Friday, October 21, 2005

Pombo and Delay

The Public Campaign Action Fund just released a report quantifying the linkages between members of the House and Tom Delay. Explaining the reasoning behind the report, the PCAF said:
With all the scandals swirling around DeLay, many Americans are asking why so many of their elected officials have remained silent about DeLay’s continued leadership in Congress. The DeLay Rankings shows why this may be: Too many members of Congress are in DeLay’s pocket.


Tom DeLay is a walking scandal and a national embarrassment, yet his colleagues in Congress continue to protect him. Why do they do this? Because they owe him. DeLay uses his PAC, ARMPAC, to spread cash around; he uses his power to determine whether their legislation lives or dies, and so on. With all the attention focused on scandals in Washington, DeLay is the poster child for what is wrong in politics. It seems appropriate that other members are held accountable for how close they are to DeLay.

We do have a big problem of money in politics and lobbyists influencing our elected officials, and it’s not confined to one party or the other. But Tom DeLay is the best – or the worst – example of what’s wrong.

Too true, too true. Of course we're writing this blog because the ignoble corruption in the House has spread its rot all the way to California's lovely 11th Congressional District.

And not surprisingly, the report shows this to be the case. Our man Pombo came in tied for the 63rd closest member to Delay, which makes him closer to Delay than 75% of his Republican brethren.

Moreover, this report does not factor in Pombo's refusal to investigate uber-lobbyist and Delay accomplice Jack Abramoff, or how Tom Delay hand-picked Pombo to be a committee Chairman over more senior Republicans. So, if anything, the report understates the ties between Pombo and Delay.

A couple other quick points of interest.

First, the report uses the voting statistics compiled by Joshua Grossman over at Progressive Punch. Kid Oakland has been talking to me about these stats for awhile now, so it's good to know they're being put to good use.

Second, I notice that Barbara Lee, my Congresswoman, is dead last for ties to Delay in the entire House. Go Barbara go! None of the Democrats gave Delay money, so their ranking is wholly a function of how often they voted the same way as Delay. Lee managed to vote with Delay just over 4% of the time, which goes to show that even a blind chicken is going to find the corn sometimes. On the other hand, Ellen Tauscher, Steve Filson's major backer, voted with Delay over 20% of the time. It's something to think about.

Lastly, just for fun, check out this flash animation put out by the Clear the Air. It'll put a smile on your face.


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