Thursday, February 10, 2005

Interview with former Congressman Chris Bell on Ethics

Last week, in what was called a bloodless coup, House Speaker Dennis Hastert revamped the makeup of the House Ethics Committee. Replaced were lawmakers who had demonstrated a willingness to act independently in investigating powerful figures like Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Newcomers were all DeLay loyalists. Former Congressman Chris Bell, the man who has done as much as any other in bringing Tom DeLay’s ethical transgressions to public attention, agreed to answer some questions about this ethics shake up and others for the Daily DeLay.

Daily DeLay: Recently, Speaker Dennis Hastert replaced three of the five Republican members of the House Ethics Committee. All three had taken action against Tom DeLay. What do you make of this decision by Hastert? What message does it send?

Chris Bell: Packing the Ethics Committee with DeLay loyalists further immunizes the Republican congressional leadership not just from the Democrats but also from democracy. I filed the ethics complaint against Tom DeLay not because I'm a Democrat and he's a Republican or even because he drew me out of my congressional seat but because he engaged in corruption to further his plans to disenfranchise voters in Texas. The message the Speaker sent by doing this is that the Republican congressional leadership does not feel like it needs to play by the rules anymore, and they don't even care what it looks like.

DD: Before you filed your complaint last summer regarding Tom DeLay's fundraising practices and other questionable activities, there was a seven-year long "ethics truce" between Democrats and Republicans. Was this good for Congress?

CB: The American people expect public servants to be able to police themselves. But instead of designing a system to enforce ethical conduct, Tom Delay and his cohorts have implemented a self protection system. Obviously, it wasn't good for democracy. Fair play should be a minimal expectation, and the "ethics truce" prevented Congress from meeting even that low standard.

DD: What made you decide to break the ethics truce and file the complaint? Aside from the content of your complaint about DeLay, was there some event or experience while serving in office that was particularly eye-opening?

CB: There were several incidents which led up to the filing of the complaint. The first story to be reported involving Mr. DeLay's unethical conduct involved Westar. In those early reports, it clearly appeared that Westar was seeking special treatment in exchange for its financial contributions. However, the initial reports did not focus a great deal on Westar's contributions to Mr. DeLay's political action committee, TRMPAC. The next major story involving Mr. DeLay's questionable practices came following the walk-out by the Texas lawmakers who fled to Ardmore, Oklahoma to block redistricting. Following the walk-out, it became known that Mr. DeLay had violated House rules by using his position as a congressman to try to get the Department of Homeland Security involved in what was clearly a political matter. But the story which led me to include all of the incidents and to file them in one complaint was published in September of 2003 by the Texas Observer; it was titled "Rise of the Machine" and, in clear black and white reporting, it detailed how and why Mr. DeLay's Texas financing scheme was designed and implemented. That's when it became so abundantly clear that DeLay and his aides had flagrantly thumbed their noses at Texas law and that something needed to be done.

DD: Some people in Washington claim that the general public doesn't care about these ethical matters. You've suggested in a variety of interviews that the contrary is true. Why do you personally care about these issues and why are you right and others wrong?

CB: I think one reason many didn't care was because the stories printed about some of the matters were difficult to understand, weren't covered for very long or very thoroughly and often seemed to be part of a so-called game of "gotcha." But basically ethics stories are boring because they concentrate on process instead of characters and narrative. The DeLay story struck a nerve with people all across the United States because Tom DeLay put a face to what Walt Whitman called "the never-ending audacity of elected persons." Suddenly, they could see corruption up close. They could understand the way the Majority Leader had abused his position and why. People got angry because Tom Delay was making their votes irrelevant.

Immediately after the complaint was filed, I began receiving letters, faxes, phone calls and e-mails supporting my action. Back in Texas, strangers would approach me on the street to thank me for filing the complaint. I trust a great deal of that support was driven by an intense dislike for Tom DeLay but a lot of it was also due to people's fundamental sense of fairness. The American people do not begrudge anyone his or her power until they start abusing it. That's where the line is drawn and thousands apparently believed that Mr. DeLay had crossed it. If people need proof, they need look no further than the results from Mr. DeLay's last election. He runs in a district where 65% of the people usually vote for the Republican candidate. However, DeLay only received 55% of the vote and, even more striking, in his home county, Fort Bend, where every Democratic stronghold had been removed, the Majority Leader only received a little over 51% of the vote. What should that tell folks? People care about ethics.

DD: You are considering a run for Governor of Texas. Will ethics and campaign finance reform be major themes in your campaign?

CB: I am actively exploring the race for Texas Governor in 2006 and people can read more about my reasons for doing so at chrisbell.com. Texas has a lot of challenges, but if I choose to run I will talk about opening democracy to mainstream Texans and not just to a closed circle of entrenched ideologues. Redistricting and corporate campaign corruption have closed the doors of the capitol to all but wealthy interests who gain entrance through a revolving door in the lobby.

Ethics in government has always been important to me. When I served on the Houston City Council before going to Congress, I chaired the Ethics Committee and we passed some of the most sweeping ethical reforms the city had seen in years. I will always look for ways to make government more open and accountable.

I don't pretend to be perfect; I've made mistakes just like everybody else. When I have, I've owned up to the mistakes and moved forward. I guess what bothers me so much about what I now see going on in both Washington and in Texas is an effort to keep people from finding out about the mistakes of lawmakers and then when they're uncovered, an effort to fool people and pretend there was nothing wrong. My sense is that people aren't being fooled and are sickened by a lot of the abuses they see. If I can help open the system, I'm going to.

58 Comments:

  • Thank you Mr. Bell for your courageous stand. Thank you for holding your head up in dignity with the set-backs you have experienced. We have seen in DeLay's actions an exagerated extreme of big money running government. I applaud those who stand against that and I call on other citizens to find ways to work against it as well.

    By Blogger amorando, at 1:06 PM  

  • What is happening to our Country because of the Republican run Congress is a disgrace and must be corrected .
    Why can't we get a petition together and send it the also Corrupt Speaker of the House?

    By Anonymous fxslps@yahoo.com, at 1:14 PM  

  • Chris Bell,
    The Republicans don't know it but there is a train bearing down on them in the form of disgust from the American people for their leader's failed policiies. Mr. Delay is an extension of that failure and I would continue to keep this matter before the Ameerican people . Times will change and Bush and his bully boys will be gone. David A Dowding

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:14 PM  

  • I have not seen in my 63 years a more corrupt administration or a more flagrant and arrogant abuse of power than I have seen in the Bush years. We need more people to stand up and speak. Amazing that the Bush White House has managed to survive when at least three key White House insiders have left with tales of corruption, corporate favoritism, and wanton disregard for the well being of the country. When will the giant wake up?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:24 PM  

  • Mr. Bell, your words are like a breath of fresh air. Hopefully, you are right - the majority of voters want honesty and accountability from their government leaders. Many thanks to you for helping to expose the not so honest ways of Mr. Delay.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 PM  

  • Howdy from Edinburg, Texas. I'm excited to read about your potential run for the governership of this state. We sure need a breath of fresh air. Give 'em hell, Mr. Bell!
    Tom Gesswein

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 PM  

  • Tom DeLay is the poster boy for a corrupt, sick system. We must go all the way and demand electoral reform which includes public financing, IRV voting and abolshment of election officials who have conflicts of interest. Thank you, Mr. Bell for having the courage to make known the corruption in the House of Representatives.

    By Blogger joyce stewart, at 2:11 PM  

  • You may be one of the few who dare take on the phoney Tom DeLay and for that you deserve a Purple Heart Medal as anyone who criticizes this regime is fair game for the goon squads of the Right. As for Dennis Hastert, he is just another Newt Gingrich posing as a jolly ole Saint Nick. But he is worse than Gingrich because he comes clothed like so many GOP hypocrites in the cloak of righteousness. Unfortunately, the average American DOESN'T care. Most have never heard of DeLay or Hastert and as long as they have their football, beer and Rush Limbaughs to sooth and entertain them, don't expect much. Sad to say that about my fellow Americans!

    By Anonymous Jimmy G, at 2:41 PM  

  • We must be a nation of masochistic, self-flagellating, ignoramuses to have voted this current administration and republican controlled congress back for another stint at systematically dismantling everything good and decent this country once was.

    We need more people like Chris Bell in government if we are to have any chance at surviving the fallout from the next four years.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:55 PM  

  • Several of the previous comments are right on. I believe that there are those who live outside Texas that think what DeLay and Hastert are doing is okay. Or don't care. Those who live in Texas know that it is not okay.
    Unfortunately, DeLay and Hastert are in Washington, D.C. our capitol which controls everything that affects our lives.
    I congratulate Mr. Bell and sincerely pray that he is the next Governor of Texas.
    b.f. Indiana

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:07 PM  

  • Thank you, Chris Bell!! It takes courage to speak out against the well-oiled and ruthless machine run by DeLay & Co. Please keep talking--maybe your doing so will inspire others in the Congress to develop a little backbone and speak up for principled behavior and against such corruption.

    By Anonymous SickOfItAllButStillHopeful, at 3:08 PM  

  • Thank you Mr. Bell. I can't stomach the administration in power now. But I think most of the Democrats are corrupt as well. I do like Howard Dean, but I'm thinking of voting as an independent. The Democrats have to wake up --2 no votes against Condoleeza Rice in the Senate? Put your vote where your mouth is Senators!! Don't speak "Nay" and then vote "Yea".

    I'm so-o-o-o tired of the United States being the bullies of the world, going around killing/torturing people/babies under the guise of WMD and/or democracy. The United States' history regarding the native americans and the african americans is deplorable. We have abused and killed millions of both races. Aren't we just too-too special?? Aren't we the holier-than-thou righteous ones telling the world how evil they are. Hey, all you religious wolves in sheep's clothing -- you nasty neocons -- Try to take the log out of your eye before you take the splinter out of another's.

    By Anonymous Madonna S., at 3:22 PM  

  • Fortunately, for the American people, those who abuse democracy ususally get so overconfident that they do really stupid things. Just wait. You all are finally catching up with Birmingham,Alabama.

    By Anonymous Seen it all in Alabama, at 3:22 PM  

  • Thank you Congressman Bell,
    Your courageous stand against the corrupt, arrogant and lawless DeLay is important to all Americans. DeLay represents the very worst of this arrogant, hypocritical and lawless Republican adminsitration. We need to expose and eliminate the "leaders" like DeLay who use fascist tactics to deprive the rest of us of a democratic system. DeLay's goons in Florida who stopped the voting in 2000 behaved like the Nazi brownshirts in Germany who made a mockery of democracy in that country. Likewise his unprincipled redistricting in Texas represents the same authoritarian behavior that turned Germany into into a fascist state. All Americans must be informed about how dangerous these completely unprincipled and power-mad individuals are to the future of this country. Please keep speaking out and you will have many supporters who care about the same values.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:30 PM  

  • Dear Mr. Bell,
    Talk about the "banality of evil"--DeLay and the Bush administration are corrupt, secretive, and their policies disastrous for the American people. Power-mad, arrogant, corrupt, hypocritical, manipulative and lawless. The worst, rather than the best, of what America is all about.

    Thank you, Mr. Bell for shining the light of truth on Mr. DeLay and keep that light of truth burning brightly on DeLay and the whole sorry lot of them until they disperse like cockroaches back into the corners from whence the came.

    Yes, it's true that many Americans are clueless, but they are catching on thanks to you and the many others who are digging in to oppose these thugs.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 PM  

  • I used to wonder what is was like to live through the decline of a great civilization. I'm beginning to think that I know. With these guys running the show, America is becoming a played out has been selling off all the family jewels to live in the style that she's become accustomed. And guess what? We're not even going to be at the table when these pompous fools get done with their treachery. God bless America? Give me a break!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:58 PM  

  • I suggest Mr. DeLay be recommended for the Presidential Medal of Freedom award. There was very little reaction to its being awarded to the recent recipients. Perhaps the addition of Mr. DeLay to the recipients will push forward two causes at the same time. The further up the pedestal, the more exposed?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:04 PM  

  • There are millions of us out here who DO CARE, Mr. Bell - and your work and words bring hope to us. We feel disenfranchised and unheard, and that is because we are.... Only by having more people in places of power (who have the real information) speak out publicly, will we be able to add our voices to yours. Thakk you for the opportunity to do just that. Good luck on yor governor race!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:11 PM  

  • I appreciate your courageous stand and actions in opposing DeLay's unethical and illegal tactics and strategies. Even though I live in California, I would be happy to send a contribution to your campaign for governor of Texas. The good citizens of Texas could use an honorable governor with your background. Best of luck and best regards.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 PM  

  • Thank you. DeLay is a fascist pig.

    Which brings me to the the head fascist pig. He's drinking again. I know the look of someone a lot tipsy trying to appear as if they haven't been tippling.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:35 PM  

  • The Republicans may be riding high for the moment but it will catch up with them especially Tom DeLay.
    Americans do care however, many are still blinded some by ignorance some by their own personal views. People who think "what I don't know can't hurt me" will eventually be smacked in the face with the unadulterated truth. Thanks to outstanding people like you Mr.Chris Bell. I wrote many times defending you and telling other members of Congress that my family personally found it insulting how the Republicans slandered you at their press conference and said you should pay Tom De Lay's legal bills. When I saw this display on C-Span I went ballistic !I don't live in Texas but will back you all the way and we have much respect for you, Congressman.
    Bravo ! to you and Mr.Earle for your bravery and sense of doing the right thing.

    By Anonymous Marilyn Conner, at 4:37 PM  

  • I agree with all the many comments about Delay's nefarious actions. I wish Chris Bell would run for President in 2008. But first , can he bring up the question as to which has the most WMDs, Iran or the USA.?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 PM  

  • I agree with all the many comments about Delay's nefarious actions. I wish Chris Bell would run for President in 2008. But first , can he bring up the question as to which has the most WMDs, Iran or the USA.?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:47 PM  

  • Give Delay enough rope and he'll hang himself. Thanks, Chris Bell.

    By Anonymous HC, at 5:15 PM  

  • Does anybody out there know whether or not the House Democrats really care about maintaining the integrity of unfettered Democratic Discourse in the Federal legislature?

    Frankly, I don't see it!

    If I am wrong -- if the House Democrats really do care -- would
    they then be willing to do something about it other than pay lip service to that integrity?

    If they world be so willing, would it be feasible, and practical,
    for House Democrats to then take a leaf from the Vaclav Havel textbook
    on effective Democratic self-government, and simply withhold their consent on EVERY matter before the House on the grounds that under its current leadership the House has rendered itself MORALLY IRRELEVANT as an institution of effective Democratic self-government?

    Of course, this would resolve the problem in the end, as it did for
    Vaclav Havel...and our Founding Fathers...and Lincoln...and Gandhi
    ...and Martin Luther King, Jr. ...even Jesus...and...

    But it would take guts! And frankly, I don't think the majority of House
    Democrats have what it would take. As I said, I don't see that deep
    down they really care about being a morally relevant force in the world at all.

    By Anonymous keltonic, at 5:20 PM  

  • Right on, Mr. Bell. Many of us in the disenfranchised Blue States support you. Tom DeLay and the current administration belie their professed interest in freedom and democracy.

    By Anonymous jane bouvier, at 5:31 PM  

  • I think that most of the American people will tire of the Republican antics and will remember to elect more Democrats in future elections ----- what happened to all their moral issues the Republicans themselves have tryed to stress in the last elections.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:32 PM  

  • Thank you Mr. Bell. As a Texan (recently relocated to Boston) I applaud anyone who exposes Tom DeLay for the crooked, unethical, lying pole-cat that he is. If there is any justice in this world, DeLay will do some jail time. My only regret in leaving Texas is that I don't get to vote against DeLay any longer.

    By Anonymous Steve Sutton (Boston from Houston), at 6:39 PM  

  • Thank you, Mr. Bell. You were so brave. As a fellow Texan, I too can attest to the results of Bush/DeLay on our once great state. Deregulation of utilities, school reform, and tort reform have been disasterous. And, to top it off, we have now been redistricted out of any chance for representation that might correct these wrongs. I cry when I see them doing the same to the nation. Please run for governor!

    By Anonymous rchughes12@yahoo.com, at 6:54 PM  

  • I am so glad there are still people in Congress like Chris Bell. I have read all these posts and Hooray! There are still intelligent people in this county. People thought I was exaggerating when I said"The Reichstag just burned down" the morning after the election in November. If we are not vigilant we will see these lying hypocrites destroy what was and imperfect but great country. Keep fighting the good fight.

    By Anonymous nyteacher, at 8:25 PM  

  • Tom DeLay is a huge scar on the landscape of Texas. I don't know when my fellow Texans will wake up. He is ruling Texas and his aim is to rule the entire nation.
    He must be stopped. I write in the lower left-hand corner of my mailing envelopes "DeFeat DeLay." Even though I know that at the present time my vote doesn't really count in Texas, I will not give up. We must rise up to save our Democracy.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:48 PM  

  • "THIS TOWN NEEDS AN ENEMA"!!!! (Jack Nicholson as "The Joker")


    Last summer, then-Congressman Chris Bell (D-Texas) broke the seven-year "ethcis truce" between Congressional Democrats and Republicans by filing multiple complaints regarding House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's ethical transgressions. The complaints were filed with the House Ethics Committee, which found that DeLay had indeed violated House rules on several ocassions and rebuked him for doing so.

    Seven Years?.... SEVEN YEARS???...."ETHICS TRUCE" ??...... "We was born at night, but it wasn't last night". Mr. Bell, You and Your colleagues in Congress created this monster. Ya'll have a lot of work to do before any one deserves a "pat on the back". Hell, it's business as usual in Texas....



    CORRUPTION – FOLLOW THE HOUSE LEADER (American Progress 02/11/05) : Texas representatives eager to gut the state's ethics guidelines are said to be following in the footsteps of the master – House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX). In what watchdogs call "a junior version" of DeLay's efforts in Washington, a veteran state GOP lawmaker this week filed a bill that would give the Texas Ethics Commission the power to prohibit a district attorney from continuing an ethics inquiry if the Ethics Commission did not agree that charges were warranted. Among the politicians who appoint Ethics Commission members is state House Speaker Tom Craddick (R). According to the Los Angeles Times, Craddick also happens to be a target of the fundraising investigation by District Attorney Ronnie Earle into whether political and business groups with ties to Rep. DeLay illegally financed the campaigns of 22 Republican House candidates in 2002. Earle called the bill "a slap in the face to the public."

    Mr. Bell, Thank You for what You are doing now.

    Sincerely,
    Denny

    resources:

    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2004/11/18/coddling_tom_delay/

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-ethics11feb11,1,7321903.story?coll=la-headlines-nation&ctrack=2&cset=true

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Delay#Controversy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:45 AM  

  • It is very important that we keep our democracy working. Mr. Delay is one that does not respect our 200 year system and in turn fights to corrupt it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 AM  

  • Thank You Mr. Bell it really is refreshing to see someone actually try to do something about the unethical, criminal and even sometimes treasonous behavior that seems to have taken over American politics.

    Unfortunately, I also see that many people I have talked to either take the “Official Party Line” view of events (“If you don’t believe the way we do you are un-patriotic, un-Christian, or just plain stupid”). Or don’t seem to care one way or another (“It doesn’t affect me”, “I can’t do anything about it”, or “It’s too much trouble”) regardless of any proof, from any source, offered to show where they have been betrayed and lied to.

    I am most decidedly not a Democrat or Republican and usually vote Libertarian (a bit more conservative than not), but I try to be informed and think I would be honored to vote for you if you run for Governor of Texas.

    Walter Littleton
    Richland Hills, TX

    By Blogger Max Littleton, at 4:40 AM  

  • Chris,

    Your actions show a genuine respect for democracy; they also show great courage in that you acted to uphold ethics--even though you knew you would become vulnerable to the "partisan" label (much like Ronnie Earle, who is anything but). You have at least 49% of the nation behind you, and one more Texas voter here, who would surely vote for you in 2006. Best of luck, and my prayers are with you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 AM  

  • Make that two Texas voters...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 AM  

  • I think Mr. Bell was used by his political party to front the partisan attack on the Majority Leader, as he had nothing to lose once he was defeated in the primary.

    DeLay learned the ropes from the corrupt Democrats, who ran the show, with their own sledgehammer, for over forty years.

    In my view, Mr. Bell did little to improve the quality of life for his constituents.

    Personally, I believe both major political parties (the spend-thrift Republicans as well as the Progressive, pro-any-deviant-amoral-evil-behavior-proves-our-diversity Democrats) need a good douche.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:16 PM  

  • I think Mr. Bell was used by his political party to front the partisan attack on the Majority Leader, as he had nothing to lose once he was defeated in the primary.

    DeLay learned the ropes from the corrupt Democrats, who ran the show, with their own sledgehammer, for over forty years.

    In my view, Mr. Bell did little to improve the quality of life for his constituents.

    Personally, I believe both major political parties (the spend-thrift Republicans as well as the Progressive, pro-any-deviant-amoral-evil-behavior-proves-our-diversity Democrats) need a good douche.

    By Anonymous Tom Bazan, at 12:18 PM  

  • Most of the comments I have read here express my feelings with regard to the Texas pole-cata and the Pole-Cat in chief. Bush II has not been given proper credit-- he is the lieingest President we have ever had. He is one of the GREATEST prevaricator's of all time. That means he is getting away with it! Shame on us, the US.

    By Anonymous bill_phil@yahoo.com, at 1:07 PM  

  • We need more people like you in politics that are not afraid to stand up to the corrupting power of money and influence. Please continue your fight as the people of Texas and our country need your voice.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:37 PM  

  • to the Honorable Mr.Bell,Best of luck in your campiagn for the Governorship of Texas.Its time to do what the Constitution tells us to do,and throw the bastards out!!!Impeach,Indit,Convict...War Proffiteering is High Treason.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 AM  

  • Mr. Bell I was very pleased that you had the willpower to do the right thing. Bring charges against the bug man Tom Delay. Also if you run for Governor of Texas. Don't for get to hire Jeff Gannon and Armstrong Williams, two fine Journalist.One with white house credentials.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:58 AM  

  • I commend yr courage Mr. Bell. It seems that the Republicans can get away with anything so long as it doesn't involve young interns and/or cigars. What amazes me is that the Democrats seem so gutless on this matter and in failing to oppose the travesties visited on our country (and the world) by this most corrupt, incompetent and plain ol' dishonest administration. Of course both parties are whores, but until there is 100% public financing of all elections (from dog-catcher to Commander-in-Chief) they pretty much have to be whores.
    Best of luck, and may this worth endeavor carry you far in your career of public service.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 PM  

  • I commend yr courage Mr. Bell. It seems that the Republicans can get away with anything so long as it doesn't involve young interns and/or cigars. What amazes me is that the Democrats seem so gutless on this matter and in failing to oppose the travesties visited on our country (and the world) by this most corrupt, incompetent and plain ol' dishonest administration. Of course both parties are whores, but until there is 100% public financing of all elections (from dog-catcher to Commander-in-Chief) they pretty much have to be whores.
    Best of luck, and may this worth endeavor carry you far in your career of public service.

    By Blogger T. M. Stratelak, at 3:58 PM  

  • I commend yr courage Mr. Bell. It seems that the Republicans can get away with anything so long as it doesn't involve young interns and/or cigars. What amazes me is that the Democrats seem so gutless on this matter and in failing to oppose the travesties visited on our country (and the world) by this most corrupt, incompetent and plain ol' dishonest administration. Of course both parties are whores, but until there is 100% public financing of all elections (from dog-catcher to Commander-in-Chief) they pretty much have to be whores.
    Best of luck, and may this worth endeavor carry you far in your career of public service.

    By Blogger T. M. Stratelak, at 3:59 PM  

  • Congressman Bell,
    I'm not a Texan but I hope you will put me on your fundraising list. America need your type in whatever capacity you choose to serve.
    Mary Francis, Oklahoma

    By Blogger MFrancis, at 8:59 PM  

  • Thank you for your courage, Mr. Bell. Tom Delay seems to be just another example of the bigoted, self righteous character of the members of the current administration. If the ethics of the Congress are as nonexisting as they appear, who will surve the best interests of the citizens of this country?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:35 AM  

  • The Democratic, Independent, and Green Parties are asleep at the wheel. They should be publicizing this corruption to the American people. When all three unique- influencial parties come together and demand answers by Congress, then the news media will pay attention. It worked in Ohio and it can also work in Texas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:37 AM  

  • *sigh* I would sure like to believe this sort of resistance skirmishing would really make a difference. You put your finger on the issue, though. People just can't make sense of the details in corruption cases; they just tune out these issues, placidly convinced that weightier problems should be occupying responsible minds in DC.

    What I like is the insight that putting a human face on corruption will help people understand and care about it, and I applaud you for that. Honest people are just going to have to get the hang of playing down to the rabble.

    I wish you the best.

    By Blogger Stupid Country, at 9:25 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger Stupid Country, at 9:26 PM  

  • It is intresting that our founding father's wouldn't have had any problem with Delay because the democratic minded populace of then had the morality to demonize such men and quickly dispose of corrupt people like Delay. And I do not mean by relying on politicians to police themselves.

    Corruption is the second greatest threat to any democracy superceeded only by an invading foriegn nation. Yet we have no branch of service to curtail such a threat. As Thomas Jefferson and Madison once hinted to us in their quotes and documents, such actions is really in our peoples' hands with and armed and disgrunted populace.

    Are we really freedom minded people if we are not willing to take more serious actions or at the very least vocally support drastic action against those who would violate our democratic-republic system?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:02 PM  

  • Mr Bell, you are a true patriot and I support what you're doing in Texas. This country (and certainly Texas) needs the kind of truth and discourse that you'd provide as governor, and I support you fully. How can all these people out there in middle america be so deluded so as to not notice the corruption and hypocrisy in the current administration? How are these people so blind to things that we see so clearly? What is the path to enlightenment for the ignorants who are not aware of their ignorance? The Bush Admin (Rove) has taken all the tenets of Fascism and put them to great use without the pretty name. For those who can't quite make the distinction, here is a link to a great piece on Fascism:

    http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/fi/britt_23_2.htm

    The parallels to what is happening in our country is SCARY~ spread the truth people!

    By Blogger RobertGee, at 3:34 PM  

  • LOL - a leftard echo chamber. like we need another one of those.

    bell doesn't seem to want to remind readers that the committee actually *dismissed* his complaints against delay as "frivolous" and issued a sternly-worded warning to bell against repeating such stunts in the future.

    so delay ranks 114th for number of junkets taken. nice work, bell - so when are you going to go after the 113 who are 'dirtier' than delay, by your definition?

    no, wait... you're one of them.

    BWAHAHAHAHA!

    By Anonymous acrobat, at 3:23 PM  

  • Chris Bell is at best an opportunist and at worst a demogogue. He began his career as a liberal journalist and has not swayed far from that mindset. Tom Delay has become a powerful representative for Texas and helped accomplish great things during his years of public service. As a consequence, he has become a lightning rod for Democrat's attempts to bring him down. What has "sour grapes" Bell done? If you like Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, "Turbin" Durbin, Harry Reid, et al, you'll love Chris Bell.

    By Blogger bellsafraud, at 8:17 PM  

  • Chris Bell is at best an opportunist and at worst a demogogue. He began his career as a liberal journalist and has not swayed far from that mindset. Tom Delay has become a powerful representative for Texas and helped accomplish great things during his years of public service. As a consequence, he has become a lightning rod for Democrat's attempts to bring him down. What has "sour grapes" Bell done? If you like Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, "Turbin" Durbin, Harry Reid, et al, you'll love Chris Bell.

    By Blogger bellsafraud, at 8:18 PM  

  • Chris Bell is at best an opportunist and at worst a demogogue. He began his career as a liberal journalist and has not swayed far from that mindset. Tom Delay has become a powerful representative for Texas and helped accomplish great things during his years of public service. As a consequence, he has become a lightning rod for Democrat's attempts to bring him down. What has "sour grapes" Bell done? If you like Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, "Turbin" Durbin, Harry Reid, et al, you'll love Chris Bell.

    By Blogger bellsafraud, at 8:19 PM  

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