Lines in the Sand: Congressional Redistricting in Texas and the Downfall of Tom Delay

By Steve Bickerstaff | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 18
The Fall of Congressman DeLay

I have no fear whatsoever about any investigation into me or my personal or
professional activities.

— CONGRESSMAN TOM DELAY, WASHINGTON POST, APRIL 4, 2006

Congressman DeLay's aggressive effort to shed the Texas criminal proceedings during the fall of 2005 failed. Over this same period, events elsewhere in the country turned against the congressman. DeLay did not directly face criminal charges outside Texas. Instead, as discussed below, he confronted a cascade of events and news stories that implied wrongdoing and led to his decisions to step aside as majority leader and later to resign from Congress.
Events in Washington
Events in Washington also rapidly turned against Congressman DeLay. Another book will need to be written by someone else to detail those events. For the purposes of this book, however, the cascade of events affecting Congressman DeLay included:
1. Contributions to DeLay's defense fund proved disappointing at the same time that the costs of his legal representation were escalating because of both the criminal proceeding in Texas and the events in Washington.1
2. Nick Lampson, one of the Democratic incumbents defeated in 2002, announced his intention to run against DeLay in the 2006 general election. It also appeared that DeLay would face opposition in the Republican primary. Ultimately three opponents filed against DeLay for the primary. Polls by USA Today/CNN showed that only 36 percent of the registered voters in DeLay's district indicated that they would vote for him in 2006. Some

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