Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Quid. Pro. Quo. T-Minus 13 Days and Counting

The Daily DeLay: T-Minus 13 Days and Counting
DeLay offered quid pro quo endorsement to son of Rep. Nick Smith in exchange for Smith’s vote on Medicare.

Earlier this month, Tom DeLay was reprimanded, rebuked, admonished, etc. by the House Ethics Committee for offering a political favor to Congressman Nick Smith (R-MI) in exchange for his support for Bush's Medicare plan.

The Ethics Committee wrote:
The Investigative Subcommittee also found that Majority Leader Tom DeLay offered to endorse Representative Smith’s son in exchange for Representative Smith’s vote in favor of the Medicare bill. In the view on the Investigative Subcommittee, this conduct could support a finding that Majority Leader DeLay violated House rules. The Investigative Subcommittee concluded that it is improper for a Member to offer or link support for the personal interests of another Member as port of a quid pro quo to achieve a legislative goal.

We're not talking about any bill. We're talking about a piece of legislation that gives away the store to big pharmaceutical corporations, insurance companies, and HMOs. Pharmaceutical companies stand to gain at least $139 billion over ten years.

True to form, DeLay was paying back big contributors by rounding up the votes in any way he could (though it should be noted that Smith refused DeLay's "entreaties," which rumors afterwards suggested wasn't a simple endorsement: he may have offered $100,000 for Smith's son who was running for office because Smith is retiring).

DeLay raised $243,000 this cycle alone from health professionals, employees and PACs of insurance companies, and pharmaceutical interests. No wonder DeLay had a lot of stake in the outcome.

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