Tom Delay has been rebuked three times by the House ethics panel, which is pretty tough considering it is controlled by Republicans, who are ethically challenged, by definition.
Tom also has become the first House Majority Leader in history to be indighted in office. Congratulations, Tom! An honor well deserved.
But it really is the red herring in all this.
Here is why the Tom Delay money laundering indictment is such a big deal.
Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing Congressional Districts so that a political party can take power when, otherwise, it could not win in a geographically sensible district.
Both parties do it, and it needs to stop. What it does is to make sure that a vote by one person means less than a vote by another. Say Republicans are a minority party in an area of Texas, which they are.
In two districts let's say Republicans account for 40% of voters compared to 60% for the Democrats. They would lose every Congressional election as a result of not being able to convince voters that their ideas were sound and deserving.
But here comes Tom Delay with his illegally obtained and laundered money, along with all sorts of other shenanigans, involving the FBI and shredded documents, and Texas Rangers ordered by the Republican Governor to arrest State Democrat Representatives (True, by the way) and then they rearrange the map so that the Districts look like a jigsaw puzzle and all the Democrats wind up in one district and the Republicans wind up in another.
Presto!...Instead of two Democratic districts, you have one Democrat and one Republican.
But the Republicans are the minority! How did they get a seat?
By juggling the geographical areas to make the other party's votes count less. It's just that simple. And it was done with illegally laundered money and who knows what all else.
Tom is now a hero to Karl Rove, who told him how to do this in the first place, and George Bush get's to push through all kinds of idiotic spending schemes that make Dick Cheney richer.
Just so you'll know, Here are the five Texas Congressmen who would were elected through Tom Delay's illegal scheme. If they had any honor, they would step down and ask for new districting and a new election...
But they won't!
Louie Gohmert (R-1st)
Ted Poe (R-2nd)
Michael McCaul (R-10th)
Mike Conaway (R-11th)
Kenny Marchant (R-24th)
Oh yeah, Here's a map of Tennessee's Congressional distrcts which are nearly as goofy as Texas's, except they were done legally...so far as we know.
Here's a fun place you can go and see your own state's congressional districts. Aren't maps fun?