After making the ridiculous argument that he should not go to prison because he only violated our democracy and did not personally benefit from his crimes, former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to 3 years in prison for a campaign finance scheme that illegally funneled corporate money to Texas GOP candidates. Pay attention Christine O’Donnell this could be your future.
Here is the video from CNN:
According to CNN, DeLay invoked overtones of his conviction being motivated by partisan politics, “I’ve lost my right to vote. Just because someone disagrees with you, it’s not enough, they have to bury you, throw you in jail.” No, that’s not the reason why he is going to prison at all. Politics has nothing to do with this. DeLay, like any good Republican is refusing to take responsibility for his own illegal actions that got him into trouble. Democrats didn’t set up the illegal money laundering scheme to benefit Republican candidates. DeLay did.
DeLay’s attorney argued that since his client didn’t personally profit from his crimes, he should not be locked up, “Mr. DeLay has suffered enough. He lost it all already. He did not rob, he did not line his own pockets. He did what he did because he believes in conservative values.” It is interesting that according to DeLay’s attorney using illegal methods to win elections is a victimless crime. In fact, cheating to win elections is a part of conservative values.
The problem is that DeLay’s crimes were not victimless. The Hammer victimized every voter in the state of Texas, who thought that they were participating in fair elections. DeLay’s actions undermined the credibility of democracy, and his law breaking gave corporate interests more influence and power at the expense of the rest of us. Tom DeLay is a victim of his own ego, and a belief that he is above the law.
Somewhere in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell’s paranoia amped up another five levels with the announcement of DeLay’s sentence. If Tom DeLay got three years for cheating the campaign finance laws and not lining his own pockets, what might O’Donnell get if she is convicted of misusing campaign funds to cover her living expenses? For a convicted felon like DeLay and a potential convict like O’Donnell a prison jumpsuit may be the latest in fashion. As Tom is about to find out, and Christine might also someday know, orange is so their color.