DeLay's Gone, But You're Still Corrupt, Dems Tell Republicans

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - Rep. Tom DeLay's resignation from Congress does not mean Democrats will stop hammering the Republicans' "culture of corruption," House Democrats are promising supporters. Democrats also hinted that they will go after Republicans who have accepted money from DeLay's political action committee.

"DeLay may be gone, but nothing has changed," said the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, a group that works to elect House Democrats. "National Republicans want you to believe they have turned the page, but the Republican culture of putting the special interests first does not revolve around just one man."

The DCCC is giving itself credit for DeLay's departure, describing the veteran politician as broken, afraid, and on the losing end of the midterm election.

"DeLay, who was known as 'The Hammer,' ruled the House through intimidation and fear, the DCCC said in an email message on Tuesday. "But every day we at the DCCC exposed the corruption behind his rule...Because of our efforts...the unprecedented culture of corruption that Tom DeLay helped create has finally caught up with him."

Democrats indicated that they will cling to their "culture of corruption" mantra despite DeLay's imminent departure. The DCCC mentioned the refusal of the new House Majority Leader, Rep. John Boehner, to pass ethics and lobbying reform; it also mentioned the "power of the special interests" and the influence of "powerful lobbyists."

The DCCC said the drug, insurance, and oil companies are still writing legislation for Republicans. And it said DeLay's money "still pulses through the Republican Congress."

"There is only one way to end the rampant corruption," the DCCC said -- and that, of course, is to throw the Republicans out. The DCCC promised that a Democrat-majority Congress will not bow to corporate or special interests. (Democrats historically have aligned with labor unions.)

The email message ends with a fund-raising pitch. Democrats say money is necessary to "keep the momentum going."

On Tuesday, DeLay said the Democrat Party has no agenda, no solutions -- "all they've got is the strategy of personal destruction and character assassination; and it hasn't worked in the past, it's not going to work in the future. They are a permanent minority party."

DeLay also said his departure from the congressional race in his Texas district is bad news for the Democrat who was challenging him, because it will suck the national money and energy out of the race.

Speaking of money, the liberal advocacy group Political Action is calling on House Republicans to "return the money they took" from the "disgraced" Tom DeLay's Political Action Committee (ARMPAC)."

Just about every Republican has taken money from DeLay's PAC, the group said, describing DeLay as "Washington's leading influence peddler" and "ground zero in Congress' culture of corruption."

"Most of them are still hanging on to the money," said Eli Pariser, director of Political Action.

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