 654,000 people live in the 19th District, which covers a significant portion of New York's Hudson Valley region. Congresswoman Kelly represents all of Putnam County, most of Orange County, southern Dutchess County, northern Westchester County, and northern Rockland County.
-- Ross M. Weale Jr.