Justice Department lawyers concluded that the landmark Texas congressional redistricting plan spearheaded by Rep. Tom DeLay (R) violated the Voting Rights Act, according to a previously undisclosed memo obtained by The Washington Post. But senior officials overruled them and approved the plan.
The memo, unanimously endorsed by six lawyers and two analysts in the department's voting section, said the redistricting plan illegally diluted black and Hispanic voting power in two congressional districts. It also said the plan eliminated several other districts in which minorities had a substantial, though not necessarily decisive, influence in elections....
One of two DeLay aides also under indictment in the case, James W. Ellis, is cited in the Justice Department memo as pushing for the plan despite the risk that it would not receive "pre-clearance," or approval, from the department. Ellis and other DeLay aides successfully forced the adoption of their plan over two other versions passed by Texas legislators that would not have raised as many concerns about voting rights discrimination, the memo said.
... the Justice Department's approval of the redistricting plan, signed by Sheldon T. Bradshaw, principal deputy assistant attorney general, was valuable to Texas officials when they defended it in court. He called the internal Justice Department memo, which did not come out during the court case, "yet another indictment of Tom DeLay, because this memo shows conclusively that the map he produced violated the law."
Jerry Strickland, a spokesman for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, said he did not have any immediate comment.
You can read the 73-page memo here (.pdf file).
So, two things:
First, it's clear once again that Nothing Gets In Tom DeLay's Way. Not the law, not the Justice Department, not the will of the people, nothing.
He's proven -- once again -- that he's the one at the heart of the Republican Mafia running Texas and the nation. Not the brains (that's Rove and Cheney) but the muscle. DeLay is the capo who breaks the kneecaps and collects the insurance, which he then doles out to his little henchmen all over the country. DeLay is both good earner and enforcer.
A reminder: Big Time Dick will be in Houston next Monday to keep the Republicans' Thing going -- he's coming to help The Hammer raise money for the brigades of lawyers working nights to keep his sorry ass out of jail. With them wll appear the Governor of Texas, Rick "Adios MoFo" Perry, and the junior Senator from Texas, John "I Love Torturing Box Turtles" Cornyn.
A Corruption Superfecta.
It may yet be that the good people of the 22nd District will get to deliver the message the Sugar Land Bugman has been ignoring for years now, or maybe the law will eventually catch up to him, whether that is Ronnie Earle or the Justice Department attorneys who will prosecute the charges resulting from the misdeeds of Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon. But like Al Capone, Tom DeLay ain't goin' to the end of the block without a fight.
Second, DeLay and his illegal cash corrupt everyone they touch. Why the Attorney General of Texas would roll over for Tom DeLay in defiance of the the Department of Justice makes him a stooge of the first rank. The only reason these nonbinding-but-heavily-weighted memos are issued is to avoid lengthy and expensive (to the taxpayers) court battles.
The law said no, and the GOP political hacks said screw the law, we're doing it anyway. Let them try to stop us.
Well guess what, thugs? The people are going to stop you. One way or another, we're taking you down.