At this point, why would
Mario stick with DeLay?
By Alvaro F.
“Mornings, before daylight, I slipped into corn
fields and borrowed a watermelon, or a mushmelon, or a punkin, or some new corn,
or things of that kind. Pap always said it warn't no harm to borrow things, if
you was meaning to pay them back, sometime; but the widow said it warn't
anything but a soft name for stealing, and no decent body would do it.”
-- Quote from
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Chapter 12)
Put Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart
down as a friend of House Republican leader Tom DeLay. He recently defended the
powerful DeLay by claiming to The Miami Herald that it was a “politically
motivated sham indictment” that got the House Majority Leader in trouble.
In fact, after hearing of
the indictment, Diaz-Balart told The
Oscar Corral, “I remain an adamant and strong supporter of Tom DeLay,” calling
him a “trustworthy ally for Florida.”
I wonder why Mario defends
a sleazy character like DeLay so much – especially now when the GOP leader finds
himself in so much hot water: two grand jury indictments in a span of a few
Recent reports in The New
York Times and other major newspapers opened my eyes to the fact that DeLay has
built a machine in Congress worthy of being copied by the Mafia. His power
assured, even after he was removed from his post as House Majority Leader. He
also rewards his loyal followers – with plum committee assignments and fat
campaign contributions from DeLay’s fundraising PAC.
Mario’s loyalty have anything to do with the $10,000 he received from the PAC
that prosecutors now say was laundering money for DeLay? At this point, I would
think that if I was in Mario’s shoes, I would consider returning what
appears to be dirty money – something he has yet to do. And secondly, as the
newest member of our South Florida congressional delegation, I would distance
myself from what appears to be one of the raunchiest politicians on the face of
this earth. But Mario’s comments to The Miami Herald seem to point in a
different direction, basically telling us, “No way! I’m sticking with my guy…”
DeLay has lived on the
fringe of honesty and decency for some time now. And in my opinion, done much
worse in the past than what he is now been indicted for. Listen to this list I
picked up from the MoveOn.org website. Among his many offenses, they assert that
Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill
legislation they opposed.
Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign
government in violation of House rules.
Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign
Helped sweatshops in the
Mariana Islands at the
behest of a lobbyist.
Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate
Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare.
Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with
Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish
celebrations at the Republican Convention.
Threatened retaliation against interest groups that
don't support Republicans.
Stacked the House Ethics Committee with representatives
who have contributed to his legal defense fund.
Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics
Committee by purging members who had rebuked him.
Sought a rule change that would have no longer "required
leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted."
read the list of DeLay follies, I kept thinking of the many people I meet daily
who tell me they are not registered to vote, don’t plan to do so, and if they
were, they wouldn’t vote anyway. DeLay’s resume gives them good reason, I
But I returned to wondering
about our own South Florida congressman, Mario Diaz-Balart. Based on what he
must know about DeLay by now, how does he stick with this guy?
it be that poor Mario might be so deep into the DeLay machine that, at this
point, it would not be very wise of him to try to work his way out of it?
Remember, Congress, as DeLay has managed to set it up, can become a dangerous
enterprise for some.
anyway, who knows? DeLay may have offered Mario a deal he just couldn’t refuse.