CORRUPTION -- TOM DELAY AWARDED CUNNINGHAM'S SEAT; ETHICS COMMITTEE STALLED:
Criminally-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) "scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him" with Duke Cunningham’s former seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. It should be a smooth transition: contractor Brent Wilkes, a co-conspirator in Cunningham's plea agreement, has given $30,000 to DeLay, "who flew on Wilkes' jet several times and has been a frequent golfing buddy." DeLay also yesterday claimed a seat "on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers." In related news, CongressDaily (subscription only) reports that the House ethics committee "has not begun any full-scale investigations into members in question, including Reps. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, Bob Ney, R-Ohio, and William Jefferson, D-La., among several other potential cases." Said one Republican source, "They are not going to meet for many, many months."
Text and links from the Center for American Progress: