The grounds I used were for misconduct and violation of House rules, especially the first rule of the House Code of Ethics, which states, "A member, officer, or employee of the House of Representatives shall conduct himself at all times in a manner which shall reflect creditably on the House of Representatives."
At the same time, Public Citizen and other groups and individuals contacted the same committee with similar requests. We couldn't file official ethics complaints because House leaders had passed rules years before stopping individual groups and citizens from doing so. Only members of Congress could file a formal complaint, and they rarely did.
So our efforts didn't immediately start an investigation on DeLay, and they were never really acknowledged by the House committee. But I believe they helped lead to an environment in which officials started questioning DeLay's abuses more and gave the committee some support to go after DeLay.
DeLay got his shots in when members like Bell lost their seats in late 2004 and Republicans picked up more positions because of the scheme. Also, under reported pressure from DeLay, Hefley was removed from the ethics committee in early 2005.
But then DeLay's world crumbled when he was indicted for the corrupt funding of the redistricting scam in the fall of 2005 by Travis County DA Ronnie Earle. The indictment forced DeLay to step down as house majority leader.
Way back in 2003 when I started my oust DeLay petition drive, I had no idea DeLay would be resigning less than three years later. But I knew I had to do something. I didn't know what would become of the matter when I walked through the halls of Congress and presented the petition to the Congress offices, including to ethics committee members and DeLay's, in Nov. 2003. I just knew something had to be done.
You have to start the ball rolling somewhere and believe that someday some good will come of it. We may live in a corrupt nation, but individuals still can make a difference.