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Tom DeLay thought he could screw the law but the law screwed back

By Doug Thompson  Posted by Amanda Lang (about the submitter)     Permalink
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In 1990, while running the political programs division for the National Association of Realtors, I met with a brash Republican Congressman from Texas an up and comer named Rep. Tom DeLay.

DeLay had three items on his agenda:

1 --Secure more political action committee money for Republican candidates and members of Congress. He felt business PACs like ours which was, at the time, the largest PAC in town, were being entirely too generous with Democrats;

2 --Get more Republicans hired by associations, lobbying firms and political action groups;

3 --Con us into inviting him to speak at our upcoming annual convention in Hawaii and make sure the invite included his family and time for a week or so of golf after the convention.

I 'd been warned about DeLay. He was, my colleagues in the PAC business said, overtly pushy in a town known for pushy politicians.

They weren 't wrong.

"I see you give most of your money to Democrats, " DeLay said. "Why? "

I explained the Democrats on our contribution list controlled Congress and the committee chairmanships and, for the most part, voted right on our issues.

"That 's bullshit, " DeLay said. "You 're a business PAC and we 're the party of business. You should remember that. The Democrats won 't always control Congress. "

I reminded him that Republicans voted against the real estate industry in the 1986 tax reform act.

"If you want more Republican votes let 's see some more money for Republicans, " he said. "That 's how the game works. " I said I would put the matter before our PAC board but added that we paid for performance, not promises.

"That, " DeLay said, "will change. "

We moved on to the hiring of Republicans.

"How many Republicans do you have on your staff? "

"Beats me, " I replied. "I don 't ask their party affiliation. "

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